Returning to Creative Writing: 3 Tips


Creative writing is life-giving for me. In the past, I created a steady habit of completing creative work before commissioned writing, i.e., editing work or nonprofit work. Somewhere in the last year, I’ve had to switch focus. Life has been lif’ing, as they say. Now that I’ve come up for air, I finally had a chance to open my laptop to write something creative. It dawned on me as I wrote that the habits I’ve developed might be helpful to share here—both the consistency of writing creatively and the return to creative writing after a six-month hiatus.

Returning to Creative Writing: 3 Tips
Returning to Creative Writing: 3 Tips

Here is what I’ve learned.

First, consistency does not mean length, time, or degree of content.

Last year, I wrote creatively whenever I sat down at my desk. Sometimes, that was 2 to 3 paragraphs of a short story; other times, I’d finish a single thought. The point was to open the document and read what I’d written the day before. As the year changed, I went from daily practice to once a week to once every two weeks, and for the last six months, my short story has been on the shelf. Nonetheless, I built a muscle, and like any muscle it has memory. Returning to creative writing this morning was easy because of past habits.

Second, editing creative writing is considered creative work.

There are days when the muse comes quickly and fiercely; on other days, the muse does not come at all. Instead, your grit gets you through the page by editing previous ideas- that type of work counts!

Lastly, let go of shame, guilt, or self-criticism regarding your creative work.

That’s easier said than done, but it is essential. If you’ve been on a hiatus from creative work, as I have, shame, guilt, and criticism aren’t getting you back there. Instead, returning to the page is easiest when you reread a past story or poem that you’ve written and have loved. Remind yourself of your talent because it’s easy to forget we have any. Remember the feeling and start again.

Always start again. I hope this helps.

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Olga Rosales Salinas is Managing Editor for San Francisco Bay Area Moms. As a freelance writer and journalist, her articles have been published nationally by Palabra, National Association of Hispanic Journalists. Her debut collection of poetry and prose, La Llorona, was published by Birch Bench Press in August of 2021. Her monthly column "Thriving While Anxious" is featured @ Jumble & Flow. In 2019 her philanthropy and activism began with a non-profit benefiting first-generation and immigrant students, The Rosales Sisters' Scholarship. She has had spotlights in the following podcasts and radio stations; Los Sotelos Podcast, The Hive Poetry Collective, Walk the Talk Podcast, "Making a Difference with Sheetal Ohri" on Bolly 92.3 FM, and Roll Over Easy @BFFdotFM Radio.


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