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Many people have the desire to write and feel they have it in them to write poems, stories, even novels. But they barely write a word. Here are the 3 key steps you can take, to get you started (again) with your creative writing.

Step 1. Be kind to yourself, start small.

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Many people, having never written more than a few short pieces of creative writing before, try to go headfirst in at the deep end and write their first novel in a couple of weekends. Yes, there are a few people this can work for, and if you’re one of them and that works for you, that’s fantastic. But the rest of us need to build up our creative writing muscles before we go for a big writing project like a novel.

Pick a small project first, like a poem or article or short descriptive piece. Get used to writing, and familiar with the whole process from having an idea, to writing the first few words, to that proud feeling of reading back your finished piece of writing.

Step 2. Create regularly.

Creative writing, like any other form of creativity, needs to become a habit for you to reach your true potential. In your list of what you do each day, creating needs to be just below Breathe, Eat and Sleep. Pick a regular time each day to create for a minimum of 15 minutes, stick to it for 2 weeks and notice what a huge difference this makes to your creative output.

Imagine what you’ll have written in 6 to 12 months from now when you extend this daily creative session to 20 or 30 minutes a day.

Step 3. Experiment. Play. Enjoy.

Creative writing is about exploring new ideas, new characters, new worlds, new ways of expressing yourself and your creativity. It’s also about learning which ways you write most effectively, which types of writing you most enjoy and which you’d like to try next.

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