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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

      Ivan is the CEO and founder of a digital marketing company. He has years of experiences in team management, entrepreneurship and productivity.

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      Last Updated on July 23, 2019

      5 Steps To Move Out Of Stagnancy In Life

      5 Steps To Move Out Of Stagnancy In Life

      In the journey of growth, there are times when we grow and excel. We are endlessly driven and hyped up, motivated to get our goals.

      Then there are times when we stagnate. We feel uninspired and unmotivated. We keep procrastinating on our plans. More often than not, we get out of a rut, only to get back into another one.

      How do you know if you are stagnating? Here are some tell-tale signs:

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      • If you have been experiencing chronic procrastination on your goals
      • If you don’t ever feel like doing anything
      • If you keep turning to sleep, eating, games, mindless activities and entertainment for comfort
      • If you know you should be doing something, but yet you keep avoiding it
      • If you have not achieved anything new or significant now relative to 1 month, 2 months or 3 months ago
      • If you have a deep sense of feeling that you are living under your potential

      When we face stagnation in life, it’s a sign of deeper issues. Stagnation, just like procrastination, is a symptom of a problem. It’s easy to beat ourselves over it, but this approach is not going to help. Here, I will share 5 steps to help you move out of this stagnation. They won’t magically transform your life in 1 night (such changes are never permanent because the foundations are not built), but they will help you get the momentum going and help you get back on track.

      1. Realize You’re Not Alone

      Everyone stagnates at some point or another. You are not alone in this and more importantly, it’s normal. In fact, it’s amazing how many of my clients actually face the same predicament, even though all of them come from different walks of life, are of different ages, and have never crossed paths. Realizing you are not alone in this will make it much easier to deal with this period. By trying to “fight it”, you’re only fighting yourself. Accept this situation, acknowledge it, and tell yourself it’s okay. That way, you can then focus on the constructive steps that will really help you.

      2. Find What Inspires You

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      Stagnation comes because there isn’t anything that excites you enough to take action. If you don’t have a habit of setting goals, and instead just leave yourself to daily mundanes, it’s not surprising you are experiencing stagnation. What do you want to do if there are no limitations? If you can have whatever you want, what will it be? The answers to these questions will provide the fuel that will drive you forward.

      On the other hand, even if you are an experienced goal setter, there are times when the goals you set in the past lose their appeal now. It’s normal and it happens to me too. Sometimes we lose touch with our goals, since we are in a different emotional state compared to when we first set them. Sometimes our priorities change and we no longer want to work on those goals anymore. However, we don’t consciously realize this, and what happens is we procrastinate on our goals until it compounds into a serious problem. If that’s the case for you, it’s time to relook into your goals. There’s no point in pursuing goals that no longer inspire you. Trash away your old goals (or just put them aside) and ask yourself what you really want now. Then go for them.

      3. Give Yourself a Break

      When’s the last time you took a real break for yourself? 3 months? 6 months? 1 year? Never? Perhaps it’s time to take a time-out. Prolonged working can cause someone to become disillusioned as they lose sight of who they are and what they want.

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      Go take some extended leave from work. A few days at bare minimum; a few weeks or months will be great. Some of my ex-colleagues have quit their jobs and took months out to do some self-reflection. Of course, some of us might not have that luxury, so we can stick to a few weeks of leave. Go on a trip elsewhere and get away from your work and your life. Use this chance to get a renewed perspective of life. Think about your life purpose, what you want and what you want to create for your life in the future. These are big questions that require deep thinking over them. It’s not about finding the answers at one go, but about taking the first step to finding the answers.

      4. Shake up Your Routines

      Being in the same environment, doing the same things over and over again and meeting the same people can make us stagnant. This is especially if the people you spend the most time with are stagnant themselves.

      Change things around. Start with simple things, like taking a different route to work and eating something different for breakfast. Have your lunch with different colleagues, colleagues you never talked much with. Work in a different cubicle if your work has free and easy seating. Do something different than your usual for weekday evenings and weekends. Cultivate different habits, like exercising every day, listening to a new series of podcasts every morning to work, reading a book, etc (here’s 6 Proven Ways To Make New Habits Stick). The different contexts will give you different stimulus, which will trigger off different thoughts and actions in you.

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      When I’m in a state of stagnancy, I’ll get a sense of what’s making me stagnate. Sometimes it’s the environment I’m in, sometimes it’s the people I’ve been hanging out with, sometimes it’s my lifestyle. Most of the times it’s a combination of all these. Changing them up helps to stir myself out of the stagnant mode.

      5. Start with a Small Step

      Stagnation also comes from being frozen in fear. Maybe you do want this certain goal, but you aren’t taking action. Are you overwhelmed by the amount of work needed? Are you afraid you will make mistakes? Is the perfectionist in you taking over and paralyzing you?

      Let go of the belief that it has to be perfect. Such a belief is a bane, not a boon. It’s precisely from being open to mistakes and errors that you move forward. Break down what’s before you into very very small steps, then take those small steps, a little step at a time. I had a client who had been stagnating for a long period because he was afraid of failing. He didn’t want to make another move where he would make a mistake. However, not wanting to make a mistake has led him to do absolutely nothing for 2-3 years. On the other hand, by doing just something, you would already be making progress, whether it’s a mistake or not. Even if you make a supposed “mistake”,  you get feedback to do things differently in the next step. That’s something you would never have known if you never made a move.

      More to Help You Stay Motivated

      Here are some resources that will help you break out of your current phase:

      Featured photo credit: Anubhav Saxena via unsplash.com

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