How can you manage to get off the ground as a writer when you are saddled with a full-time job? I struggled with this very dilemma for many years. Yes, I’d love to dive headfirst into writing each and every day. But I have this funny habit…I like to eat. So how do we keep food on the table and a roof over our heads, yet still fulfill our passions as writers? The secret to fitting writing around your work lies in shifting some priorities and also shutting down diversions.
I suck at meditation. I know it’s the best way to achieve mindfulness and calm my mind, but honestly every time I try it, I just get bored. My thoughts wander and soon I’m thinking about anything but my breathing. Then I stumbled upon Bill Keaggy’s Noticing Workout (he called it Attention Adventure when working with kids, and I like that title better). It’s a method to achieve mindfulness that won’t bore you to pieces. Plus it’s fun.
In a world buzzing with constant stimulation and digital distractions, it might seem counterintuitive to sing the praises of procrastination. Yet, for creative writers, stepping away from your main project can be a hidden gem, a fertile ground for inspiration, and a powerful tool for honing their craft. Learn how procrastination can make you more productive rather than feeling like wasted time.
In this whirlwind of a world, finding inner peace might seem like an adventure of its own. But fear not, the ancient wisdom of Stoicism can help. And you know what the secret sauce is? Question every thought!
Us writers yearn for comfort. Yet true growth lies beyond the well-trodden path. Stepping out of your comfort zone to embrace discomfort is an essential aspect of a writer’s journey. Writers can harness the power of being uncomfortable to propel their creativity and achieve their writing goals.
Creativity is the lifeblood of artists and writers and we often seek ways to generate fresh, original ideas. Sometimes, however, our gut instincts can lead us in the wrong direction, rehashing concepts that we’ve explored to death. Instead, we can explore uncharted territory by deliberately going against our internal instincts. Doing the opposite of what you plan to do can generate more original ideas.
In the pursuit of creativity, we often rush from one idea to another, fearing the dreaded void of boredom. However, according to the wisdom of Wu Wei, allowing yourself to experience moments of stillness and boredom can open up a portal to creative insights. So take a break from the constant bombardment of stimuli, let your mind wander, and boost your creativity by employing this ancient Chinese philosophy.
No matter how long you’ve written and polished your writing, you’ll eventually need to show it off to other people. Professional publishers and agents reject hundreds more manuscripts than they accept. The sting of this failure can be hard to cope with. The best solution is to handle it the same way trees do: Broken branches are transformed into knots, which make the tree stronger. Writer rejection can seem like a death knell, but treated properly, it can allow us to thrive.
In this hyperconnected, hyperproductive world, we often find ourselves caught in the clutches of endless to-do lists. But fear not, dear creatives, for Niksen offers a momentary escape. Niksen is a Dutch concept translating to “doing nothing”. We need to embrace the art of idleness! Take a break from the warp-speed of life and allow your mind to wander freely. Sit back, relax, and let the celestial winds of inspiration gently caress your weary soul.
Right now, ChatGPT is upending all kinds of art and writing. Yet the core of good fiction is the emotion the writer brings to the table. Let’s wait till AI goes through some trauma and then it might be able to write well. Everyone, AI included, can write decent fiction. But to make the story sing, you need to jerk your readers around because writing is emotion.