Blog 36: Nine Novel Things You Can Write Which Aren’t Your Novel.

February 8, 2017

Ok so maybe some of these ideas are not so ‘novel’, but being an author doesn’t mean you have to write novels and huge epic trilogies all the time. Some people just don’t take to writing the longer stuff and that’s ok, because it doesn’t mean that you’re not a writer. Or perhaps you do write novels and you just fancy trying something different with your writing skills? Here are just a handful of ideas that you can try when you’re not feeling up to writing your novel, but you really want to write…

1) Write A Poem Or A Song.

You don’t have to write the next Homer’s Iliad or Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody, but a little song, poem, or even just a couplet, might be a secret talent that you never knew you had. Poetry and song writing is a good way to get creative with words, and learn some new synonyms and antonyms whilst you’re at it.

2) Keep A Gratitude Diary.

A bit like a normal diary but with as many or as few words as you wish. Generally people who keep a gratitude diary note down one or three things that they are grateful for every day, however you don’t have to do this religiously, you can note down a couple of things every week instead. A gratitude diary also has some extra bonuses, according to psychologists keeping a gratitude diary comes with health benefits including; better sleep and general happiness.

3) Write A Travel Blog.

No you don’t have to post it online and you don’t have to go somewhere exotic to write a travel blog. Trips to your nearest museum, zoo, shopping centre or even a rambling trip are all worthy subjects for a travel blog, or maybe I should call it an excursion blog. Just write about your day, what you liked and disliked, and if anything interesting or unusual happened. You’d be surprised at how many places there are to visit nearby that you’ve never even heard of, and how many people who would like to know more about them. So look around your nearest towns, villages and cities, there could be some hidden gems right under your nose.

4) Keep A Bullet Journal.

Now these look seriously cool. I haven’t tried to keep one myself yet, but don’t be put off by the beautiful, complicated looking ones on YouTube (though I recommend you check them out), they can be as simple or as complicated as you like. Bullet journals come with some specialised language, but it’s not as difficult as it sounds once you get used to the lingo. Bullet Journals are good for keeping track of your short-term and long-term goals, thoughts and doodles. You can personalise your bullet journal to your own specific needs and requirements and you can use any journal. If you would like to know more about bullet journals then just take a look online, there are plenty of blogs with all the information you need to help you get started.

5) Write A Micro-Story On Twitter.

Yes, I’m serious. Try and tweet a story using Twitter’s 140 character count. I’m planning to do this myself and I want to see what you creative folks come up with, so mention me in your tweets @CaitlinLynagh. On second thoughts, it may be challenging enough to write a very short story over two or three tweets instead, just for the extra characters. #shortfic #veryshortstory

6) Write A Play.

Be Shakespeare. Nah, I’m kidding. However, writing a play is definitely something different to try if you’ve only ever written novels and stories before. A play or script requires you to think about the stage/set, props, emotions and gestures, tagging dialogue with the correct characters, and splitting your writing into scenes and acts. It’s a completely different style of writing in comparison to novel writing as you have to write instructions for everything. You can write a script for theatre or television/films, and plays can be long or short, just keep in mind that your average script length is 100 pages (1.6 hours of stage time) or, for a ten minute play 10-15 pages.

7) Write A Love Letter.

I know it sounds soppy and corny but writing a love letter, even if you pretend you’re one of your characters writing to another character, or never ever show it to the person it’s intended for, it’s still writing. And if a love letter sounds completely impossible, then why not try writing a letter to a friend?

8) Write A Short Story.

You’re sick of the long novel so why not try a short story instead? I don’t mean a challenge yourself type of short story like the micro-twitter-story idea, but 1,000 – 7,500 words is a general short story, and a novelette is slightly longer at 7,500 – 20,000 words.

9) Write An Essay.

I can hear you groaning already. Writing an essay sounds like school work doesn’t it? However, it’s been a while since a lot of us wrote an essay, and we’ve never really had the freedom to choose whichever topic we desire. So, if there is a particular person, area of history, culture, country, etc. etc. that you wish you knew more about, writing an essay is a great place to start. Not only will you have to do research into something that you’re interested in, you may even find that you enjoy writing the actual essay. Writing this kind of essay is a personal thing, so the length doesn’t really matter, it can be as long or as short as you please.