How to Write Creatively: 3 Steps To Stand Out Without Sounding Clever

Nicolas Cole
4 min readMay 7, 2024

The vast majority of writers don’t know what they mean when they say “creative writing.”

The way we are taught to think about creative writing goes like this:

There are rules to the game of writing. These rules were created by people far smarter and more talented than you. And your job is to take their rules, learn them, master them, and then try to execute within the rules of the game, better than all the other people who are trying to do the same thing.

If you are successful at executing within the rules of the game, and “winning” the game, you are considered “creative.”

But, that’s not what most creative writing really is:

Creative writing is the ability (skill) to say what hasn’t been said before.

You can do this in 3 ways.

  • You can say something that SOUNDS different (Voice).
  • You can say something that LOOKS different (Format).
  • You can say something that IS different (Content).

If you ask 10 writers about how to have an effective morning routine, the majority (if not all) will say the same things: wake up early, drink a big glass of water, make coffee, get out…



Nicolas Cole

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