Yoga Instructor
Optioned Screenwriter

why arguing too much might hurt your inspiration

They Just Don’t Get It

They Just Don't Get It I had a discussion with someone yesterday. It was basically about the fine line between self care and pushing yourself to produce creative output. It wasn’t a bad discussion at all but at some point I realized that the other person just didn’t get my point. He said he did, but it was clear to me that he didn’t. Maybe I didn’t explain it well enough, but maybe what I was trying to say just doesn’t exist in his world. This happens quite frequently. And often we confuse discussions with having to persuade the other people of our opinion, which is not the case. And not the point of this email. The point is that you argue from your perspective with the life experience you have. And that’s exactly what happened in the discussion I had. I argued from a perspective of having gotten through an experience that gave me a different view of things. And - in my biased, subjective view - apparently that wasn’t the case for the other person, so it would be appropriate to say that this point of view simply didn’t exist in the world of the other person.  And therefore that person couldn’t see my argument. The outcome? None. I said everything I could say on the topic and that was it. What was nice after the discussion, the other person got back to me over messenger (the discussion happened on a video call) and apologized to me because he thought he was too harsh on me. Which he wasn’t. We just had...

How to stay inspired in the wake of unfortunate events

Here Comes The Lesson

Not everything goes according to our plans all the time. Every now and then something happens that seems to be a setback, a failure, a bad turn of events, call it what you want. It’s one of those things that worry us because they don’t fit our fantasy of how things should go. This can be a rejection of a project of yours, maybe even after it looked so good and it went forward very well. Or a sudden change of circumstances at your workplace that you don’t like. A fight with a friend. Encountering unexpected story problems that seem to pull everything in question. Whatever it might be, our usual reaction might be to react very negatively to that event. To complain, be angry about the circumstances, maybe even blame someone. But very often (I’m not saying in 100% of the cases, although we probably will never know) these things either turn out to be positive in some way because the change leads us to a better place, or at least we learn something valuable through it. Or, maybe the problem resolves itself quicker and easier than we first thought, which makes all the anger and energy spent on complaining absolutely useless. It’s a good emotional exercise to try to see seemingly unfortunate turns of events as just what they are: changes circumstances nothing more. The negative aspect about them comes from our mind racing forward to the future and expecting that something bad will come out of this. So, don’t let it. Accept the change and see where it...

how to maintain balance instead of falling off again

Stick To Your Own Rules

Stick To Your Own Rules A couple of years ago I had a rough time. I couple of things happened in my life that led me into emotional turmoil and it was of little surprise that this started to affect my health soon. I was exhausted and I needed to take care of myself. So, I did that. I abandoned all unnecessary things for a while (also writing to be honest - at least for some time) and my only focus was on regaining strength and getting my life into balance again. And over time it worked. I feel much better now and I am a way happier person also. Going through all that made me learn a couple of important lessons about life and about myself. And while I could go on talking about several of those things at length, there’s a specific point I want to talk about today. Because when we feel unwell, it’s kind of easy to realize that self-care is necessary and we understand that we need to focus on that. Because the pain is big enough. But after some time when we get better, we tend to forget about all that (which in part is good because it doesn’t help anyone carrying around bad feelings forever), and we start to lose our balance again. When we feel good it’s tempting to abandon our diet plans, do less exercise, overextend ourselves again, fall back into the same bad habits we had before. And in part that’s normal.  Maintaining equilibrium doesn’t come without effort. If you try to balance...

kill your babies

You’re Never Done

You're Never Done I think it was John Lasseter from Pixar who said once, “movies are never finished, they’re just released”. I think there’s a lot of truth in that. Creative works have a life of their own. We as creators will always find something that can be better, that can be different, that can be changed. In part that’s because the more we work on it the more ideas we get about what other possibilities we have apart from the choices we already made. But in part it’s also because we keep developing as writers and creative people. If we finish a work today and then take a look at it again in maybe two years, our point of view will inevitably be different because of the things that happened in between. In some way, we  will be a different person in two years so it’s understandable we will find different ways that we could make it better or give it a new perspective. That’s all well and good and very normal. But it shouldn’t keep you from finishing your work. Your work will never be “perfect”, it’s best to come to peace with that. And that’s okay. It doesn’t have to be. You work is what you wanted to express during that time that you worked on it with the skill set you have or had. Finish it, and do the next one. If you struggle with finishing, set yourself a deadline. But make it a realistic one. Set it, make a plan on how to get to it, what steps you need to...

when the dung adds up

When The Dung Adds Up

When The Dung Adds Up There is a saying in German, it goes a bit like this: “Little livestock also creates dung.” What it refers to is the fact that over time, little things start to add up and therefore shouldn’t be neglected. And this, of course, is valid for positive and negative things. And, it is something that I have neglected for far too long. When I started out writing, I tended to trying to create the perfect writing environment for me before I could start. I had to be calm and in the mood, without distractions, in a place that I like, knowing what I wanted to work on, have at least an hour or more time, and so on and so forth. But over the years, can you imagine, how much time I lost, just by waiting until the circumstances were perfect? I’ll never know but it reminds of an english expression, “leaving money on the table”. What I did was leaving time on the table, so to speak. It took me a while to learn that it doesn’t help to wait for inspiration to come in order to get to work. It’s the other way round. But also, that I should take more advantage of the little times lots I can find here and there. If you break it down, writing is taking thousands of decisions, very little ones. So, why not use little time for one or some of those little decisions. Or even just a couple of notes. Or making just one sentence better. Or one paragraph. Everything...

keep the spirit

Keep The Spirit

Keep The Spirit Yesterday I passed my Spanish exam. It was an advanced level exam and yesterday in the evening I thought back to the time when I had the with to learn Spanish someday and when I started out.  That was 7 years ago. So, yesterday, after having passed, I realized that this marks a big milestone for me. I started out without knowing where it would bring me, I just wanted to see if I would like it. And I just kept at it and never stopped. I didn’t even put that much work in. Or at least, that’s what it feels like. But then, work doesn’t feel like work when we like that we do. I just tried to dedicate a little time every day to it, sometimes as little as just 10 minutes. A reminder of the shortcut of all shortcuts to get wherever you want to get: just never stop. But that’s not even what I wanted to talk about today. I wanted to talk about something else. Yesterday, having passed the exam, I felt great, proud of myself and I felt how good that did me. For a time all worries about the future, about things that could go wrong are gone. No thinking about what to do in order to get further, how much competition there is, if and when I’m ever going to reach my writing goals, and so on and so forth. For a while everything seemed fine. But then, today, the next day, I feel different. I still feel good about the success of my...

how to focus on positive outcome

The Other Possibility

The Other Possibility There are certain things and situations we tend to shy away from. Either because of bad experience or because they don’t correspond to our natural preference. Whichever the case, in those situations it’s easy to anticipate a negative outcome, and it’s understandable. We don’t feel good about that upcoming situation and so our mind automatically anticipates that it might be a negative experience. The thing is, if we focus too much on that, that it’s going to be unpleasant, most likely just because of that, that’s what it’s going to be. Because we’re so convinced that it’s going to go bad, that we won’t perform well enough, that we’ll make mistake, that others won’t like us, and so on and so forth. The list of things that could go wrong is endless. But did you think about the other possibility? What if things actually go well? What if you actually can enjoy being in that situation (or at least in part), if you open yourself up to it and allow it to happen? If we keep reinforcing our negative feelings about the same things over and over, over time it’s going to be very hard to get out of that because we’re constantly, subconsciously looking for things to confirm our fears. But that’s not necessary. Imagine a situation that you always fear, or in which you tend to feel uncomfortable. It might be a pitch, a job interview, getting feedback on your writing, whatever it is. And then, imagine yourself being absolutely comfortable in this situation and understanding, that there is...

own the place

Own The Place

Own The Place A while ago I was working for a company (as a day job) and did some marketing stuff and other work for them. The problem was that the offices were in a style that might have been modern several decades ago and in terms of interior design it was among the dullest and I’d ever seen. When I was there, sometimes I felt like all the creative energy that I had was being sucked right out of me. But that was also a good exercise in focusing on the task and not getting distracted by my surroundings. We all have places that we like more or less to write and create. That’s normal. Some places naturally inspire us while others, well...

How to make tasks ridiculously simple

How To Make Tasks Ridiculously Simple

How To Make Tasks Ridiculously Simple You know that feeling, right? You sit down to write, or to work on something else, and you’re just struggling with moving forward. The work you do seems hard, it doesn’t flow and there doesn’t seem to be an end in sight. What often happens when we write or work on other stuff is, that we are way ahead with our thoughts, thinking about things, or worrying about things that are not - or not yet - relevant. An example. You work on your script or book on a specific part and it’s just hard, you can’t seem to make any progress. That may be because while you’re writing you’re also trying to solve other things at once, e.g. you’re trying to write “well”, you’re thinking about what others will say about that, you’re thinking about if the pieces will fit together in the end, you’re thinking about new story problems that turn up and so on and so forth. If that happens, what you’re doing is you’re mixing up different processes and try to solve them at once. Most of what we write doesn’t have to be in a brilliant quality at the time that we write our draft (that’s why it’s called “draft”), nor does it have to solve all the problems at once. Just take it once step at a time. If writing a sentence is hard, ask yourself, why that is? I’m sure 99% of the time you’re making your task more complicated than it actually is. Everything is simple to...