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How to Find Your Creative Spark and Become a Better Writer

How to Find Your Creative Spark and Become a Better Writer

Although every piece of art is food for the soul in its own magical way, I find writing to be a very challenging branch when it comes to two important aspects – perceiving it and creating it. A painting is something you can see, music is something you can hear, but text is something that needs to be developed in your mind while you’re reading.

As a writer, you need to make sure that those mental images that are evoked in a reader’s mind while they are reading your work are interesting, to say the least. It sounds really difficult, because it is, but it is not impossible to learn. The fact that you’re not a particularly gifted singer doesn’t mean that you can’t develop a lovely singing voice if you invest your efforts that way. That goes the same for being a good writer.

Create a Productive Ritual

In order to become a good writer, you need to practice and be very determined about it. You should treat it as if it were any other job and write every single day. I know that creativity isn’t an inexhaustible source, and it can be very challenging for a writer to keep their focus and transfer it onto a blank piece of paper or screen in front of them, but that’s exactly what you need to do.

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Inspiration can be found even in the smallest things around you – you just need to awaken that curiosity in you and allow it to take you places. You probably consider it to be a bit contradictory to have a working schedule and daydream at the same time, but you need to harmonize these two things in order to create a piece with a beginning and an end.

That is why you need to create a sort of office, a comfortable place in your home (or in a mountain cottage, wherever) where you’re comfortable, undisturbed, and focused, so you can let your mind work.

Have a Notepad with You at All Times

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    Get a little notepad, or a smartphone for that matter, whichever you find more suitable. When your creativity starts boiling and you start working on a piece, your mind will keep a part of it dedicated to your work, so you will get various ideas all the time, whether you’re trying to come up with something, or you’re waiting in line at the grocery store.

    I made that same mistake of being absolutely certain that I’ll remember something and that I don’t really need to write it down (being a genius and all) and a thought – I can’t really remember if was truly brilliant or not – simply vanished. Therefore, write down everything that pops up in your mind, no matter if you consider it silly or not, because you’ll find its purpose in time.

    Break Your Fears and Just Write

    When you’re in a rut, or to use a more popular term, when faced with the notorious writer’s block, caused by lack of inspiration or because you just realized how dumb everything you wrote is (we all go through this, perhaps because we’re a bit theatrical as a group) you need to resist all your instincts that tell you to burn all your work in a huge fire and do the very opposite – write.[1]

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    Even if it’s a complete waste of paper and even if it doesn’t make any sense – write. That’s the only way to get back on the right track while wasting minimal amounts of time. And only after you get sick of the fact that you’re not capable of writing anything with a single bit of sense can you stop, but only to find ways to upgrade your skills.

    Therefore, get your favorite book and start reading, go online and search for inspirational pieces of music or some other form of art, learn about new ways to form your sentences by setting yourself on a quest to explore different writing styles, etc. The worst thing you can do is stare blankly into that wall in front of you and question your decision about becoming a writer.

    Isolate Yourself from Distractions

      It’s very important that you protect yourself from all disturbances. This may be something that your friends and family will find difficult to accept, but it’s quite important for your career to stay determined and focused – and the only way to do that is through isolation.[2] I’m not suggesting that you move and start living in the middle of a forest or a desert (which actually isn’t a bad idea at all), but be very specific about your work hours – it will be easier for you and everyone around you if you stay persistent about this.

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      Plan Ahead and Create Constructions

      It’s not impossible, but it is very difficult to write a valuable piece without planning it ahead and doing so in fine detail. In order to be capable of creating a story that’s clear and concise, you yourself need to know parts of that story so you don’t lose track along the way. When you create an outline, have in mind that it can be subjected to changes, if you feel the need for them as your story envelops.

      It is hard and it doesn’t get easier with every new piece. I know all of this sounds like a torture and you’re probably wondering whether it’s worth the trouble at all, but it really is. After you complete your first story or a book and realize your mind is capable of creating a valuable piece of art, you’ll get addicted to writing and you should – the world is always in need for great artists and you could be the next one.

      Featured photo credit: https://unsplash.com/photos/QdRnZlzYJPA via pexels.com

      Reference

      [1]The New Yorker: How to Beat Writer’s Block
      [2]Goins, Writer: How to Stay Focused Writing

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      Ivan Dimitrijevic

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      Last Updated on November 20, 2018

      10 Reasons Why New Year’s Resolutions Fail

      10 Reasons Why New Year’s Resolutions Fail

      A new year beautifully symbolizes a new chapter opening in the book that is your life. But while so many people like you aspire to achieve ambitious goals, only 12% of you will ever experience the taste of victory. Sound bad? It is. 156 million people (that’s 156,000,000) will probably give up on their resolution before you can say “confetti.” Keep on reading to learn why New Year’s resolutions fail (and how to succeed).

      Note: Since losing weight is the most common New Year’s resolution, I chose to focus on weight loss (but these principles can be applied to just about any goal you think of — make it work for you!).

      1. You’re treating a marathon like a sprint.

      Slow and steady habit change might not be sexy, but it’s a lot more effective than the “I want it ALL and I want it NOW!” mentality. Small changes stick better because they aren’t intimidating (if you do it right, you’ll barely even notice them!).

      If you have a lot of bad habits today, the last thing you need to do is remodel your entire life overnight. Want to lose weight? Stop it with the crash diets and excessive exercise plans. Instead of following a super restrictive plan that bans anything fun, add one positive habit per week. For example, you could start with something easy like drinking more water during your first week. The following week, you could move on to eating 3 fruits and veggies every day. And the next week, you could aim to eat a fistful of protein at every meal.

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      2. You put the cart before the horse.

      “Supplementing” a crappy diet is stupid, so don’t even think about it. Focus on the actions that produce the overwhelming amount of results. If it’s not important, don’t worry about it.

      3. You don’t believe in yourself.

      A failure to act can cripple you before you leave the starting line. If you’ve tried (and failed) to set a New Year’s resolution (or several) in the past, I know it might be hard to believe in yourself. Doubt is a nagging voice in your head that will resist personal growth with every ounce of its being. The only way to defeat doubt is to believe in yourself. Who cares if you’ve failed a time or two? This year, you can try again (but better this time).

      4. Too much thinking, not enough doing.

      The best self-help book in the world can’t save you if you fail to take action. Yes, seek inspiration and knowledge, but only as much as you can realistically apply to your life. If you can put just one thing you learn from every book or article you read into practice, you’ll be on the fast track to success.

      5. You’re in too much of a hurry.

      If it was quick-and-easy, everybody would do it, so it’s in your best interest to exercise your patience muscles.

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      6. You don’t enjoy the process.

      Is it any wonder people struggle with their weight when they see eating as a chore and exercise as a dreadful bore? The best fitness plan is one that causes the least interruption to your daily life. The goal isn’t to add stress to your life, but rather to remove it.

      The best of us couldn’t bring ourselves to do something we hate consistently, so make getting in shape fun, however you’ve gotta do it. That could be participating in a sport you love, exercising with a good friend or two, joining a group exercise class so you can meet new people, or giving yourself one “free day” per week where you forget about your training plan and exercise in any way you please.

      7. You’re trying too hard.

      Unless you want to experience some nasty cravings, don’t deprive your body of pleasure. The more you tell yourself you can’t have a food, the more you’re going to want it. As long as you’re making positive choices 80-90% of the time, don’t sweat the occasional indulgence.

      8. You don’t track your progress.

      Keeping a written record of your training progress will help you sustain an “I CAN do this” attitude. All you need is a notebook and a pen. For every workout, record what exercises you do, the number of repetitions performed, and how much weight you used if applicable. Your goal? Do better next time. Improving your best performance on a regular basis offers positive feedback that will encourage you to keep going.

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      9. You have no social support.

      It can be hard to stay motivated when you feel alone. The good news? You’re not alone: far from it. Post a status on Facebook asking your friends if anybody would like to be your gym or accountability buddy. If you know a co-worker who shares your goal, try to coordinate your lunch time and go out together so you’ll be more likely to make positive decisions. Join a support group of like-minded folks on Facebook, LinkedIn, or elsewhere on the internet. Strength in numbers is powerful, so use it to your advantage.

      10. You know your what but not your why.

      The biggest reason why most New Year’s resolutions fail: you know what you want but you not why you want it.

      Yes: you want to get fit, lose weight, or be healthy… but why is your goal important to you? For example:

      Do you want to be fit so you can be a positive example that your children can admire and look up to?

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      Do you want to lose fat so you’ll feel more confident and sexy in your body than ever before?

      Do you want to be healthy so you’ll have increased clarity, energy, and focus that would carry over into every single aspect of your life?

      Whether you’re getting in shape because you want to live longer, be a good example, boost your energy, feel confident, have an excuse to buy hot new clothes, or increase your likelihood of getting laid (hey, I’m not here to judge) is up to you. Forget about any preconceived notions and be true to yourself.

      • The more specific you can make your goal,
      • The more vivid it will be in your imagination,
      • The more encouraged you’ll be,
      • The more likely it is you will succeed (because yes, you CAN do this!).

      I hope this guide to why New Year’s resolutions fail helps you achieve your goals this year. If you found this helpful, please pass it along to some friends so they can be successful just like you. What do you hope to accomplish next year?

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