‘Everything old is new again’ – at least in the world of writing. Originality can be hard to come by, and frankly, most of the stories we love best are iterations of the same formula. This doesn’t make us love these kinds of stories any less; it just makes the old storytelling ideas all the more important. Here are three tips to help you iterate on old ideas in your writing:
Novelty is that wonderful surprise element; something fresh that leaves a positive impression on the reader because they find it unique, and unpredictable. Adding novel elements to your writing is an excellent way to make your work thrilling, and memorable to readers. Here are three tips to help you inject novelty into your writing:
Since I teach music, I have a variety of students – my youngest are three years old, and my oldest are in their 60’s. I find interesting and unique inspiration from all of the different people I encounter, but no one beats the sheer uniqueness and openness of children. I have leaned into the delight and madness of childrens’ imaginations, and have been surprised and gratified to find continual inspiration. Here are three ways you can channel that creative energy too:
We all of have aspects of our lives that are less than glamorous; the daily chores, and trivialities that must be completed in order to ensure that our daily existences run as smoothly as possible. These can often become annoyances though, when they feel burdensome, or interrupt important creative work. Still, I’ve come to think of busywork as an important aspect of my creative writing process, and here are three reasons why:
I love the arts. I always have. I started art classes and choir at age five, piano lessons and dance at seven, and extra curricular creative writing programs at age ten. But all of those activities melted away as I became more and more immersed in music.
I loved music so much that by the time I was in my last year of high school I was in both a symphonic band and a youth orchestra, I sang in four different choirs, as well as choir class during school time, and had private voice lessons and piano lessons.
I loved music so much that I earned two university degrees in classical voice.
The thing about classical music is that it demands so much of you; your time, and attention, and rigourous discipline. So much so, that you have to be entirely committed to it. And so, for a time, I put all of my other creative pursuits into a drawer in my mind, and I closed it, so I could fully subsume myself to music.
And that was good.
For a while.