Lifelong Learning

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Introduction to Creative Writing

So, what is creative writing? Chambers Dictionary defines creative as 'Having the power to create, that creates, showing, pertaining to, imagination, originality' and writing as 'The act of one who writes, that which is written, literary production or composition'. Therefore, the term 'creative writing' may be defined as:
Having the power to create an imaginative, original literary production or composition and can be applied to a very broad spectrum of writing genres.
Giving Yourself Permission to Write
Due to a common misconception that unless you are a published novelist, you cannot be considered a 'real' writer, novice authors often find it difficult to convince either their nearest and dearest or, indeed, themselves that their desire to write should be taken seriously.
However, even the most famous authors had to start somewhere, so don't be put off by outside pressures. Be assured that your writing is more important than:
•mowing the lawn
•washing the dishes
•cleaning, dusting, gardening
or any other similar activity that will keep you from your pen and paper.
One of the first rules a would-be writer learns is to 'write about what you know'. If, however, this rule is taken too literally, few writers would ever gain the requisite knowledge to write an historical romance, murder mystery or science fiction novel.


Ideas for Creative Writing

Watch how people behave in everyday situations, jotting down ideas in your notebook as they occur to you.
The next time you go to the supermarket, for example, observe the behaviour of the other customers. Take a few seconds to chat to the checkout girl or the assistant who packs your shopping. Listen not only to the words they say but to how they say them.
If you commute to work, use your journey time to study your fellow travellers. Try
to imagine what sort of homes they come from and how they might lead their lives. Whatever situation you find yourself in during your daily life, observe the people around you.
Not only should you watch but you must also listen. Writers are terrible eavesdroppers and will shamelessly listen in on the most private conversations.
Ideas are all around you, if only you can
train yourself to find them. Listed below are just a few possible sources:
•airports, stations
•buses, coaches, planes and trains
•cafes and restaurants
•doctors'/dentists' surgeries
•school playgrounds
The list is endless but as a general rule, ideas are to be found anywhere people gather

Poetry competition at United Press. Get your poetry published

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