How to tap back into your creativity with Sarah Gates

In Creative Writing, Guest Articles, RWA Academy by RWA Blog CoordinatorLeave a Comment

I teach writing workshops in school and libraries. Sometimes it’s the same workshop (with just a few variations) that I’m asked to deliver to 13-year-olds as to adults.

I’ve observed that something happens to our creativity when we hit adulthood.

Kids and teens will throw out the wildest of ideas. Once you break through the shyness, it’s a free-for-all.

When I ask a group of adults in a writing workshop to throw ideas out, a silence falls. The ideas tend to come slowly, in dribs and drabs. They often stay within the box. Adults will say things to me like, ‘I’m not creative.’

I don’t believe that creativity is a trait. I think it’s a muscle, and we’re just not used to exercising it as much when we’re adults.

Training yourself to be more creative

When I was at university, I was editor of the uni magazine. We needed to fill 52 pages every three academic weeks or so. I found that people were theoretically happy to write an article. They just ‘didn’t know what to write about.’ This is the answer I’d get from people – and I’m not exaggerating – 10 times out of 10.

I learned very quickly to have a list of ideas ready, so they could just choose one and I’d commission them on the spot. Then, even more effective, was customising my article ideas to what they were interested in. So, I learned to chat to people on campus, ask them about their interests and hobbies, then come up with a few article suggestions specifically for them.

Basically, I learned – as someone who’d never considered myself the most creative person in the room growing up – to come up with a bunch of ideas on the spot. And I found that the more I did it, the easier it got. Not just for article ideas either. I found it easier to write fiction – both in coming up with novel ideas, and in the nitty gritty of what comes next in the story.

Now, I’m a firm believer in figuring out how you can tap into your creativity – and then doing it regularly.

About the course

Unlock Your Creativity is one of my most popular workshops. I love it because it helps people get through a common mental block – whether you call it ‘lack of creativity’ or ‘writer’s block’ or just chalk it up to fear. It’s also a tonne of fun, because being creative is all about letting go and letting your imagination flow.

I introduce a whole bunch of philosophies about creativity, exercises to get the juices flowing and techniques to fall back on when things are feeling tough.

I hope you’ll join me for a fun- and info-filled workshop that’s just perfect to end the year, setting you up for a fantastic 2023.

Course Dates: 7th of November to the 4th of December

Cost: $55 members, $66 non-members

Venue: Online – RWA Moodle Platform

For more information and bookings:

Presenter Sarah Gates

Presenter Bio: Sarah Gates romance author, copywriter and content marketer. She is the author of Love Elimination (Harlequin Australia) and a freelance writer published with Junkee, Voiceworks and InDaily. Sarah teaches writing workshops at high schools, libraries and state writers centres, and has appeared on panels at National Young Writers Festival and Sydney Writers Festival. She can be found at

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