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.
Writing is my passion. I’ve been at this crazy endeavor since I penned my first “story” about a battle between a chimera and a swordsman (big D&D nut here). But now, decades later, I have a full time job and a family. Oftentimes, my writing time each day is a scant fifteen minutes. But I’m on a mission to change that and maximize writing time.
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.
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.
Without a doubt, AI and ChatGPT have forever transformed the way artists and writers create. At this very moment, screenwriters are striking over the use of AI in film and television. And to be sure, AI is a powerful tool, able to churn out truckloads of workable stories and ideas. Yet just as many times, AI can generate some pretty insane snippets of text. Called “hallucinations” these hint at the way AI thinks and interacts with the world. As writers, we can exploit AI mistakes to jumpstart our own creative projects.
Once you get rolling on a good bit of writing, you don’t want to stop. After all, the more you create, the better your end product will be, right? However, you might just be what the Japanese call a manuke, or fool. This is a person without the awareness of ma — a philosophy that cherishes the space between things. In order to writer better, writers must harness the power of ma.
Why is it that when we hunker down to come up with a new idea, our minds suddenly empty of any interesting thought? As writers or artists, our basic job description is the come up with new and interesting things. It’s the definition of creativity. But how to come up with that really great idea? Sometimes, you have to trick your brain in to being creative.