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Category Archives for Creativity

Need Writing Inspiration? Try Roleplay

As writers, staying inspired is one of our biggest challenges. Sometimes the juices stop flowing, and you’ll try anything to get your mojo back. There are many different techniques writers use to stimulate creativity, such as brainstorming, reading, going on an adventure, and meditating. Some techniques are conventional, while others are unusual. 

One of the most unconventional methods is roleplay … or so I thought. When I was in grad school studying negotiation, often my professors would have the class roleplay a scenario so that we could practice different tactics that we had learned in class. 

Roleplaying allowed me to become someone else, a character. I improvised every aspect of the character—their personality, the way they talked, background information, storylines—and tried to use this character that I created to my advantage to negotiate the best deal with my classmate. 

Not only was it fun, but as the character, I could try different negotiation skills that I wouldn’t try as myself because they’re not my personal style. My character, however, did not have any reservations about the tactics used. Through roleplay, I was able to improve my skillset and practice other negotiation strategies that I wouldn’t have otherwise. 

Roleplaying can help you generate inspiration for your writing, too. 

Out of all of the methods I have tried, I have found that roleplaying helps me to embody the character or story you want to tell, making the words fall onto the page effortlessly. Not only can roleplaying be used as a mechanism for stimulating creativity in writing fiction, but it also can be used in other types of writing such as nonfiction and copywriting. Let me explain what roleplaying is and how you can use it to spark creativity in your own writing. 

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Why Writer’s Write. Hint: it’s not for Fame, Money, or Glory

The art of writing is considered a natural thing by many. For the most part, we are all taught to write at a very young age. We go through the process of learning letters to make words and then combining these words to make sentences. It is something we do every day. But, writing as a craft is something that is not natural. It takes practice. Over and over again.

In Bad Ideas about Writing by Ball and Loewe, one chapter written by Holbrook and Hundley states that “The belief that writing emerges, Athena-like, fully developed from the writer’s head minimizes both the labor involved and the expectation that writing is a skill that can be improved.” The authors go on to say that, “The view that writing is effortless and done on the side by extraordinary people dismisses the real effort writers put into their work….” 

The truth is, writing is hard. It takes time, effort, and the proverbial blood, sweat, and tears. And still, writers write.

Why, you may wonder. 

Writers write for many different, often personal, reasons, and they learn to take rejection and criticism as part of the life-long writing process. Perhaps writing is best summed up by poet and writer Daniela Perfetti R, “I write to create words in which I want to live when it’s difficult for me to inhabit my own skin. I write because, by writing, I build a path towards myself and connect with my essence, with my being. I write because by doing so, I return to myself.”

Let’s take a look at the various reasons that might motivate a writer, and, who knows; you might discover a thing or two about yourself—or the writer in your life!

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Hacking Your Subconscious: How Tarot Cards Can Jumpstart Your Content

A neon eye and triangle blaze the word “PSYCHIC” in a strip mall window.  A fortune teller with a crystal ball in a smoky room cracks an egg and tells you a misfortune will befall you if you don’t pay her $300 for a “good luck spell.”  An old woman spits on your shoe and curses you for the rest of your life.

We’ve all seen the tropes surrounding fortune tellers and Tarot cards. Often regarded as a money trap for the desperate or a whimsical activity in the midst of a festival, Tarot cards can actually serve a purpose dear to our content makers’ hearts that is little known to the public.

With their brilliant colors and suggestive imagery, Tarot cards can carve a path straight to your subconscious. Even when you don’t know the story behind each card, the imagery can spark inspiration. When you do know something about the story, you can dig in deeper to the meanings and the collective human experiences that the cards represent. 

Here are three easy steps to use the Tarot to jumpstart your content creation:

  • Step 1: Prime the pump with the cards — shuffle and choose one or two cards.
  • Step 2: Open the inspiration spigot with free association.
  • Step 3: Write your fool head off.
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The Myth of Originality: Why Your Voice Is More Important Than New Ideas

Ever spent countless hours trying to come up with “a new idea” for your post, blog, article, pitch, novel, whatever?

If so, first, welcome to the club, and, second, I have good news and bad news all wrapped into one: new ideas are not a thing

I know, this might sound clickbaity and edgy—and, indeed, it’s meant to be a little provocative. But I believe it also highlights something we tend to forget in our quest for originality: no idea can be 100% original. 

Nor does it need to be. In fact, I’m here to tell you what the secret sauce is, and new ideas are an optional ingredient. But before we delve into the recipe, let’s establish why no original idea is, after all, truly original. 

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