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 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!
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.
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.
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.
ChatGPT is excellent at stringing together plausible sounding writing. But in essence, it is pure BS. In a world where ChatGPT can churn out essays and stories in mere seconds, we need to ask: What does it mean to be human? Is there a difference between the art and the artist? Perhaps we should let AI kill the art.
Does this sound like a familiar scenario? You start up a new writing project and after a few pages or chapters a new, even better idea comes along. So you shift gears and start work anew. Yet after months or years, you’ve never completed a single thing? This relates to the fourth weapon for writers: willpower. Graphic artist and writer Alan Moore believes that most writers shy away from completion for a simple reason: if you never finish, then you can never be judged. Yet writer should embrace rejection because putting your work out there is the only way to get published.