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Awaken Your Creative Genius

15 Dec

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How to begin again. Well don’t wait for snow if you’re in the Pacific rim, or a typhoon if you’re in New York. Chances are, you’ll wait forever.

In whatever we do, be it painting, designing, weaving, dancing, singing, there is a natural force that compels us to share. Behind each of these is a story.

But alas, we can be easily buried with the reality of everyday living. And guess what, we can just as easily blame other people, our husband or wife (he needed his dinner on time, she wanted me to fix the garage door), or worse your children (the children need a nanny), I have to clean the house, it won’t wait! And a gazillion more excuses, why, if you can find time to write about it, you would be able to make a pastiche on “Reasons Why I Can’t Write that Book”.

If you can find a way to wake up every day to do your daily routine of eating, taking a bath, cleaning the house or going to work, there must be a way to wake up to do something that you are  passionate about. Something in this world, a space to rearrange, a pattern all our own so that we can say “I was here.”

What is surprising is the thing that you love most, something which you have found gratifying remains, in the wing. Take heart. All is not lost because at whatever age, there’s absolutely no reason why you can’t begin again.

  1. Take responsibility to do it. No more excuses, no more telling yourself tomorrow it will come. It will never come tomorrow. It is today that matters. “I’m too old. I’m forty.” Maybe you’re too old for boxing (as a profession), but as a writer, you are in the perfect age. Because you can write about anything in the world. You have experience. The greater number of successful people became successful at the age of fifty and above.
  2. Do creative writing that does not demand perfection, just expression. Writing a blog, a diary, letters, can help jumpstart an otherwise flagging desire.
  3. Read quotes that have been handed down by people who have been there, done that. The creative community is never stingy, always sharing a vast number of wisdom. Take a cue. Be inspired by other people. Read on biographies of people who made a difference in their lives and others.
  4. Do not be scared of mistakes, they remind us that perfection is sometimes made beautiful by flaws. I myself am more of a fan of originality. I like the quirkiness more than the faultlessness of mechanics.
  5. The cycle of life is actually a series of cycles, small beginnings and endings. When you have finished that first book, what matters is beginning again, thus the journey begins again. It is this beginning that gives one that tingle at the hair roots.
  6. The work you do is just a child of the creative process. It is not you. You should not be defined by this work or that work; otherwise you would be a victim to its presumed success or failure. The truth is, if you have begun to write it, and hopefully rode it to its completion, that itself is a success.
  7. If you are not good at deadlines, no prob. When you have time to fill, just do it. Be happy with what you have done. But many people require deadlines, and that is good. The adrenaline will work in whatever system, giving you a kick in the butt.
  8. Writing is a solitary endeavor, but it doesn’t mean you cannot work with other people. In a workshop with a beautiful and Zen surrounding, you can take part in a shared silence, where the only thing you hear is the scratching of pen on paper and the wind chimes that sway to breeze.
  9. When your work is done, you close that laptop, rest those tired fingers, and wait for that glorious sunlight to sneak up on you again.
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Getting the Inspiration to Write

14 Dec

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Get Inspired…Now
If you’re a writer or someone who knows that you can write but has a classic bout of procrastination every time you turn on your laptop, here are some ways you can boost your creativity. There’s nothing better than actually sitting down and writing, you know, using the keyboard, tapping the keys and chaining thoughts on the monitor. Here are doable and practical things that helped me, yes me.
1. Join a writing workshop. In writing workshops, there’s usually a task that you need to finish. It’s a challenge that you can do which can actually rev up your system; write a vignette, a villanelle, a novella, an essay. After I joined a romance class, I was able to push myself to finish a 30,000 word novella. And was able to self publish it to Smashwords.com. Now it’s on Barnes and Noble, Sony, Kobo, Apple(Mac)and other distributors.
2. Challenge yourself to write 500 words a day. Novellas are longer to do but after you’re done with your outline, you can set yourself a few words a day, which is really easier than what you think. You would be amazed at the work you can do after a month of doing this.
3. Challenge yourself to write an essay (for a magazine contest) and send it. It’s easy to fall prey into a writing hibernation after settling down or having a dead end job. The way to start again is find a challenge. Join a contest. When a friend told me about a contest he was joining, I joined too. We won and we became contributors to a national newspaper.
4. Turn off everything that will distract you from your creative endeavors. The TV is a friend that one must turn off. Because with all the things that the TV tells us, it’s easy to get lost into the world’s concerns. Listen to your inner self.
5. Write down everything that you think you can use as soon as possible. The ideas you have may come to you while you were walking, doing a household chore or while browsing a new book. You think you will remember it but you won’t. Write it down.
6. Think positive. Anything you write down may come in handy in the future. That certain phrase, statement or loveable quote might just be the motto of the year, who knows?
7. Find the people who share your thoughts, maybe other writers or artists. Talking about something you like is the best way to express yourself and share with other people.
8. Get back to nature. Do some soul searching in the forest, look up at the sunlight that will shine down on you, feel the bark of a tree and the spirit of life, lie on a field and sink in the vastness of the sky, be part of the universe.
9. The opportunities are endless. The sky is the mark.
10. Now is the time to realize what you have just dreamed about.

Keeping in Shape While Writing

20 Sep

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(Photo courtesy of thaikrit at Freedigitalphotos.net)

Writers spend hours, days and nights hunched at a computer table, forgetting that much needed break and physical exertion that the body needs to be healthy. The stomach becomes frail, the back bent, the muscles weak and non-existent. These can lead to worse physical condition since the body has to expel toxins through the skin which would only be possible by exercise. So how does a writer stay fit?

1. Choose a regimen that fits your style. Each of us has our own preference as to what we want to do to, especially when it comes to work outs. Some people prefer to run. I walk 20 minutes every day around Fort Bonifacio. That’s because I walk to my morning job which is teaching English in an International School. I also jog around Serendra, Makati park, or a jogging path near my home. I add variety to an otherwise boring regimen by changing the setting once in a while.

One of my writer friends do 20 laps in the pool religiously every Saturday. The key word here is religiously and regimen. When I say that, it means you need to make it a part of your lifestyle, something that is as basic as eating and taking a rest.

2.Have a regular massage to get the circulation going. The touch of expert hands can do wonders to a tired soul. It can revive your inner force and renew your floundering enthusiasm. If done once in a while, it will diversify your fitness program.

3. Dance to the music. There’s zumba,rhumba,salsa,chacha, belly dancing and what have you. The thing here is to move your body at least 15-20 minutes a day.

4. Stand up and stretch your limbs. Did you know that the backbone is one of the most important parts of your body that’s neglected? The backbone needs nutrients as much as the organs of the body. If the backbone is misaligned or crunched, the nutrients cannot get into the backbone.  Stretching exercises can keep it straightened and healthy.

5.Inhaling and exhaling exercises can provide the body with sufficient oxygen to make the blood healthier. Breathing exercises can make you more alert and your brain replete with much needed oxygen.

COMPLETE BREATH EXERCISES

1. Sit up straight. Exhale.

2. Inhale and, at the same time, relax the belly muscles. Feel as though the belly is filling with air.

3. After filling the belly, keep inhaling. Fill up the middle of your chest. Feel your chest and rib cage expand.

4. Hold the breath in for a moment, then begin to exhale as slowly as possible.

5.  As the air is slowly let out, relax your chest and rib cage. Begin to pull your belly in to force out the remaining breath.

6. Close your eyes, and concentrate on your breathing.

7.  Relax your face and mind.

8.  Let everything go.

9.  Practice about 5 minutes.

(from UMCK)

6.The neck is another victim to long hours of typing. It holds a very heavy object which is the head. It should be exercised carefully, making sure that it gets stretched and exercised. The wrist should also be considered.

7.Eating a well balanced diet which is based on fruits and vegetables will likely give you, the writer, a fit and healthy body.

8. Have enough sleep and rest. It will give you the stamina to perform better. Discipline with fun is a good way to start a lifestyle that can last a lifetime.

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(Photo courtesy of stockimages at Freedigitalphotos.net)