Tag Archives: productivity

How to Make Room for Fresh Ideas


by Lillian Csernica on January 4, 2018

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Courtesy of Debby Young

A New Year. A fresh start. We’ve got the laptop or writing journal ready, we’ve got our favorite source of caffeine to hand, and we’re ready to write.

Hello, blank page. The cursor blinks at us like a tapping foot, impatiently awaiting some outpouring of brilliant ideas. That’s when the trouble starts.

  • Anxiety
  • Self-doubt
  • Imposter Syndrome
  • The Inner Editor
  • All those other racing thoughts about everything else we should be doing right then.

Did you know that such thoughts can have their starting point outside our minds just as easily as inside? One of the principles of feng shui says clutter inhibits the free flow of energy. Stagnant energy interferes with a lot of activities, especially communication. What is writing if not communication?

I don’t have many writing rituals, but I do need clear space to spread out my notes, manuscript, laptop, pens, and whatever else I need for that writing session. This is why I go to the library a lot. There I can find nice long tables with plenty of space.

Want to do more and better writing this year? Clear out your space. We must make room in our lives for the fresh, new ideas by removing the physical items that jam up our minds with old negative energy and thought patterns. Open up your writing space, clear out the clutter that is damming up the free flow of energy, and you will see immediate results.

In the spirit of solidarity, I will show you exactly what I have to deal with, and how urgent the need really is.

ClutterStuff

 

Books Yes, I have too many books. More precisely, I have too many books for the amount of space in my office. This has resulted in cardboard boxes of books taking up floor space. Not good. I have to prioritize the books according to what I need for my current novel, what I need for reference, and what I need for recharging my word batteries by reading for pleasure.

Notebooks Piles of notebooks sit here and there in my office. Some are writing journals in that I’ve written scenes, outlines, and notes in them. Others are the more classic writer’s journal full of ideas, character sketches, lists, and critique notes. What I have to do here is go through and see which whole notebooks are worth keeping and which ones need to have a few key pages torn out and filed where they belong.

ClutterBoxes

Stuff I’ve let a fair amount of miscellaneous stuff collect in my office for one simple reason. I have a bad habit of not putting things away. Clothes, reusable shopping bags, jewelry making supplies, and my amazing collection of tote bags filled with who knows what. Time to take a bite out of that mess by devoting 15 or 30 minutes at a go until all of it has been cleared up and cleaned out!

For more specific suggestions on how to do this, I recommend reading:

9 Clutter Clearing Tips for Good Feng Shui

Four Life Changing New Year’s Lessons for Writers

How to Kick Your Clutter Habit and Live in a Clean House Once and For All

How to De-Clutter Your Mind and Become a More Productive Writer

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Filed under creativity, Depression, Family, frustration, Goals, housework, Lillian Csernica, perspective, publication, research, therapy

What to Do When Your Brain Dries Up


by Lillian Csernica on July 5, 2014

Ever had that feeling that your brain is so much dead coral inside your skull?  The official name for this condition is mental fatigue.  Studying for finals, doing your taxes, and writing or editing a novel can all cause this condition.  How can you irrigate your creative centers and get the flow going again?

1. Get up and move around.

 

 

Stretch, take a quick walk, jog around the back yard, or just take some deep breaths and shake out your arms and legs.  Get that circulation moving again.  If you have a cat or a dog, take fifteen minutes and get the pet toys out.

 

2. Have a snack.

 

 

Something high in vitamins and minerals is good for the brain.  Fish, cruciferous vegetables, and whole grains are healthy choices.  Keeping the blood sugar stable is important, so you want to avoid sugary snacks.

 

3. Do something totally different.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When I need some hands-on occupational therapy, I make jewelry.  Choosing the colors, picking out the beads, and working with the wire and pliers draw on other parts of my brain.  The writing part gets a rest, and I end up with a new pair of earrings.  Win/win, right?

 

4. Play.

 

 

Another stress reliever that works for me is coloring.  Get out that big box of Crayolas and a coloring book.  You can get coloring books for little kids, or you can get some amazing art books.  Shoot marbles.  Play jacks.  Keep some Legos handy (if you don’t already have some for your kids).

 

5. Give yourself an attitude adjustment.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A big part of brain drain can be how we approach a project.  If you think it’s going to be really hard and a total pain to do it, then it will be.  If you get yourself cranked up to a high pitch of enthusiasm, it might still be a complex project, but you’ll approach it with a lighter heart and a more open mind.

 

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