5 Resources To Enrich Yourself As A Creative Writer
You must read, but you should also know about other ways.
It is not a new discovery that writers need to enrich themselves in order to grow. Writers have to keep updating their knowledge database, at least in their specific fields or genres, but not limiting themselves to that. It is also important that we know what is going on around us, despite being a species with a majority of introverts. I know I prefer being shut inside my room as it rains outside. My socialization is very limited, and a huge part of me garnering knowledge took place through reading. But that doesn’t endow me with an excuse to not know things beyond words.
Recently, however, I have found some fresh resources that were not really on my resource-list until I discovered them. I thought it would be a good idea to share them in case you are late to find them, also. And the best thing about some of these is that you get to carry on with your chores while you are at it!
And some are even available cross-platform.
So here’s my list!
I was never someone who enjoyed watching shows. Movies and web-series, yes, but not shows. Just not into it. Contrary to common behavior, I had the patience to read, but not to watch a video till the end, unless it was absolutely irresistible. I had many reasons and my hectic routine and time restraints were one of them.
But then, I discovered there were more possibilities to it. There were channels and videos on subjects that I am interested in which required me only to listen, not watch them. There were TedX talks, writing tips, productivity hacks and stories that I could simply listen to and imbibe. Now even if you want to peek in now and then, this popular video streaming platform is a great source of knowledge, motivation or inspiration for creative people.
As its slogan goes, TED talks are where you get to listen to “ideas worth spreading”. Short but highly inspirational talks from creative and influential personalities across the globe can motivate you, enlighten you, educate you and expose you to lives around the world. Some can make you laugh and others can push you to do your best. Either way, TED talks are a great resource to enrich yourself as a writer or artist.
You can find TED talks on YouTube as well as download their app to your phone. The transcript of the talks are also available to read on the app for most shows. You are able to choose your favorite genres, too.
Now, this is a recent discovery for me. I started using Spotify to listen to music this year when a friend recommended it. And the recommendations moved over to podcasts and I started exploring them. My mornings are spent in the kitchen, mostly from as early as 6 AM. As it is for most writers, the desire to write is the highest when we are tied up with other chores and duties. And for someone who is not crazy about cooking or cleaning, the time spent doing those in the kitchen is as good as time wasted. I have been wondering about how I could make it worthwhile and not dwell in guilt for rest of the day.
Podcasts came to my rescue! I discovered podcasts on all aspects of writing, editing, psychology, author interviews, true stories and storytelling by wonderful people. I started plugging in my earphones and tuning into these podcasts depending on what I wanted to listen to that day. Most episodes are short, like 15 to 30 minutes at most. There are longer ones as well.
Sometimes, I would listen to writing advice from podcasts like Helping Writers Become Authors by Author K.M. Weiland who seems to be very sorted and systematic. Other times I would listen to The Moth, where different people share touching stories, awash with the pain and laughter they impart through their narrations.
This new routine has given me the energy to kick-start my creative pursuits and enjoy my days like I have never before. Listening to podcasts has also made me rethink about audio books. It has nourished the way I express myself in speech, projected eloquence and articulation as achievable goals (my words have always come out better through my pen than my mouth!) and even inspired me into starting my own little podcast The Writeous Way!
Like I have not been into videos, I have not been into audios either. I am someone who listens to even music sparingly, let alone books. But podcasts have changed my mind into reconsidering audio books. I know how audio books are picking up and makes reading possible even for the people with the most hectic routines. They swear by it.
As far as I am concerned, fiction audio books are still something I would rather avoid because I want to be able to invest my entire attention when I am reading as it is what gets me the tools and techniques for the craft of writing. I love to explore the sentences, how the author has structured them, how effective that is, and even wonder why the author crafted it the way it was. And I have yet to find if it is possible to do it through audio books.
But, it is definitely a good alternative to reading non-fiction books for those who have been avoiding them. I have not read a lot of non-fiction books in my life. Articles and columns, yes, but not in the form of full-length books. So, as I listened to podcasts, I had this epiphany. You could now begin reading (listening to) all those non-fiction books you had wanted to but never did because you were too much into fiction books!
Now, that is some reliable resource, isn’t it?
Online courses, webinars and workshops
The last but definitely not any less resourceful are online courses and tutorials. The internet is teeming with online education platforms. There is a course on just about everything, be it poetry writing or web designing. They make learning convenient in the comfort of your home at your own time. During the pandemic, they have really picked up and it is only reasonable to buy a course to enhance your skills or knowledge. Most of them are pretty affordable for the lessons and exercises they provide. There are even certificate courses in various disciplines.
And then there are also webinars and workshops curated by specialists in their fields. Workshops and webinars by artists and authors are great resources to stay motivated and productive and to improve your skills and knowledge of the craft. Look out for announcements of such events over social media or your creative circles.
Frequently upgrading your knowledge base and refurbishing your resources are essential to keep at the game as a creative writer or artist. But beware of information load — don’t let your brain be overfilled. Information overload can result in brain fag, burnout and eventually, procrastination.
And we don’t want that, do we?