On the pathway to writing creatively

Create, creation, creative, creativity, creator – beautiful words all. There’s something about this word that “create” strikes a chord in me, that made feel so enamoured and enraptured by it. Perhaps its because I always consider myself a creative person, that I am also a creator just like God is creator of this world. Only that I am a creator of words and stories.

And to help me nurture my creativity in writing, I decided to take the opportunity to attend a creative writing workshop organised and facilitated by Sharon Bakar a.k.a The Bookaholic, owner of Bibliobibuli over a period of six weeks. I believed that rather than sit around and write endlessly by myself, it’s better to learn the proper ways of writing creatively. Besides, it’ll also give me the opportunity to connect with likeminded people who love to write, are seriously having fun writing and just don’t give a bloody damn what you have to write. It’s like one big happy family! ^_^

I attended the first session at MPH 1 Utama’s Booker Room several hours ago. And boy, did I learn a lot after just one session! I actually felt quite liberated and more free in my writing than I was before. It must be something to do with the rules that Sharon laid for us before we got started on the writing exercises. To paraphrase one of the rules: Just don’t give a shit about what you’re writing as long as you are writing cause you have every right to write the worst junk there is in Malaysia.

Also, once you got started on writing, don’t stop and just keep going at it – do away with punctuation, grammar and spelling as it slows you down. Once when you’ve actually finished your work, only then allow yourself the opportunity to reread what you wrote and make the necessary corrections and improvements. Well, I actually added that last bit. XD

Writing is really fun. It’s actually been quite a while since I’ve written anything by hand other than filling in forms and signing. I gotta really work on improving my deteriorating handwriting. My mom took a look at what I wrote and made a comment about how bad my handwriting has become since my school days. LOL! Guess she’s right, haven’t had much practice and this’ll be the best time to improve. This goes to show that computers have its downside too.

The writing exercises that Sharon gave us was just so, so much fun. One exercise involves picking a random word from the dictionary and try to write for two minutes to three minutes base on that word. We should not think nor stop, Sharon reminded us before we began. We should just go with the idea that first pop into our minds and just continue with it, allowing our mind to take us wherever it’s taking us. Another involves us picking a random phrase and write using the phrase and another exercise involves starting with the first thing that comes to our mind. The participants and I just came up with all sorts of writing that is simply wonderfully funny, touching and creative.

However, I do note one thing though…some us tried our darnest to write beautifully – as in using powerfully emotive and descriptive words – thinking that that is what creative writing is all about. Not really actually – while it shows the strength of your vocabulary and the grasp of your language, it doesn’t mean you are a creative writer. You may have beautiful, flowery language, but your work can turn out to be crappy. We should not try to restrict ourselves to using words that we don’t normally use in everyday English. Edit: But that’s just my opinion anyways. Feel free to correct me if I’m wrong.
One thing that I will strive for in all my future creative writing exercises is to try and write stories like what Sharon did, instead of random ramblings and incoherent scribbles.

Now, that’s the mark of a true creative writer – the innate ability to spin a good yarn!

Edit: While I know that there’s nothing wrong with random ramblings and incoherent scribbles, I’d like to try and get my stream of consciousness to string together a more coherent flow of words. I do understand the purpose of the creative writing workshop – to unleash our imagination and creativity and let them run riot without anything to hold us down. Regardless, we’re all here to learn to write better and to improve ourselves. It’s important that we learn from one another and help and support one another.

That said, let me take this opportunity to say a big HI to all my fellow participants – all of you have the ability to write well regardless of our different backgrounds and style of writing. I am honoured to be in your company and hope we’ll all become better writers one day! So, keep that pen writing!


  1. Fellow Participant

    It’s interesting, your judgement on your coursemates. A little hasty and with not much basis, but hey, that’s my opinion.

    How do you know whether or not the others normally use whatever words you’ve taken objection to, in their everyday English?

    You seem to have some disdain for the “random ramblings and incoherent scribblings”. Yet Sharon herself said that we could write ANYTHING, without thinking. Stream of consciousness, flow, remember?

    I think you miss the point of the exercise in relation to the creative in “creative writing”. It’s about letting the ideas out, in whatever manner they deem fit to come out. It’s about setting the imagination free.

  2. Heh, heh… yeah, I guess it’s something which I still have to work on. That’s just me, you know – I try to emulate what others are trying to do. Perhaps that’s what holding me back. It’s that bloody inner critic in me again… and to think I’ve got him squashed when I felt ‘liberated’.

    Well, you are correct that I may have been hasty with my opinions and all that as its only the first time I’ve met them and don’t know them well yet, but it is from my observations in that one session itself. I am not attacking anybody or criticizing anyone, mind you. I guess it does seem to get to me whenever someone tries to be smart and use flowery language. It’s just me, that’s all – I just don’t like using and relying on flowery words to make my stories nicer. It has to be used in moderation, of course. Heck, I’m gonna make a lot of enemies if I keep on criticizing people’s work and picking on them for using flowery language.

    Anyways, thanks for participating here and letting me know where I erred. In any case, let’s try to help each other improve one another. After all, we are all writers and we need to support each other. ^_^ πŸ™‚

  3. Samster

    Prithee, dear sir, should we not try and strive to reach the highest mountain peak or siwm the deepest sea? Tis true flowery words and beautous vocabulary alone does not denote creativity but leave us not be discrediting about their own creativeness due mayhaps to the close companion of insecurity, over-compensation.

    Still, I am green at the gills that you got to go. πŸ˜›

    Hope things work out for you. I’m stuck writing corporate stuff for now.

  4. Fellow Participant

    I think it’s a bit difficult to try to be smart and “flowery” with that clock ticking away and the “rule” of just write, don’t think! πŸ™‚

    I was there and I didn’t think that there was very much foliage being tossed about either. Just a bunch of nervous people starting to get into the flow. But again. That’s just me.

    Nice to see here that you can take a constructive comment though. Aspiring writers should have a thick skin!
    Me, I’m just a hack. πŸ™‚

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