As a writer, I've felt a little out of touch with the creative side of my brain lately. I think I've just become so consumed with "making things happen" that I've forgotten what it feels like to simply, make things. I believe it's easy to forget the "point of it all," when pursuing a career in the entertainment industry, and I don't want to forget.
Consequently, in an attempt to reinvigorate my wonky self, to start enjoying this process again, this art of making things, I thought: Where am I working? How am I working? What can I do to keep this alive? In trying to answer these questions, I stumbled upon what I believe to be some universal tips to help improve work ethic, open minds, and to generally tap into a more productive headspace. So whether you crunch numbers, craft spreadsheets, memorize lines, or write novels, read up! These tips do not discriminate.
1. Find your work feng shui. Meaning, figure out where you feel most inspired, and get thee to that place. If you work best in your bed with a Cup of Joe and TV blaring in the background, that's your spot. If you crave people around while you work, but aren't sure of precisely the best environment, I recommend exploring barista parlors, wine bars, public parks, or even hotel lobbies. No public place is off limits. If you do go with a more traditional, stay-at-home-vibe, make sure your desk is not only aesthetically pleasing to you, but also comfortable. Perhaps it's a potted plant that makes you feel just a little more adult in your quest to creating, or maybe it's a picture of your significant other piled on top of deco books - whatever is clever! The world is your oyster. Just find your feng shui, and crack open that laptop.
2. Caffeinate. It usually helps. Granted if you don't suffer from coffee dependency like I do, try tea, green juice, or coconut water. Something that energizes, that stimulates the wheels in your noggin, and manages your focus. You will most likely receive a jolt of (mildly manufactured) energy that keeps you truckin' for at least two-three hours.
3. Exercise. Get those endorphins, kid! I've recently started running again, and it is making all the difference in terms of clearing my mind, and balancing my bod. If I wake up with all kinds of kinks, mental and physical, I have now gotten into the habit of running a twenty-minute loop around my neighborhood. It's simple, clean, free of obsession, and full of breathing. Yes, it reminds me to breathe. In and out. It releases the tension, and readies me for a more productive day. So choose exercise. In whatever capacity it moves you, just choose to move.
4. Reach out. Talk to people who are in a similar boat. Pick their brains for inspiration. Go to their shows. Read their columns. Buy the books they reference as "life-changing." Even if their method of creation doesn't exactly work for you, you are still exposing yourself to work outside your own. You are having conversations where ideally you find common ground, but at the very least, you're focusing on someone other than yourself and your *cough* crappy writer's block *cough.*
5. Have a mantra. I know it can feel ridiculously dorky, but it works. The power of repeating a personal phrase aloud on a daily basis is unquestionably affirming, no matter how stupid it may feel. I read a pretty awesome book lately, How to Grow Up by Michelle Tea, and Michelle shares how she began reciting mantras in the shower everyday. Before she hit it big, as a struggling writer from a blue-collar family, Michelle was often broke, so as she lathered up, she began repeating the phrase, "I love money, and money loves me," (or something to that effect). The more she believed in her mantra, in acquiring money, the more confident she felt in her career yielding financial growth and security. Magically, she began to book more gigs, receive phone calls that inspired opportunities, and things just began to happen for her. So start building your mantras. I will find love, because I am loveable. I will be published, because publishers love me. I will get a promotion, because why wouldn't I? Sound like a plan? Good, I thought so too.
Alright, so that's it! 5 tips that are currently helping me stay productive and inspired, and I hope they do the same for you, beautiful readers. Ta-ta for now, but not for long! xx