Skip to content

Advice for writers

The Writer’s Time Capsule: What Would You Tell Your Future Self?

image of a road sign that says "bright future ahead" alongside the text "the writer's time capsule: creative writing advice"

Creative Writing Advice, Predictions, and Aspirations for Your Writing Journey

As writers, we’re constantly evolving, learning, and growing. Our words today may inspire, guide, or even surprise our future selves. That’s why I’m excited to explore the concept of a writer’s time capsule – a unique way to capture our current thoughts, dreams, and advice for our future writing selves. If you’re looking for a creative exercise and writing advice that not only preserves our present perspective but also serves as a powerful tool for reflection and growth in our writing journey, read on!

What exactly is a writer’s time capsule?

A writer’s time capsule is a collection of writings, thoughts, and artifacts that represent your current state as a writer. It’s a snapshot of your writing life, carefully preserved for your future self to discover. Unlike traditional time capsules that might include physical objects, a writer’s time capsule focuses on your literary journey, creative process, and personal growth as an author.

Why create a writer’s time capsule?

Creating a time capsule for your writing self serves multiple purposes:

Self-reflection: It encourages you to pause and consider your current writing habits, goals, and challenges.

Future motivation: Your words of encouragement and aspirations can inspire your future self during tough times.

Tracking growth: It provides a concrete way to measure your progress and evolution as a writer over time.

Preserving memories: Capture the essence of your current writing life, including your inspirations and creative processes.

What should you include in your writer’s time capsule?

A letter to your future self

Start with a heartfelt letter addressing your future writing self. Share your current struggles, triumphs, and dreams. What do you hope to achieve in your writing career? What fears do you want to overcome? This personal touch sets the tone for your time capsule.

Writing samples

Include excerpts from your current work-in-progress or recently completed pieces. These samples will serve as a benchmark for your writing style and skills. You could even include your professional writing portfolio (check out some tips on building and maintaining one here)!

List of writing goals

Jot down both short-term and long-term writing goals. Where do you see yourself in 5, 10, or even 20 years as a writer? Be specific and ambitious!

Advice to your future self

Based on your experiences so far, what wisdom would you impart to your future writing self? This could be creative writing advice or thoughts about craft, persistence, balancing writing with life, etc.

time capsule: creative writing advice

Current writing routine and habits

Detail your writing process, preferred tools, and daily routines. This snapshot of your writing life will be fascinating to revisit in the future.

Inspirations and influences

List the books, authors, or experiences currently shaping your writing. Your future self might be surprised by how your influences evolve.

Industry predictions

What do you think the publishing landscape will look like in the future? Make some predictions about trends in your genre or the industry as a whole.

How can you make your writer’s time capsule more engaging?

Use prompts! Incorporate writing prompts to spark creativity. For example, “Describe the book you hope to have written by the time you open this capsule” or “Write a scene featuring your future self as a character.”

Include multimedia elements. If you’re creating a digital time capsule, consider including audio recordings of you reading your work or video messages to your future self!

Add a collaborative element: Invite writer friends to contribute messages or predictions, or add a collection of reader reviews (good and bad). Their perspectives can add depth to your time capsule.

How often should you create and open your writer’s time capsule?

The frequency of creating and opening your time capsule is a personal choice. Some writers might prefer an annual exercise, while others might choose longer intervals. Here are some suggestions:

Annual review: Create a new capsule each year and open the previous year’s capsule. This allows for regular reflection and goal-setting.

Five-year plan: Set a longer-term perspective by creating a capsule to be opened in five years. This timeframe allows for significant growth and change.

Milestone-based: Create a capsule to be opened when you achieve a specific writing goal, like publishing your first book or reaching a certain number of readers!

What can we learn from historical time capsules?

Looking at historical time capsules can provide inspiration for our own. The concept of preserving messages for the future has been around for centuries. For instance, a time capsule from 1795 was discovered in the Massachusetts State House in 2014, containing coins, newspapers, and a silver plaque engraved by Paul Revere. While our writer’s time capsules might not be quite so historic, they can be equally meaningful on a personal level.

How can a writer’s time capsule impact your creative writing?

Overcoming writer’s block: When facing creative dry spells, opening your time capsule can reignite your passion and remind you of your writing journey.

Charting progress: Comparing your current writing to past samples can boost confidence by showcasing your improvement.

Refocusing goals: Reviewing past aspirations can help you realign your current writing objectives or celebrate achieved milestones.

Inspiration source: Your past thoughts and ideas might spark new creative projects or help you approach current works from a fresh perspective.

What if your predictions or goals don’t come true?

It’s important to approach your time capsule with a spirit of curiosity rather than judgment. If your predictions don’t come true or you haven’t achieved certain goals, use this as an opportunity for reflection!

What unexpected paths did your writing journey take?

How have your priorities or interests shifted?

What new goals or dreams have emerged?

Creative Writing Advice

Remember, the purpose of the time capsule is not to hold yourself to rigid expectations, but to engage in a dialogue with your past and future writing selves.

Creating a writer’s time capsule is a powerful exercise in self-reflection, goal-setting, and creative exploration. It’s a unique way to document your writing journey and leave a personal legacy for your future self. Whether you choose to bury a physical capsule in your backyard or create a digital time vault, this practice can provide invaluable insights into your growth as a writer.

So, what would you tell your future writing self? What dreams, fears, and advice would you preserve in your writer’s time capsule? I encourage you to take some time today to start this fascinating journey through time with your writing self; who knows what incredible insights and inspiration you might uncover in the years to come!

EKB author photo 1

Erin K. Larson-Burnett, Production Manager at Atmosphere Press (submit your manuscript here!), is a born-and-raised Southerner currently living in Katy, Texas, with her husband and their small domestic zoo. She is an avid ink drinker who lives and breathes books—during the day, she works remotely with authors around the world, honing and perfecting books published through Atmosphere Press. By night, she crafts her own stories…or at least tries to. The Bear & the Rose is her debut novel.

atmosphere press

Atmosphere Press is a selective hybrid publisher founded in 2015 on the principles of Honesty, Transparency, Professionalism, Kindness, and Making Your Book Awesome. Our books have won dozens of awards and sold tens of thousands of copies. If you’re interested in learning more, or seeking publication for your own work, please explore the links below.