Creative Writing Activities

Book cover - Practical Creative Writing Exercises by Grace Jolliffe illustrating an article about illustrating an article for writers about creative writing activitiesThese creative writing activities are designed to open the mind and maybe even change your mind – creatively of course.


Selective reading will help you to think about a wide range of options before you decide on the themes or conflict you wish to explore.

When you read the newspapers, keep a notebook handy.

Write down any story that intrigues you.

Do the same with everything you read, magazines, novels and even textbooks.

Note the types of story that REALLY interests you. The idea is to become more aware of exactly what you enjoy.

NEVER write about a subject that bores you. If it bores you it will bore the reader.

old painting of woman walking along a shore illustrating an article on creative writing activitiesLIKE WHAT YOU WRITE

It is important that you learn this early on in your writing life.

You may be inspired by the latest romantic novelist to achieve a six-figure advance.

But, if you don’t really like romantic fiction are you really going to dedicate your time to writing it?

More importantly – are you going to be any good at it?

Remember that writing about something that doesn’t really interest you is like running a marathon backwards.

If you’re not sure what you want to write about then maybe you need some help with your ideas?

You will find lots more about creative writing ideas here.


Go the cinema regularly and go alone.

The reason I suggest going alone is so that instead of chatting and exchanging your opinions with your friends you will write down your own thoughts about what you have seen – what you liked or disliked and what you would change.

Try going to an afternoon showing it is usually cheaper too.

Pick films you never usually go to. Don’t be too selective and keep your mind open. This is about new experience so if you always see the latest thriller, see the latest animation or comedy.

Also attend theatre. If the price is prohibitive to you, ask if you can observe dress rehearsals.

Explain to them that you are learning about writing – they might say no (that won’t kill you) but they might say yes and you will learn a lot from seeing actors performing dialogue.


One of my own favourite creative writing activities is simply walking. I go for a walk at least every writing day and I use an observational walking technique to free my mind.

two little birds chatting on a fence illustrating an article about creative writing activitiesObservational walking is one of the easiest of the mindful type of meditations to practice. Simply start walking – take some slow breaths and begin to observe your surroundings.

Watch the leaves blowing, and birds flying, notice every piece of rubbish, notice the movements of people and animals – notice everything without judging or labeling.

Try not to follow your thoughts as they emerge – simply spend as much of your walk observing as you can.

I personally find observational walking is fantastic for de-stressing, unblocking and generally giving your brain the space it needs to create.

You will find more about observational walking here.


Keep you creative writing activities fresh and new.

Mark time in your diary at least once a month for a new experience.  This doesn’t have to be literary.

The only rule you need apply is that the experience must be new.

You could attend a speech by a local politician at the opening of a supermarket. You could stay on the bus or train an extra few stops and simply see where it goes.

You could book a class in something new. There are endless options. Try reading your local free-sheets and papers – see what’s going on out there and do something different.


This is where you can really let your mind fly.

Imagine your book is about to be published or your film or television drama is about to be produced.

book cover of Piggy Monk Square by Grace Jolliffe illustrating an article on creative writing activitiesNow imagine the strongest image you can for the cover of the book or the cinema poster.

Make some sketches. Use pencils, pens, and paints, whatever you want.

You don’t have to able to draw – there is nobody watching and nobody judging – that is not the point of the exercise.

Using the free-flow-design method to draw a picture in your mind will give you a strong and inspiring focal point when you are in the process of writing.


Doing the same thing over and over again does not develop your creative mind.

Doing something different is both stimulating, inspiring and fun… so go ahead and try some of these creative writing activities and exercises:


If you like specific imagination triggers then try creative writing exercises.

Maybe you like a little less detail, in which case then you might like to try these abstract creative writing exercises.


For those of you who like to keep diaries or journals I have also included some suggestions in my post on journal writing, which can help you put them to more practical use.

Best of Luck with your writing.


P.S. There are lots of exercises, information, and tips throughout the site and it’s all free for you. All I ask is that if you like it, or if it helps, then spread the word around a little, by liking, commenting or sharing.

Book cover - Practical Creative Writing Exercises by Grace Jolliffe illustrating an article about illustrating an article for writers about creative writing activitiesDOWNLOAD NOW

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2 Responses to Creative Writing Activities

  1. Chris December 22, 2014 at 5:27 am #

    Wow this is helping so much already. I always loved writing throughout high school and haven’done much since. Finally deciding to go for it I stumbled on this amazing site. Your ideas are great thanks so much!

    • Grace December 22, 2014 at 11:50 am #

      Hi Chris,
      Thanks so much. I am really glad it helped you. Go for it!
      Best wishes

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