BELA LAMPERT

Yoga Instructor
Optioned Screenwriter

A Surefire Way to See If You’re Stressed

The mind is the master and the body is the slave. This means, the mind commands and the body tries to obey as much as it can. When we're stressed, what happens is (in a simplified way) that the mind sends stress signals to the body and the body prepares for some kind of emergency. The problem with this is that the mind often sends stress signals to the body without us realizing it. And over time this makes us unhappy, tense, and even sick. So, how can we spot if we're unwillingly stressing the body and wearing us out? There are a few but one of the most obvious and therefore easiest to spot is our breath. When you're relaxed, your breath is steady and calm. When you're stressed it's not. It can be irregular, pressed, weak, ...

Following Success Models

If you're not completely new to writing and you're just starting out (which you won't be if you've read at least a couple of my emails or blog posts) chances are up until this point you've already received quite some writing advice from other people. The thing with advice is this: Most people tell you what THEY would do instead of what they think would be the best for YOU. They give advice coming from the circumstances of THEIR life instead of trying to understand the circumstances of YOURS. Another problem about receiving advice is that many people give advice about things they don't really know. There is a difference between knowing something from a book or from experience. So, the next time if you receive advice, question the intentions and the perspective of the one giving advice. BTW, I've seen so many bad advice in open screenwriting groups on the internet, it's unbelievable. So, in case you happen to be in one of them, no matter what the advice is, there is a high chance it's absolute nonsense. And not only that, if you follow it, it may even hurt your writing career badly. Try to get advice from people who are where you want to be. Who have done what you're trying to achieve. They're harder to find but it's worth it. And yes, sometimes it costs a little bit of money. But that is still much better than relying on wrong advice for free. A suggestion when you're in the position of GIVING advice:...

The Windscreen Wipers Exercise

The problem with our mind constantly firing (partly random) thoughts at us is not that those thoughts exist. The problem is that we let ourselves be affected by them. When you write, concentrate on the writing. Let the thoughts be there, it's okay that they are. But just stay on course. It's like when you're driving in your car. It's raining and you have the windscreen wipers on. You don't follow the windscreen wipers, don't you? You would go left and right and eventually veer off the road. You see the windscreen wipers, you notice them. They're going left and right in front of your eyes, but still, if you stay focused on the road they can do their thing and you do yours. And you're going to be fine. It's the same with your thoughts. Accept that they're there, but don't let them affect you or disturb you. Don't let them lead you off the road. Not letting yourself be distracted by random thoughts is a big step towards being more creative and productive. How to train yourself to react less to your thoughts?[claim][cta] ...

The Problem With Familiarity

We tend to accept and seek things that are familiar to us. Because we are already used to them. But we can learn to become used to other things. But first we need to see that the things we are used to have nothing to do with us. They were with us for a time and they can continue doing so. The things that are familiar to us now were once new to us. And we can choose to keep doing new things and keep enriching our lives.. How to become comfortable outside of "familiarity"?[claim][cta] ...

The Things You Don’t Do

Deep down we already know how to become better. How to become the person we want to be. What steps to take in order to become a professional at what we want to do. How to become friendlier, more relaxed, at peace with ourselves and the world. Whatever it might be, if we listen to ourselves and are really honest, we know. But the mind tricks us all the time. Makes us question our decisions. Fears flare up again. It's so hard to stay on track and to do all the things that we "should" do. Yes, it is. But there is another way. Why not, instead of beating yourself up, trying to accomplish everything, and at the end of the day feeling bad because you left out a few, try it the other way round. You're used to making TO DO lists, right? So, instead of filling up that list, why not make a DON'T DO list? A really short one. The DON'T DO list is for things, obviously that you do but don't want to do. For example, complaining. Put on your DON'T DO list, 'don't complain'. Just for one day. Try it out. It's only one thing, so you're not inundated with tasks you should do. And when you really accomplish not complaining, not even a single bit, for one day, that's a huge thing. And you will start feeling the positive effects of that really fast. Another example, about your writing. If you're used to worry when you're stuck (which is normal), you could put on your DON'T DO list...

What If Your Assumptions Are Wrong?

When did you hit the last roadblock in writing? A place where you came to a point that you still needed to figure out? Today? Yesterday? Every day? It's a normal part of writing. If we had it all figured out from the beginning it would be a pretty boring story, most likely. The problem with story development can be that we take certain things as given and we don't question them. We only thing inside of the realm of things that we have set in stone. When you confront a story problem, try to liberate you from the things you think need to be as they are. Because maybe they're not. Maybe there is something about your protagonist that you always saw one way or another, but if you free yourself from that - albeit just for a moment, all kinds of possibilities will open up. Allow yourself to question everything. It's the same in life, by the way. Growing up we learn certain things, get accustomed to other things and after some time we think that's our truth (often based on opinions of others): I can't dance, I can do this but not that, I'm not pretty enough, lahdidah… You believe what you make yourself believe. A friend of mine was told all her life she can't sing. Until she tried it out. And she realized, not only COULD she sing, she also liked it a lot. Question your assumptions - and whole new worlds of possibilities will open up for you. How to learn to spot...

What Writer’s Block Really Is

This is according to my experience. Yours might be different. I've never experienced writer's block. For a long time I wondered what it might be because everybody is talking about it all the time (which is the best thing to do if you want to HAVE writer's block, keep it at the forefront of your mind all the time). I've had periods where I didn't write for different reasons. And, thinking about them in hindsight, I think i DID experience something that others would call writers block, it's just that I didn't see it that way. And here is why. There was a time when I didn't write because I didn't feel well. I felt I need energy for other things, mainly for myself, for my physical and emotional wellbeing, and so, I made a conscious decision to let it go for a while, not knowing if I would return to doing it (spoiler: I did). During this writing break it would have been impossible for me to be creative because my mind was on other things. My focus was different. My energy level was insufficient. What happens when you don't have enough energy, the little bit you have left is used up by all the important tasks. Staying alive, basically. Creativity comes later. So, the way I see it (and having gone through this experience), what many people call "writer's block" has nothing to do with the writing. It has to do with everything else BUT the writing.  The "writer's block" is caused by all the things that are...

The Promise On Your Cover

If you go to a book store and pick a book, you will make a great percentage of whether you buy a book or not based on the cover. When you browse through Netflix, how do you decide which movie or series to pick? Again, I bet, your decision will (in part) depend a lot on the artwork and maybe the trailer. Why is that? Because there is a promise. The book cover promises a certain tone. So do the artwork on Netflix and the trailer. What kind of genre is this going to be?Who is the main character?Can I identify with the problem of the main character or, if not, am I still interested in seeing how it plays out?Is this a world I would like to be a part of for a while? These are promises you make to the audience. So, when you develop a story, it pays off to think about that promise. How clear are you on that promise? What is missing? What does your audience expect? Don't shy away from asking a few people about their opinion but keep in mind that YOU are the one making the decisions.  As soon as you get clear on your promise, refer back to it while your writing. Everything that goes into your story must have something to do with that promise. Of your audience will be disappointed. Don't know what your promise is yet? Go and brainstorm it without judgement. Just put down every idea that comes to mind and evaluate them later. Being judgemental throughout the...

What Being Overwhelmed Really Means

We feel it all the times. Being overwhelmed. There is so much to do. Get your writing done. Post on your instagram. Check the newsletters. Continue with that screenwriting or online marketing course (or whatever it is). Oh, and take care of the family. The kids. Maybe the parents. Read more than you do. Eat healthier than you do. See your friends more often. ...