The problem about art is not finding more freedom, it's about finding obstacles.
As a family, we are doing these drawing lessons where each lesson forces you to put a limitation on yourself to learn something new about drawing. Last week, we had to draw cats with our paper on pillows. If we were trying too hard to be perfect, we were supposed to draw left-handed. Today the lesson was to draw giraffes while looking at pictures of giraffes.
Not all that hard, huh?
Except you couldn't look at your own drawing.
After drawing, we decorated, but we actually looked at our pictures for that. Mike and TJ were good sports about the project and even gave me permission to share with you. First is from my husband TJ--The Clydesdale Giraffe; second is from our friend Mike who came over for dinner and got dragged into our project.
In writing, it is the same thing. Challenge yourself with limitations: write a love scene without cliches, describe a scene from the viewpoint of someone who has been blind from birth, experience life through the eyes of someone with autism, create dialog without tags. By doing such, you learn something new.
Over on goodreads.com, I'm a member of the group On Fiction Writing. We have monthly challenges just like this. Come check us out!