Do it the write way

- Uttam Shrestha

Sep 15, 2017-Iwatch my friends—all applying to study in the US this fall—force themselves into writing their essays. They make themselves sit in a chair, hold an imaginary gun to their head and write. Then they complain about how they can never write well or connect with their emotions. I tell them the same thing I would tell a guy hanging off a cliff—let yourself go (pun intended). Jokes aside, it is undisputed that brute force is not the solution to periods of lack of creativity. When you are brute writing, you are virtually forcing yourself to fill your head with ideas and imaginations. And you realise you are instead filled with brain slumps. 

Remember, you can never squeeze ideas the same way you can squeeze juice out of a lemon. Rather consider a mindset I call the ‘water bottle principle’. You relax the bottle, simply punch a hole in it, then watch the water flow out of it. I know it sounds stupid, but writing with this mindset will amount to a lot more than writing with brute force. That’s it, relax and let your creativity flow. Go to your favourite place in your house and start remembering. Start from your childhood. Remember the first time you scored a goal, even the first time you played soccer. Remember the first time you felt the meaning of ‘embarrassment’ when your teacher crushed your dignity with her passive-aggressive wit. Remember the first time you felt love, your first high school crush. 

Remember the time when you were born. Okay, that’s not possible. But take something that inspires you and put passion behind it. Go to a park, if that’s possible in Kathmandu, and start writing. Write about your favourite moments—moments when you learnt something important, cried or felt at your best. Write about a time when you were happier than ever. Write how you felt when you were rejected, dejected and dissected with scrutiny. However, my advice would be to write about things that make you interesting. We are all helplessly attracted to interesting people, so be one. It is also okay, however, to glean into the hardships you have been through and the pain you have suffered, if it inspires you. But I don’t recommend getting soaked in disappointments, embarrassments and especially negativity. “Life can be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards”, said Soren Kierkegaard, the Danish philosopher. So, optimism and hope are your best weapons as a writer. Also, having the end goal in mind is crucial. Clarity about what, and how, you want to write will save you a lot of trouble during the process. Tom Stillwell, CEO of award-winning marketing agency Midnight Oil, explains: “Creativity can be very expensive if you aren’t careful. You could dive into work without clarity on what creativity you want, and end up churning time, energy and money without results.” 

Published: 15-09-2017 08:58

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