Writing for Self Care

Storytelling and writing can be a great way to share your story in a safe space and explore new ideas. Learn how to write stories that speak to others about your truth.

  • Characters should be three dimensional. Try to make them feel like real people as much as possible, no matter the setting.

  • Your characters conflicts shouldn't be too outlandish, or none of your readers will be able to connect with them.

  • When naming a character or a place, try to make it meaningful. Look up words meanings and their histories online.

  • When building a world, make sure its rules are consistent. If it contradicts itself, you just discovered a plot hole.

  • Take time to go over what you've written before it's done. Re-reads are crucial (and not just for spelling errors).

  • Don’t go overboard with powers or dramatic backstories-- don't let their past or abilities overshadow who they are.

  • All stories evolve. Don’t be afraid to let yours change and grow. Change is a good thing (for people and stories).

  • If you’re having trouble keeping characters consistent, write a few defining facts for reference.

  • Have a variety of characters and personalities. Stories (and life) aren't as interesting if everyone is the same.

  • It’s okay to use archetypes so long as it’s your version and not a rehash of another character you’ve seen elsewhere.

  • If you’re not sure how to word something, type it out a few times in different ways and see which one you like best.

  • Take inspiration from the world around you. Be inspired by works you love, but don't steal from them.

  • Try to avoid distractions when writing. That said, sometimes a distraction can lead to just the inspiration you need.

  • Spend time doing things other than writing. All sorts of physical activities can get you in the right mood.

  • Try to listen to music without lyrics. You might just find yourself typing out the lyrics instead of your story.

  • Drama comes from conflict, but that doesn't have to mean a physical fight. Explore how conflicts can shape your story.

  • Be sure to keep your pacing consistent. Rushing and dragging things out are equally annoying to readers.

  • For the sake of every cliché hater out there, don’t kill off the protagonists parents unless absolutely necessary.

  • Poetry can be fun too. Even if you don't think of yourself as a poet, let loose and turn your emotions into words!

  • Constructive criticism should be listened to, but insults aren’t. Don't listen to people who are there to hurt you.

  • Writing should be a balance between what you want and what your audience will like. Finding that balance is key.

  • If you're getting stuck on something, take a break and come back to it once you've had some time to relax and cool down.

  • Sexual orientation and mental health are touchy subjects. Be thoughtful about how you deal with sensitive issues.

  • Pay attention to your formatting and grammar. How people read your words are as important as which words you choose.

  • Cut out extra adjectives. While it might seem great to describe everything in detail, you can take it too far.

  • Racial diversity isn’t necessary, but it’s a nice touch. Try to represent people are they are-- diverse and complex.

  • Focus on writing first, editing later. If you get caught up in editing, you might never get past page one.

  • Learn to lampshade the stranger parts of your story. Address them rather than just hoping the reader doesn't notice.

  • When editing, read your work out loud-- it helps you catch problems in wording that are only clear when spoken aloud.

  • Mix up sentence length and complexity. They give readers both a sense of achievement and an opportunity to grow.