As a Professional Communications major, I learn how to to prepare a variety of written documents. I am expected to explore the writings of others, re-word sentences for easier understanding, and use proper vocabulary and grammar.
I have taken a variety of writing courses within this major that have opened my mind to how media is written for the general populous. My favorite courses I have taken are Creative Writing (EGL 216) and Fiction Writing (PCM 346).
These classes were very rewarding in regard to their varied curriculum. We wrote poems, drabbles (short, 100-word stories), short stories, and usually one long story at the end of the course.
Writing so many stories almost every week can seem like a daunting task, but the writing prompts gave us creative freedom and a good idea on how to begin our stories. This balance helped prevent writer’s block and kept students engaged in everything they wrote. It was astounding to find writing forms I dreaded transform into ones I wrote with confidence.
One of the best experiences in these courses was when the entire class would gather together and read their stories. This regular occurrence boosted confidence, increased participation, and created close bonds in the class. From a technical standpoint, this brought students to understand one another’s writing styles and gain inspiration for how they can improve their own writing. You learn to accept constructive criticism in what you produce and how to clearly communicate your message.
Many students came out of this class wanting to write more, myself included. They wanted to create their own stories and poems, some for themselves, and others to eventually publish. Students entered the classroom eager to share their stories or relaxed to be with such a nice group of people that they got to know over the semester. They left making good friends and finding a new pastime.
It’s perfectly fine if you can’t make the time to take a creative writing class, or if you’re not 100% confident with taking one. So long as you have the interest, you can write any time and almost anywhere. It all starts with an idea.
When you have that idea, write it down. If we can tell stories of evil clowns living in sewers and sponges that live in pineapples under the sea, you have no need to feel embarrassed about your idea. It can begin with a character, a scene, or, according to the works of Edgar Allan Poe, a feeling. I for one think of plenty of scenes, even if I’m not completely sure of how the overall story will start. This shouldn’t deter you from writing it down. As more ideas come together, the dots are connected, even if you need to polish the transitions
If you don’t know where to start, there are plenty of prompt books out there that can be so easy to find. They give little exercises to get you started, or even pose a challenge with new subject matter. Writing is something anyone can do, and I highly encourage it. Everyone has a story to tell, even if it belongs to a fictional character.