A Book Recommendation To Build Creative Skills And Become A Writer
One afternoon I perused around my local bookstore to poke around at some of the latest book releases. This happened to be right around the time that I desired to become a better writer but didn’t have many tools.
I was missing the classics; Elements of Style, Writing Tools, On Writing, and many others.
I’m glad I can say I’ve since read, applied, and continue to use these almost every day as I work on my craft.
Again, I walked around with no intention at the time but one book stuck out.
How to be a Writer — Building your creative skills through practice and play, by Barbara Baig
I almost didn’t buy it. I googled it and only found a few results and nearly psyched myself out. But I did; this book never left my side all summer.
Barbara Baig is a devoted writer and teacher. She was the Writing instructor at Harvard Divinity School for 20+ years and is now teaching in the MFA Program at Lesley University.
If you have any desire to write you need to start here.
Freewriting does WONDERS for your creative skills and helps you escape your mind. When you freewrite you allow yourself to think freely and your mind to flow into new dimensions of thought that are unable to be obtained unless you enter the deep, focused state of mind.
Do this for just 10 minutes. Write about your day, your week, your life, your relationship; anything you want.
An important thing to note is not to stop writing. Keep the pen or pencil moving. This won’t be easy at first but you’ll learn that the more you “think” when you write, the harder it is for words to come to your mind.
This is an excellent way to study, prepare for a meeting, learn new subjects, and assess your own level of knowledge.
No matter what subject you are studying or interested in, focused freewriting can help you find information and knowledge on a particular subject that you may not be aware you know.
Often times our subconscious mind holds on to a TON of information with which the only way to access it is through deep stimulation.
A good example of this would be remembering character names from movies, books, or TV shows. Another would be the quote you loved so much by your favorite philosopher.
Write your topic at the top, set your timer for 10–15 minutes (or however long you’re comfortable with) and begin. Don’t stop writing until the time is up.
Try writing about a favorite vacation, experience, memory, or freewrite for new blog ideas.
Another way to use focused freewriting is to apply it to get in the “zone” for your job. I worked in cyber security and used this method to learn the technology, lingo, and get my mind ready to discuss security with people much smarter than I.
Why I Recommend Her Book
This book forever changed how I approach writing. It’s made my 1,000 words/day goal a piece of cake. I’m somewhere around 3,000 words today.
I’m also up late on a Monday writing this for my day 4/30 posting on Medium and my blog.
This book showed me how much I had to learn about writing, the world, and myself. Writers are vulnerable people who often see life through a lens which only words can explain.
Barbara will teach you how to look at the world in a new way. Take the journey into this book to expand your curiosity, learn more, have fun, and continue to grow as a writer.
Whether you write blogs, fiction, nonfiction, or poetry there is a place for Baig’s book in your library.
Have you read it before? What did you think? Share below or comment and let me know how you use freewriting in your life!