Writing Without Writing by Deborah Lytton

Writing inspires writing. Any of us who have committed to sitting down either with a pen and paper or in front of a keyboard know this to be true. The more we write, the more we want to write. We become so involved with our characters and their stories that we can lose track of time and place.

As much as the action of writing words on a page gives rise to more words, experience gives rise to story. Sometimes it helps to step away from the desk and put myself into the same circumstance as my character to view the world from his or her perspective. For example, if my character bakes cookies, then I will go and bake some cookies as well. I want to touch what she would touch and smell what she would smell and taste what she would taste. In that way, I can write a much more effective description of the scene and her reactions. Sometimes, these experiences might take me on a field trip of sorts. This is how I write without writing. For on the field trip, I am gathering ideas, forming opinions and becoming inspired. Whether it is a walk down my street and feeling the breeze on my face or taking in the view from the top of a hill overlooking the entire city. My imagination can fill in the details. In this way, I am always writing, even when I am not sitting at my desk. The stories continue to evolve with detail and creativity and are enhanced by traveling into the world. Even if the story involves fantasy or science fiction or historical elements, there will always be similarities we can connect with because they come from our own world. I challenge you to use those elements and see what you can experience today. Feed your imagination. See what you can discover.


  1. So true! The more we live and experience, the more we have to write about; at least feel like we want to explore. It's kind of a cool perk that comes along with being a writer.

  2. Some of my best writing bits regarding character development,dialogue or a plot point have come from a walk. I set out with no agenda and come home raring to capture the ideas on paper. Best kind of "field" trip.

  3. "I am always writing, even when I'm not sitting at my desk." THIS IS IT.


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