If You Want to Write: The Creative Mind

“… The more clear, tranquil, and unstimulated you are, the slower the ideas come, but the better they are.”

The human mind is a complex and beautiful thing. We process so much information so quickly, sometimes I am amazed that our heads do not literally explode. I know I have felt like mine wanted to.

In Chapter 4 Ueland discusses ideas, inspiration, and creativity in relation to the mind. She states, “Inspiration comes very slowly and quietly.” The inspiration she refers to isn’t that light bulb that goes off and then the words just pour on a page; she describes inspiration in the sense of our ideas and the quality of what we write.

You Don’t Always Have to Be Busy

Ueland explains that we do not always have to be energetic and active in order to have good ideas or write. Instead of wracking our brains and expecting the ideas to flow, we should sit and reflect for a short time. Use this quiet time to clear your mind and find your own voice.

I admit I thought this was bad advice at first. She wanted to me to sit in front of my laptop and try to get a post idea without doing anything? That seemed nuts, but she was right. I took some me time, cooked dinner, and did not think about my post, and it all came together. Maybe resting the mind is needed for good creativity.

There is a fine line between laziness and reflection though. If you lay around and watch TV or read, you are still doing something. You are being lazy. It’s not always a bad thing, but if you need and want to do something and are watching a movie instead, you should think about how that movie accomplishes your goal. That, my friend, is procrastination.

Other Tips About Creativity:

— Be your own critic. Do not worry what others will think.

— Stay away from stimulants and/or drugs that cloud your mind and judgment.

— Be happy with your work. It is more important that you love and are proud of your product. And I bet, if you truly love it, others will too.

— Don’t stress writer’s block. Instead, use that time as your quiet time and jot down ideas or notes. Even those will help you develop thoughts and processes.

We place so much pressure on ourselves, we forget that our minds work at their own pace. We can beat our head against a wall, and nothing good will come out. You can’t force a good idea. I also recommend yoga for exercise and reflection. I have had some of my best ideas come to me about work, family, and for friends in meditation. And it only takes five minutes. We can all work in five minutes and rest our brains.

I hope these tips help those who are struggling with ideas or projects. Sometimes the best thing to do is sit in front of the screen and look out the window. If you have any tips on how you relax or stop thinking, feel free to share below!

Writing for Web: Blogging – Getting Started

“Everyone who’s ever taken a shower has had an idea. It’s the person who gets out of the shower, dries off and does something about it who makes a difference.” – Nolan Bushnell

So, you’re in the shower and you think, “Wouldn’t it be cool to start a blog or website?” The answer is yes. It is very cool and totally doable with the tools and technology available.

This week’s chapter is all about blogging, but I would like to add a little spin. Let’s talk muse, too.

Felder gives some great ideas for getting started. The first decision to make is what to write about? Some questions you can ask yourself are:

What makes you mad?

What makes you smile?

What hobbies do you enjoy?

What is your passion?

Is there a topic you can talk about for hours?

What do you want to learn more about?

Now take those questions and pick a topic. Then decide if you can write a lot of content about it. If not, expand your topic. For example, if you like haunted houses you may want to extend that to all places haunted, which may include lighthouses, castles, asylums, prisons, etc.

Make a list of topics (these will later be blog posts). Write them down for as long as you can, and always keep a pen and paper handy. A friend gave out a tiny composition book during a blog session a couple of years ago, and it is still in my purse just in case.

We at RevPub like to have a stockpile of ideas too because sometimes you just don’t feel creative or want to work a lot on something. In those instances, what should you do? Here’s where the muse comes in.

 The Muse

Muse: The source of your inspiration that gives you new ideas and topics.

Most people have something that inspires them. It can be a child, job, lifelong dream or goal, best friend, or successful people in the world. It doesn’t matter what your muse is or how you find it; the important thing is to find it, hold onto it, and let it guide you.

If you feel your muse has abandoned you, don’t worry. Felder suggests taking a walk, listening to music, aromatherapy, and even eating chocolate. Other strategies I found are TV shows like Shark Tank and Supernatural, yoga, and hanging out with people who have similar interests. In fact, most of my Writing for Web posts are done with a horror movie in the background. All of these can get your mind moving in the right direction, so just pick what works for you and go with it!

Now that you have a category and topics, it’s time to research a little. Felder advises looking at other sites and blogs about similar topics, making notes about what you like and don’t like, and deciding how to make yours better. This is an interesting exercise and allows you to improve your writing and style before you write your first post.

With all those in mind, get started. Pick a site to blog on – WordPress and Blogger are both free and very popular. Be sure to check in next week when we’ll discuss scheduling, content, and readership.

In the meantime, tell us this: what is your muse? Do you have tips for others on how to find inspiration?