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Top 10 Sources of Inspiration for Creative Writing

Top 10 Sources of Inspiration for Creative Writing

Ayn Rand once said, “A creative man is motivated by the desire to achieve, not by the desire to beat others.” You should think of creative writing in this way too. It’s such a subjective pursuit it’s impossible to become the best and beat others. No matter how successful you become, you’ll never convince everyone.

With that in mind, you’ve probably come across a time where you’ve struggled to find inspiration. Whether it’s writing a UK essay or sat in front of the first blank page of what will become your new novel, it can completely deter you from writing. Here are 10 sources of inspiration for creative writing.

1. Love What You Do

love-of-books

    We enjoy what we’re good at and we’re good at what we enjoy. If you don’t love writing, there’s no reason you’ll ever create something worthy of reading. The top British essays were concocted by writers who loved their subjects. Love what you do and think about the joy it brings you.

    Be confident in yourself as a writer and you’ll soon find yourself picking pieces of inspiration from the most mundane parts of life.

    2. Read!

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    reading hack

      There’s no substitute for reading. Whilst fewer people read in the 21st century world of technology, it’s still essential. Films, short videos, and the spoken word are no substitute for looking at an author’s work in the flesh.

      Just from looking at the way an author writes, you can come up with twists on their work and gradually transition into an entirely new creation.

      3. Communicate with the Creative

      Tips for better communication

        Collaboration can replenish your creative well. When you’ve run out of ideas, talk to someone who’s just as enthusiastic as you. They have different views and perspectives. Listen to how they look at a specific subject. Try to view something from as many different angles as possible. It’s why people opt for writing services as it gives them access to the approaches of another writer.

        4. Nature

        Nature

          If you’re like most writers, you spend most of your time in urban areas. Leave your current surroundings and go into the countryside. Taking a look at the simple things in life adds to our creative processes. Beautiful landscapes are an old inspirational favourite, but go further. Watch the insects crawling along plants and listen to the birds. The sights, sounds, and smells of nature are a powerful source of inspiration.

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          5. Try Something New

          Challenging ideas is the way to evolve and create new ideas.

            Experience is our greatest teacher. Trying something new gives us a new experience. In creative writing, most writers infuse little pieces of personal experience into their work. Although there’s the occasional writer who can sit in a room and come up with an engaging and thought provoking world, most of us must use what we have experienced, during editing or proofreading works, writer can add his experience in order to describe all feeling and emotions of the moment.

            It doesn’t have to be any sort of extreme sport. Find something you’ve never done before and give it a spin.

            6. Think Backwards

            The best thing about memories is making them.

              Think back to your earliest memories. They are filled with the rawest emotions in your mind. By replaying these emotions again you’re better able to apply them to your work. The best essays gain such positive feedback because writers can make readers think. And readers think due to the writing’s ability to touch their emotions.

              You might find this process very cathartic, or even traumatic, but it’s all for the good of your work.

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              7. Spend Time with Children

              Children

                Children have an entirely different mindset. It’s something we can’t go back to, even if we try. Some would say they have the purest minds of us all. Spend some time with a young relative and observe them. Watch how they approach the adult world and gain some inspiration from the way they interact with people and objects. It might even cause some of your long-lost childhood memories to come flooding back.

                8. Listen to Music

                music is the strongest form of magic

                  Too often we have a speaker shoved in our ears whilst we go about our daily business. It’s rare that we take the time to indulge in the tones and the notes of the music. Music is a powerful trigger in the mind. Whenever we listen to a track from our childhood, the memories associated with the music return as if it all happened yesterday.

                  Try to listen to different genres of music. Every type of track has something to offer you, even if you don’t really like what you’re listening to.

                  It’s exactly why films constantly opt for music tracks throughout crucial scenes. This evokes additional feeling and somehow helps us to sympathise with the character on-screen.

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                  9. Stranger Talk

                  you can talk to me

                    The creative writer is a magnet for experience. The more experiences they take in the more colourful their work becomes. Whilst our friends are always useful for a chat, they don’t always provide something fresh we can use. If your close friends have become stale (creatively speaking), try talking to a stranger. You can gain new perspectives and information about experiences you never knew existed.

                    Sign up for an online chat room and begin meeting people. If you prefer to speak to others in person, join a club or community group in your local area.

                    10. Be Creative Elsewhere

                    There’s no single part of the brain singularly dedicated to the art of creative writing. Our creative bank vaults are filled with ability to apply our skills to anything in a similar field. A great writer could easily become a great chef, if they put their minds to it.

                    Try something different. Drawing, painting, cooking, landscape gardening, and flower arranging are just some of the things which can offer that next creative spark.

                    As you can see, you don’t have to live an extraordinary life to find sources of inspiration. They are all around us. By just making a few changes to our lives, we can continue to create fresh and invigorating pieces of work. Just like any muscle, the creative mind needs regular nourishment and exercise. Keep searching for inspiration and your work will continually get better.

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                    Last Updated on January 15, 2021

                    7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

                    7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

                    The popular idiomatic saying that “actions speak louder than words” has been around for centuries, but even to this day, most people struggle with at least one area of nonverbal communication. Consequently, many of us aspire to have more confident body language but don’t have the knowledge and tools necessary to change what are largely unconscious behaviors.

                    Given that others’ perceptions of our competence and confidence are predominantly influenced by what we do with our faces and bodies, it’s important to develop greater self-awareness and consciously practice better posture, stance, eye contact, facial expressions, hand movements, and other aspects of body language.

                    Posture

                    First things first: how is your posture? Let’s start with a quick self-assessment of your body.

                    • Are your shoulders slumped over or rolled back in an upright posture?
                    • When you stand up, do you evenly distribute your weight or lean excessively to one side?
                    • Does your natural stance place your feet relatively shoulder-width apart or are your feet and legs close together in a closed-off position?
                    • When you sit, does your lower back protrude out in a slumped position or maintain a straight, spine-friendly posture in your seat?

                    All of these are important considerations to make when evaluating and improving your posture and stance, which will lead to more confident body language over time. If you routinely struggle with maintaining good posture, consider buying a posture trainer/corrector, consulting a chiropractor or physical therapist, stretching daily, and strengthening both your core and back muscles.

                    Facial Expressions

                    Are you prone to any of the following in personal or professional settings?

                    • Bruxism (tight, clenched jaw or grinding teeth)
                    • Frowning and/or furrowing brows
                    • Avoiding direct eye contact and/or staring at the ground

                    If you answered “yes” to any of these, then let’s start by examining various ways in which you can project confident body language through your facial expressions.

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                    1. Understand How Others Perceive Your Facial Expressions

                    A December 2020 study by UC Berkeley and Google researchers utilized a deep neural network to analyze facial expressions in six million YouTube clips representing people from over 140 countries. The study found that, despite socio-cultural differences, people around the world tended to use about 70% of the same facial expressions in response to different emotional stimuli and situations.[1]

                    The study’s researchers also published a fascinating interactive map to demonstrate how their machine learning technology assessed various facial expressions and determined subtle differences in emotional responses.

                    This study highlights the social importance of facial expressions because whether or not we’re consciously aware of them—by gazing into a mirror or your screen on a video conferencing platform—how we present our faces to others can have tremendous impacts on their perceptions of us, our confidence, and our emotional states. This awareness is the essential first step towards

                    2. Relax Your Face

                    New research on bruxism and facial tension found the stresses and anxieties of Covid-19 lockdowns led to considerable increases in orofacial pain, jaw-clenching, and teeth grinding, particularly among women.[2]

                    The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research estimates that more than 10 million Americans alone have temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ syndrome), and facial tension can lead to other complications such as insomnia, wrinkles, dry skin, and dark, puffy bags under your eyes.[3])

                    To avoid these unpleasant outcomes, start practicing progressive muscle relaxation techniques and taking breaks more frequently throughout the day to moderate facial tension.[4] You should also try out some biofeedback techniques to enhance your awareness of involuntary bodily processes like facial tension and achieve more confident body language as a result.[5]

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                    3. Improve Your Eye Contact

                    Did you know there’s an entire subfield of kinesic communication research dedicated to eye movements and behaviors called oculesics?[6] It refers to various communication behaviors including direct eye contact, averting one’s gaze, pupil dilation/constriction, and even frequency of blinking. All of these qualities can shape how other people perceive you, which means that eye contact is yet another area of nonverbal body language that we should be more mindful of in social interactions.

                    The ideal type (direct/indirect) and duration of eye contact depends on a variety of factors, such as cultural setting, differences in power/authority/age between the parties involved, and communication context. Research has shown that differences in the effects of eye contact are particularly prominent when comparing East Asian and Western European/North American cultures.[7]

                    To improve your eye contact with others, strive to maintain consistent contact for at least 3 to 4 seconds at a time, consciously consider where you’re looking while listening to someone else, and practice eye contact as much as possible (as strange as this may seem in the beginning, it’s the best way to improve).

                    3. Smile More

                    There are many benefits to smiling and laughing, and when it comes to working on more confident body language, this is an area that should be fun, low-stakes, and relatively stress-free.

                    Smiling is associated with the “happiness chemical” dopamine and the mood-stabilizing hormone, serotonin. Many empirical studies have shown that smiling generally leads to positive outcomes for the person smiling, and further research has shown that smiling can influence listeners’ perceptions of our confidence and trustworthiness as well.

                    4. Hand Gestures

                    Similar to facial expressions and posture, what you do with your hands while speaking or listening in a conversation can significantly influence others’ perceptions of you in positive or negative ways.

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                    It’s undoubtedly challenging to consciously account for all of your nonverbal signals while simultaneously trying to stay engaged with the verbal part of the discussion, but putting in the effort to develop more bodily awareness now will make it much easier to unconsciously project more confident body language later on.

                    5. Enhance Your Handshake

                    In the article, “An Anthropology of the Handshake,” University of Copenhagen social anthropology professor Bjarke Oxlund assessed the future of handshaking in wake of the Covid-19 pandemic:[8]

                    “Handshakes not only vary in function and meaning but do so according to social context, situation and scale. . . a public discussion should ensue on the advantages and disadvantages of holding on to the tradition of shaking hands as the conventional gesture of greeting and leave-taking in a variety of circumstances.”

                    It’s too early to determine some of the ways in which Covid-19 has permanently changed our social norms and professional etiquette standards, but it’s reasonable to assume that handshaking may retain its importance in American society even after this pandemic. To practice more confident body language in the meantime, the video on the science of the perfect handshake below explains what you need to know.

                    6. Complement Your Verbals With Hand Gestures

                    As you know by now, confident communication involves so much more than simply smiling more or sounding like you know what you’re talking about. What you do with your hands can be particularly influential in how others perceive you, whether you’re fidgeting with an object, clenching your fists, hiding your hands in your pockets, or calmly gesturing to emphasize important points you’re discussing.

                    Social psychology researchers have found that “iconic gestures”—hand movements that appear to be meaningfully related to the speaker’s verbal content—can have profound impacts on listeners’ information retention. In other words, people are more likely to engage with you and remember more of what you said when you speak with complementary hand gestures instead of just your voice.[9]

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                    Further research on hand gestures has shown that even your choice of the left or right hand for gesturing can influence your ability to clearly convey information to listeners, which supports the notion that more confident body language is readily achievable through greater self-awareness and deliberate nonverbal actions.[10]

                    Final Takeaways

                    Developing better posture, enhancing your facial expressiveness, and practicing hand gestures can vastly improve your communication with other people. At first, it will be challenging to consciously practice nonverbal behaviors that many of us are accustomed to performing daily without thinking about them.

                    If you ever feel discouraged, however, remember that there’s no downside to consistently putting in just a little more time and effort to increase your bodily awareness. With the tips and strategies above, you’ll be well on your way to embracing more confident body language and amplifying others’ perceptions of you in no time.

                    More Tips on How to Develop a Confident Body Language

                    Featured photo credit: Maria Lupan via unsplash.com

                    Reference

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