BELA LAMPERT

Yoga Instructor
Optioned Screenwriter

You haven’t written today

There are days when you don't feel like writing. This might be for different reasons. Every now and then it's good to take a day or two to recharge your batteries and make sure you don't burn out. Maintaining your energy level is a very important part of being and staying creative. On the other hand, not feeling like writing can also be procrastination. Maybe you are pushing it aside for some reason and you label it as "taking care of yourself" when in fact it's just avoidance. A while ago John August and Craig Mazin talked about this on the “Scriptnotes” screenwriting podcast. Under the name “Tough Love vs. Self-Care", Craig made an interesting point about the distinction between the two: He says that self-care and also pushing through when it is necessary are both positive things that can give you good results. The problem is that those can also hide negative emotions that lie beneath that. Tough love often masquerades as self-loathing and self-care might in fact be “fear and withdrawal and a sense that engaging isn't worth it.” This is an important distinction. It’s okay to let go of writing every now and then, and it’s okay to push through when necessary. Just make sure you’re clear about your emotions and what stands behind them. Get clear about emotions that such your creativity away: P.S.: The link to the transcription of the “Scriptnotes” Episode:(To get the link to the "Yoga for Writers" Program sign up for my daily emails on this website and...

It never stops

How does this situation sound to you: You’re sitting at your desk, writing, and somehow the ideas don’t flow as well as you wish they would. You’ve got SOME ideas, but nothing new or exciting. All of it just feels like hard work and you drift off to thinking, “why am I still not where I want to be?” “How much longer will it take?” Sound familiar? We've all been there. Or at least, I have. And then I made a mind switch. Because if I would have continued like that, mentally bickering about not being where I want to be in every writing session, this would have been disastrous for my creativity. And also, I realized that it takes away my joy of writing, which I used to have when I started out. Now, I'm aware that writing is a lifelong process, a journey without end goal. If I look back to when I started writing, there was a time where I wished I knew what I know now. And if I don't stop, there will always be something new to learn and discover in the future. What has changed is my measurement. Before, I tried to reach certain goals. I thought when I would reach them, everything will be better. But at the point of reaching that goal, my mind had already set out a new one and I thought, "oh, when I reach that new goal, then finally everything is going to be better." But it never stops. That's why my measurement is different...

This is what’s going to happen

The things you worry about will not happen. And if they do happen someone will help you. And if nobody will help you you will find another solution. And if you don't find another solution it will be fine. You'll find out that it’s good that everything happened that way. Just at an earlier time you couldn't see it. Or, what happened is just the setup for something brilliant, something fortunate, that is going to happen to you. Something that couldn’t have happened without a certain “mishap” before that. Moral of the story? Worrying steals your happiness and shuts down your creativity. Try not to let it happen too much! How to stop worrying:(To get the link to the "Yoga for Writers" Program sign up for my daily emails on this website and check the P.S. section of the Welcome email!) ...

Is the cure worse than the illness?

Imagine this: You are an aspiring writer with a day job. You need the job to keep yourself afloat but it stresses you out and that affects your creativity in your writing time. I don't know if this is your exact situation that my guess would be that you can relate in some way. Now let's say, having too little time to write that is free of mental distractions (a.k.a. the stress from your day job) is the "disease". It is something that you would like to cure, right? What possible cures would there be? The most obvious in a hypothetical sense would be to quit your day job. Without your day job you have enough time to write, and there is no stress from people at work that affects your creativity. But, all you might do is exchange one disease for another. Without a day job you will be stressed out because you have no income, no way to pay your bills, your mortgage,… and that stress also affects your creativity in your writing time. You have cured your initial disease but the cure turns out to be worse. Find out what the "diseases" of your day. Brainstorm possibilities to cure them, in a hypothetical way first, and then evaluate your possibilities and compare them to your original "disease". Which of them is better? Maybe what you considered a "disease" in the first place is not such a bad spot to be in, at least for the moment. More creativity cures:(To get the link to the "Yoga for Writers"...

The Kobe Mentality

The Mamba Mentality is all about focusing on the process and trusting in the hard work when it matters most. - Kobe Bryant, 1978 - 2020 “At the end of my career I want to be known as a talented over-achiever. I was blessed with talent, but I worked as if I had none.” To find your own power:(To get the link to the "Yoga for Writers" Program sign up for my daily emails on this website and check the P.S. section of the Welcome email!) ...

What is fear?

Fear can be a great obstacle to creativity. Everybody is afraid of something. Of course. We need fear because it can protect us from certain situations that could cause us harm or even our life. But most of the situations we fear are not life-threatening. Not even close. Take one of your fears. Think about it. Just for a moment don't try to get rid of it. Feel it run through your body, try to be clear about what it is exactly that you fear. Maybe you fear not being taken seriously as a writer. It might be something totally different for you, but for the sake of this exercise I'm going to go with this. Now follow that fear for second. If it should become true, what's gonna happen? How would you feel? Investigate those emotions for a bit and then try to think about why you are fearing that situation. Fear is always connected to the love of something else. We fear something because we love something else. What is it that you love and that you fear losing? Maybe you can hold on to that feeling of what you love and now let that feeling of love ran through your body. Again, stay there for a bit and just concentrate on the positive thing now, the thing you love so much that you fear losing it. Now, try to come back to the actual moment, the NOW. You, in this very moment, reading these words. And compare this moment to what you just experienced in...

The value of nothing

Go through your to-do-lists of the last weeks or months. I bet there is something missing on all of them. Nothing. I don’t mean that there is nothing missing, I mean, I bet the word “nothing” is missing on all of them. What do I mean by that? There was a time when I thought the more I can put on my schedule each day and the more I get done the faster I can go forward. But that is flawed thinking. Yes, regular work means progress. To some degree. But the brain can only process so much of it. Let’s take athletes for example. They don’t train the whole day. They train a lot, yes, but they have strict periods of rest. Those periods of rest are the key. Our brain, as well as our body, needs time to process (and sometimes to heal). That processing is only possible if you don’t overload it with new information. Otherwise it’s going to burn out after some time. So? Let go every once in a while. Great ideas and joy in your life can only develop if you let your brain do its work without interference. That’s what those periods of “doing nothing” are for. You need to stop the mind carousel. Stopping the mind carousel:(To get the link to the "Yoga for Writers" Program sign up for my daily emails on this website and check the P.S. section of the Welcome email!) ...

How to write your Way out of the dark Woods

Imagine you're taking a walk in the woods and you try out a new path. One you haven't walked before. At the beginning you like it, but the further you go, the darker it gets, and all of a sudden, all you can see around yourself are trees. A lot of trees. And the path that you came on is gone. You have no idea where to go and you cannot see anything because of all the trees around you. That is the situation a lot of writers put themselves into. They write themselves into a corner by adding trees and trees and trees and then they’re lost. And now what? Well, you try to do the same thing as you would in reality. In order to see something you need to get rid of trees. Luckily, the trees on your page can be cut down easily with a single keystroke. Then, when you got rid of the trees, try to re-create the steps that got you there. At which point did you get lost? Go back step by step until you are back in an area where you know your way around. On the page, that means getting rid of the stuff (at least temporarily) that got you off track. That confused you. You need to go backwards until you’re only left with things of which you know their exact purpose: Why did you put that scene there? Why does this character react like this in that moment? Why did you point to something in the...

What would Jesus do?

We all have our heroes. Idols we look up to and try to model. If you're a writer for sure you could come up with a name or two of professional writers who have what you would call your "dream job". The next time you find yourself in a position that keeps you from writing in some way, think about them. Think about their situation. They do this for a living, they might have big projects, they have commitments, they have deadlines. Something that, in your imaginative future, most likely, you will have as well. The next time you're stuck ask yourself, what would they do? What would a professional writer in your situation do? What decisions would he or she make to get ahead in spite of the circumstances? This change of view puts you in the place of your own observer. You are trying to observe from the outside what you can do to help yourself, with one of your heroes as model. Then, adapt that model as much as necessary to fit your specific situation to get you going again. What also gets you going again:(To get the link to the "Yoga for Writers" Program sign up for my daily emails on this website and check the P.S. section of the Welcome email!) ...

The mess you’re in right now

Let’s take one of your struggles right now on your way to becoming a professional writer. It may be craft-related. Or fear-related. Or business-related. Too little time. Struggling with creativity. Or with access to the right people. Whatever it is ...