Thinking Outside The Box

Sometimes I write and wonder whether my writing is different than others. I have questions roaming through my head: Is this idea original? Will this make readers dig into a new world? 

I was always interested in learning how poets like Maya Angelou and Langston Hughes came up with such beautiful poetry or how contemporary authors like Veronica Roth and Suzanne Collins created their own dystopias.

This curiosity is what stops me from writing. I’m always wondering what others are doing and tend to forget that writing can go in all sorts of directions. It may be similar to me, but it might be different for another.

In order to get to the levels of great writers, I have to think like great writers. It’s nearly impossible these days to talk to authors longer than five minutes unless they are up and coming authors. Then the classic ones, are well classics. There writing may have reached through centuries and generations.

So the question is how can us as writers think like them?

1. Research Their Works
The best way to think like a writer is to be familiar with the writer’s work. What kind of style did the writer do? What pattern do you see in all their pieces? How has their piece, book or song impacted readers? 

Being familiar with someone’s writing doesn’t mean you have to imitate them. It helps to get your own ideas going and be inspired by what they created. If you ever had doubts, look at these writers for guidance. It may be silly to write about a piece of fruit or a homeless man in your neighborhood, but these writers did it and you can too.

2. Talk to An Author/Poet/Writer
Always remember it doesn’t have to be an upscale author. You can ask anyone who published something for advice. How did they process go with publishing? How did they get the inspiration to come up with their idea? Remember, they were just in your shoes. They can be the people that helps you work your way to the direction you’re heading in your writing.

3. Write Down Your Ideas
Whether you think it’s silly or not, always remember to write down your ideas. Small ideas can become your biggest accomplishments. Veronica Roth’s Divergent takes place in post-apocalyptic Chicago. Small ideas like specific areas in Chicago got her mind going. Never think any idea is dumb. One idea can create five more ideas which can lead to a whole list of pieces.

So when I look at these writers, I take a deep breath. One of these days people will look to me for advice and inspiration. If you think outside the box your ideas can go above and beyond what you expect it.

I hope you pat yourself on the back. You deserve it every once and a while.

Until then.


Featured Image: Jan Kahánek


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