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5 Methods To Exercise Your Creative Writer Muscle

*Originally Published on August 8th, 2016 on joelhovell.com

As an aspiring creative writer, have you struggled to make original content because you’re lost in a world of confusion? Don’t worry, all people who possess the power of the pen have been in this situation during the early days of their career. I was in the same pair of shoes as yourself about four years ago when I first began to write Snow Wolf; my first published novel that you can find on Amazon. Most importantly, as with any pursuit, the reason for your inexperience in creating an original book idea is because you’ve never practiced before. Once you do practice and gain the experience necessary to form ideas spontaneously, the process will become much easier for you. In the meantime, here’s five methods to jumpstart your literary project.


1.) Read Books From Various Genres

I cannot stress the importance to read books while you write stories of your own. Concentrate on how the author describes a particular scene. Examine how the conversation between characters flows. In direct correlation with the act to understand how to develop new stories, pinpoint the subject of the book. What occurs in for instance romance novels or in science fiction? Note these observations in a notebook or a document on a computer or phone. Read beyond the confines of the targeted genre of the book you wish to compose. For example, I write specifically for the young adult category for personal, philosophical reasons. However, am I prevented from reading books that are directed at adults such as F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby? If rules that prohibited reading books outside your chosen category, this would be a totalitarian existence to say the least. In other words, expose yourself to different types of stories in order to become well rounded with various aspects of writing fiction.



2.) Watch People In Public

When I stress engage in people watching while in a public space, such as your local library or at the mall, I don’t mean to stare at others like you’ve lost control of yourself. In fact, you might not be required to spend surplus time to do this. For instance, your friends have invited you to a party at a mutual friend’s house. When you decide to spend a moment in silence to sip your drink or eat some of the delicious food prepared by the host, start watching people then. Examine their body language as they converse with fellow partygoers. How are their words phrased? What cultural aspects play a role here? What types of decorations or what is entailed in the environment of the scene? The target here is to understand the basic psychology without enrolling in an expensive undergraduate class or reading about it from a textbook. Just examine your surroundings more often than usual (or maintain this level if you’re already an observant person) to realize how people interact in daily life.



3.) Research The Latest Current Events

Here’s an easy method to create an original story: watch or read the news. Although lately, current events has been riddled with stories about death and destruction more than usual; do it anyway. For example, when the Ukrainian Civil War and preceding protests in the capital city of Kiev started almost three years ago, I asked myself how I could change the factual events into a fictional tale. I allowed most of my novel in development, Duo Sniper, write itself with the exception of juicy details to spice the story more. I realize many are dismayed by warfare and would prefer to write more peaceful, romantic stories. In this case, what are your favorite actors and actresses who’ve managed to carve out a life together? Take their life stories and change the details along with their names and you’re set to start writing. In fact, you can dive headfirst into past historical events too. There are no boundaries to your creativity. Use real life events and fictionalize the story to your tastes.



4.) Use Scenes From Your Life Story

Maybe you wish to write a story that depicts events closer to home. Why not write a novel based upon your life? Few authors throughout the ages are guilty of never using their personal lives as foundations for a story. Was there a particular scene in high school when you had the opportunity to date the homecoming queen or the captain of the football team? Horrific images of battle scenes while deployed overseas? What about a vacation to a tropical getaway where you met someone you knew was beyond your reach? The story doesn’t need to be exact with what you witnessed firsthand. The main criteria, should you use events from your past, is make the story partially unbelievable though grounded in reality. Your life no matter your physical age contains numerous stories, they were merely overlooked until you decided to become a writer.



5.) Converse With Other Writers

I realize the art of placing words on a page is a solitary one, but don’t forget the human tendencies to require socialization. Join an organization, whether in your city or an online group, to discuss your projects meant for the whole world to enjoy; at a price of course. I would expect fellow members don’t write about the same types of stories in a specific genre, so share your work in the sense of generating new ideas for subsequent titles. In the near future, maybe you can collaborate with someone and write a book you both would enjoy to publish together. Besides the social aspects, surround yourself with writers who are more experienced than yourself, but please do the same for someone less skilled than you. Writers are not competitive people in the sense where survival of the fittest is commonplace in other industries.


I sense you are face palming yourself, yes, creativity is generated this easily. Don’t be harsh on yourself, I spent four years learning these methods on my own. Remember, nothing in life will be handed to you on a silver platter. To achieve something worth the effort, hard work and patience are keys to success. I understand being a writer is a difficult profession to gain financial independence in, and there are multiple industries where success is more easily achieved. There’s the possibility you might require a day job in order to publish more books and to pay for most, if not all of your bills. Don’t worry amigo, keep that job if you need it to survive financially. The main thing to realize is you’re in the process to establish multiple streams of income. Regardless of who you are, I wish you the best on your upcoming career as a creative writer. And please remember to subscribe to my email list below and check out my book Snow Wolf, which is available on Amazon. Have yourself a wonderful day!

Update — December 25th, 2016

Hello everyone! I don’t care what holiday (or lack thereof) that you’re celebrating this December, I just want to take a moment to notify every one of my literary progress!

I’m currently working on the publication of Straight From A Millennial, my first poetry book, which has a date set for January 11th, 2017.

I recently expanded the availability of my first novel Snow Wolf to Smashwords, which also includes iBooks, Barnes & Noble (ebook version anyway), Scribd, and more. Hopefully, once my book is available across numerous online stores, I hope to price the kindle version for free and begin a marketing campaign.

With the new website, joelhovell.info finally launched I can return most of my focus towards editing iAvatar (novella) and Millennial Here (poetry). Both books are planned for publication in the Fall of 2017.

The Winter Duo


Every December

 The air temperature plummets to where liquid water solidifies

 Followed by snowflakes with the movements of falling autumn leaves

 My extremities feel numb though submerged in thick clothing

 The roads have transformed to narrow ice skating rinks

 Seasonal depression dampens my free spirited mind due to minimal sunlight

 The cold, grayscale environment has limited my avenues of escape

 The closest tropical haven is over one thousand miles away

A single antidote remains in my possession

The will to escape the massive snowdrifts at any cost

Arriving in the land of eternal summers and populated beaches

The warm beach sand on my bare feet

The image of surf overwhelming those closer to the ocean

Sunshine able to tan my fair skin in a matter of days

This millennial chooses to rebel against the dominant subculture mentality

Where the people usually remain in their respective hometown

The local population less than or equal to 5,000

Dozens of mile from the nearest urban center of their region

A diverse world exists beyond the frozen lakes and rivers

The snow-covered roads impassable to all traffic

Once I achieve financial sustainability

This northern country boy shall leave his remote locale

Until this planned endeavor occurs

I will resist the cold weather months

Between December and March

Through 23 winters in the northern hemisphere

I have developed this piece of wisdom for the greenhorns:

Expect colder temperatures subsequent a blizzard and vice versa

These two villains are partners in crime

They rarely work alone

If my advice fails you

Please think warm until the arrival of spring

Study the snowflakes for there geometric shapes

Whatever activities you fancy

Fulfill your goals created long ago

Escape these wintry foes that always collaborate more often than not

Before the snowdrifts return next December

The Senses Unfulfilled


Technological progress has provided greater connection between people

Oceans are crossed by airliners in hours

A complete orbit of the Earth by satellites in minutes

Messages sent through the internet read in seconds

In the shadows created by these rapid advances

I sense a disturbing reality

I receive cold stares from other grocery shoppers

I detect hushed voices between best friends

More than one person is texting on their smartphone

I’m an optimistic individual deep within the land of pessimism


Are most too frightened to speak with complete strangers?

Make phone calls to state your willingness to meet your friends somewhere?

Have these former concepts gone extinct?

Was the Millennial generation conquered by an abiotic, electronic invader?

The belief text messages can outright replace audible conversations

The lack of body language from people well apparent

The accepted conditions of modern, urban society

The lack of these human details horrifies me

At least video chat services provide these my communication requirements


Other important aspects of socialization are absent

I cannot touch them because we live on separate continents

Their sweet pheromones cannot be smelled from half a world away

No odor microphones have materialized in the early 21st century

I hate to observe a future girlfriend with tears on rosy cheeks

Unable to wipe them for her

How is this authentic contact with loved ones?

I’m prevented from access to all five senses of humanity


Two solutions can solve this rampant problem

Invent faster modes of public transportation

Or create teleportation devices based on those from popular science fiction films

I prefer conversations done face-to-face

No wonder many feel disconnected in the Western World

We have overlooked the optimum option that was always available

At least since language was invented

With all due respect

Please purchase a ticket

Travel for loved ones by airplane or train

Take a road trip

Whether by car or bus

No matter the distance to our destinations

We must revive the lost connections

Before the self-constructed castle walls prevent all forms of camaraderie

My Once Beautiful Planet


I continue to witness the Syrian Civil War from afar

 The return of rampant tribalism in the former prosperous Libya

 The nation of Afghanistan is continuously bathed in blood

 Hold your horses folks

 Because there’s more violence and corruption to highlight

 Beyond The Middle East and North Africa

 China and Japan are aligned for a slugfest over islands between them

 Ukraine is decimated by America’s ongoing proxy war with Russia

 Germany and France are overrun by refugees

 Not to mention Greece, Italy, and Turkey

 Some who truly needed protection

 Enough who hold allegiance to Wahhabi Islam

 Beloved Europe

 Why do I witness the construction of chain-link fences?

 Guarded by soldiers and police with automatic weapons

 The empirical evidence is clear

 Even though the statist shills wish to keep this hush hush

 The current era is certainly a major event in recorded history

 All while my microcosm has remained uneventful

 Well, at least since the hot air balloon landing two years ago

 I observe this global drama through the eyes of gutsy journalists

 The men and women on the frontline of history

 Rather than solely in the television studio formally dressed

 If not for the brave souls of journalism

 I would be completely ignorant of the underreported international news

 Because the statist establishment has an agenda of deception

 Their goal is to divide the people across numerous categories

 Gender, ethnicity, religious beliefs or lack of them

 Nothing is off limits for the traitors of humanity

 Just continue the circular arguments and fool the people

 But times have changed you despicable journalists of mainstream media

 We must end this nonsense as a species

 These divisions of artificial creation

 They are mere figures of imagination

 Folklore of destructive power

 The time has come to practice the arts of peace

 Cease the use of fiat currency perpetuated by statists

 Explore the universe rather than bomb civil peoples everywhere

 Stop wasting natural resources by throwing them in the landfill


 The seven billion citizens of Earth hugely outnumber the real statists

 The ones who pull the marionette strings

 Let us create a new economy

 One based on empowering everyone

 Rather than a select few

 Heal the sick and maimed

 Love those in modes of quiet desperation

 And lastly

 Believe in ourselves again

 Before the monsters of humanity enslave everyone