#writerswednesday: Inspirationen, Musen und Impulse

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#writerswednesday: inspirationen, musen und impulse

Hey, meine Lieben,

eine der Fragen, die mir oft gestellt werden, ist folgende:
“Was inspiriert dich?”
oder auch
“Wo findest du Inspiration, wenn du dich absolut nicht kreativ fühlst?”

Dem Klischee folgend, müsste ich nun sagen: Ich finde in allem Inspiration, die Welt ist voller Wunder, wenn du nur die Augen öffnest.

Und auch wenn da eine tiefe Wahrheit drin liegt, bin ich nicht klischeehaft genug, um es einfach so, ohne weitere Informationen dabei zu belassen.
Außerdem denke ich, dass es an der Zeit ist, denjenigen Wertschätzung entgegenzubringen, die die Inspiration entzünden, die mich zum Schreiben bringt.

Also ja, dieses Leben, diese Welt bietet allerhand, aus dem man Inspiration ziehen kann, angefangen von einem frischen Wind am Morgen, der Gerüche mit sich trägt, die das Gedächtnis bewegen und dafür sorgen, dass man an einen bestimmten Menschen oder Moment aus seiner Kindheit denkt, worüber man dann reflektiert. Die Katze, die elegant aufs Sofa springt und die man beobachtet und von der man lernt. Es kann das Wetter sein, eine Blume, die Nachrichten, etwas, was man sieht, hört, berührt oder mit einem oder vielen seiner Sinne wahrnimmt.
Die Liste würde tatsächlich seeeeehr seeehr lang werden und das menschliche Gehirn ist komplex genug, um dafür zu sorgen, dass man oftmals gar nicht mehr so genau weiß, woher denn nun dieser inspirierende Impuls kam, wisst ihr.
Aber manchmal kann man auch sehr genau bestimmen, woher die Inspiration kam.
Und ich würde sagen, es gibt bestimmte Aspekte, die in mehr oder minder regelmäßigen Abständen die kreativen Ecken des Gehirns durchströmen.
Unter anderem:
* Menschen
* aufgeschnappte Gespräche und Gesprächsfetzen
* Emotionen
* Umgebungen
* gesellschaftliche Beobachtungen

Gehen wir der Reihe nach vor: Menschen

Es gibt Menschen, die mit ihrer Weltanschauung, Einstellung, ihrer physischen Präsenz und ihrer Aura einfach dafür sorgen, dass man abrupt alles stehen und liegen lässt, was man gerade tut und die einen in eine Sphäre voller Ideen und Kreativität ziehen. Man will einfach nur zuhören, beobachten, ja man will sie einatmen, ein Stück davon sich einverleiben, diese Energie verschlingen.
Es gibt diese Ansicht, Kreative seien wie Vampire, die die kreative Energie aus ihrer Umgebung und den Menschen saugen.
Oder diese Pullis mit dem Aufdruck “Vorsicht, du könntest in meinem Roman landen” (Ich gestehe: Ich wollte immer einen davon haben, haha)
Und es ist tatsächlich nicht zu weit hergeholt, dass wir oft aus dem Zusammentreffen und dem Austausch mit anderen Inspiration ziehen.
Was mir an dieser Vampir-Idee missfällt, ist der Eindruck, dass wir die anderen etwas berauben würden, ihnen etwas wegnehmen würden. Also ja, tun wir, irgendwie, aber ich persönlich versuche zu vermeiden, einen leeren Tisch zu hinterlassen. Deswegen bemühe ich mich immer sicherzustellen, dass ich genügend selbst mitbringe, damit es ein fruchtvoller und beidseitig inspirierender Austausch für beide Parteien wird.
Ich möchte diesen Moment hier gern nutzen, um meine Dankbarkeit gegenüber den Menschen auszudrücken, die ich treffen durfte und die meine Gedanken und mein Gemüt bewegt haben, mich zum Nachdenken brachten und dafür sorgten, dass ich in kreativer Ekstase explodierte.
Ich bin dankbar und ich will, dass ihr wisst, dass ihr etwas besonderes seid.

Kleiner Exkurs:
Oftmals gibt es zwei Typen von Menschen: Diejenigen, die denken, dass das, was sie mit an den Tisch bringen niemals für eine Inspiration reichen würde. Und jene, die denken, sie seien so inspirierend, dass man bereits ein komplettes Buch für sie verfasst haben müsse.
Lasst mich euch was sagen: An diejenigen, die denken, es reiche nicht: Wenn ein Künstler euch ein Gedicht, einen Text, ein Bild sendet, das ihr inspiriert habt oder was durch eine Interaktion mit euch erst den nötigen Zündstoff bekommen hat, wertet es nicht als Kompliment. Wertet es als Ausdruck der Wahrheit, dass ihr besonders seid, dass ihr inspiriert und dass ihr vermutlich mehr Kraft in euch tragt als euch gerade bewusst ist.
An jene, die denken, sie verströmten so viele großartige Impulse: Wenn ihr die Werke eines Künstlers, den ihr getroffen habt, anschaut, hört doch bitte auf euch ständig in jedes winzige Detail selbst hineinzulesen und für euch zu beanspruchen, ja? Das führt nur zu Frustration, wenn sich herausstellt, dass nicht ihr sondern jemand anders es war, der den Künstler zu diesem Werk inspirierte. Und wenn ihr jemals einen Künstler inspiriert, dann seid euch bitte bewusst, dass das etwas besonderes ist.
Tut mir leid, wenn ich das hier mal kurz anführen musste, aber manchmal macht mich diese Arroganz wahnsinnig. Außerdem tut sich dadurch auch eine weitere Frage auf:
Würdet ihr auch ein Werk für euch beanspruchen, wenn es hässlich, roh, rau, gemein und schmerzhaft ist?
Jeder will die Blumen und die bezaubernden Blüten der Schönheit, aber wisst ihr was? Selbst wenn ihr ein kritisches, gemeines Gedicht voller Schmerz lest, das ihr inspiriert habt, dann ist es immer noch etwas besonderes, vielleicht eine Ehre, weil ihr die Gefühle des Künstlers so sehr berühren konntet, dass er darüber geschrieben hat.
(Ich weiß, klingt seltsam, aber nehmt euch mal einen Moment Zeit, um darüber zu reflektieren)

Zurück zur Dankbarkeit: Gibt es bestimmte Menschen, zu denen man immer gehen und sicher sein kann, dass man mit neuen Ideen nach Hause geht?
Ja und Nein.
Es gibt Leute, die die Tendenz haben, einen wieder und wieder zu inspirieren. Das sind die Menschen, die ich Muse nennen würde. Und ich bin mehr als dankbar, dass ich die Chance hatte, solche Menschen zu treffen.
Nicht viele, einen bestimmten, aber es ist ein sehr wertvoller Schatz, den ich besonders schätze.
Aber ich käme nicht auf die Idee, diese Person für den reinen Zweck der Inspiration auszunutzen.
Entweder kommt es natürlich oder eben nicht.
Zumindest ist das meine Einstellung dazu. Und es hat auch mit der Verbindung zur Muse zu tun, dass man sie schätzt und respektiert, indem man sie nicht ausquetscht wie eine Zitrone.

Bedeutet das nun, dass wenn enge Freunde von mir mich nicht zu einem Gedicht oder Text inspirieren, ich sie weniger liebe?
Ganz klar: Ja, natürlich! Wozu sind sie gut, wenn sie keine Eingebungen liefern?!
Ich mache selbstverständlich nur Spaß. Natürlich sagt die Anzahl an Gedichten, die ich für, über oder an euch schreibe etwas über unsere Verbindung aus, aber es sagt nicht unbedingt etwas über die Intensität der Liebe, die ich für euch oder andere empfinde, aus.
Es gibt Millionen Gründe und Milliarden Arten jemanden zu lieben, und ja, es ist eine spezielle Verbindung, die man mit seiner Muse hat, aber nichts davon “stiehlt” die Liebe aus meinem Herzen für Leute, für die ich noch nie etwas geschrieben habe.
So wie man sagt “Die Schönheit einer anderen Frau, nimmt dir nicht deine weg” oder wie auch immer dieser Spruch im Original exakt heißt, so ist es auch mit der Inspiration.
Es gibt also keinen Grund, sich in einem Wettbewerb zu ereifern oder sich mit anderen Leute, die Werke inspiriert haben, zu vergleichen.
Da werden Prozesse in Gang gesetzt, die der Künstler selbst manchmal gar nicht im Detail beschreiben kann. Es ist. Einfach so. Es ist.
Nichtsdestotrotz sollte man es nicht als selbstverständlich hinnehmen, wenn einem ein Werk gewidmet wird, auf der anderen Seite sollte man es ebenfalls nicht persönlich nehmen, wenn es nur eins oder kein Werk gibt, das man selbst inspiriert hat.
Das bedeutet nicht, dass ihr keine Bedeutung habt und vor allem bedeutet es nicht, dass ihr nicht geliebt seid.

Es gibt diese Aussage, man kann von jedem lernen, zur Not wie man nicht sein oder es nicht machen will.
Dementsprechend kann Inspiration sowohl aus den “positiven” als auch den “negativen” Erlebnissen und Begegnungen gezogen werden.
Aber oftmals bevorzugen wir natürlich das gute und positive Gefühl des Wortes Inspiration, als dass wir die Möglichkeit in Erwägung ziehen wollen, dass Momente und Menschen, die uns nicht ein Gefühl von einem Leben voller honigsüßer Milch vermitteln, ebenfalls zu Kreativität führen können.
Aber lasst mich euch was verraten: De Profundis von Oscar Wilde wäre niemals geschrieben worden, wäre er nicht von jemandem, den er geliebt und als Partner betrachtet hat, verraten und verkauft worden.
Heißt das nun, dass wir Leiden und Schmerz suchen sollten, um ein großartiger Künstler wie Oscar zu werden?
Naja, wir könnten darüber diskutieren und ich hab dazu echt viele Gedanken, aber ich denke dazu eignet sich ein separater Post oder ein anderes Format besser.
Wollt ihr darüber reden? Also meine Antwort ist ja.

Damit dieser Post nun aber nicht zu lang wird, empfehle ich euch, mich auf meinem Balkon zu besuchen, damit wir da dieses Gespräch fortführen können.
Ich sag Bescheid, wenn der Gedankenwust dort seinen Ausdruck findet.

Wie seht ihr das? Was ist eure Meinung?
Was inspiriert euch? Was inspiriert euch an Menschen?
Könnt ihr es wirklich auf den Punkt bringen und an bestimmten Charakterzügen, Ausdrücken und Bewegungen festmachen, was euch inspiriert?
Teilt eure Gedanken mit mir in den Kommentaren.

Auf bald, meine Lieben

xx

#writerswednesday: Inspiration, Muses and Impulses

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#writerswednesday: inspiration, muses and impulses

Hey my dears,

one of the frequently asked questions I get asked is:
“What inspires you?”
or
“Where do you find inspiration in a phase when you’re absolutely not creative?”

Cliché would say: I find inspiration in everything, the world is full of wonders, you just have to open your eyes.

And although there is truth to it, I’m not cliché enough to let it stand like that without any additional information.
Besides that I think it’s time to give credit to those that spark inspiration and help me write.

So, yes, this life, this world offers so much that you can draw inspiration from, starting with a fresh wind in the morning transporting smells to you that set your memory in motion and make you think about an event, a person or a moment of your childhood for instance that you then reflect upon. Your cat jumping elegantly onto the sofa and moving in a dainty way and you observing her to learn. It can be the weather, a flower, the news, something you see, hear, touch, perceive with one or many of your senses.
Yes, the list would get really really long and the human mind is complex enough that probably you yourself won’t be able to trace back each and every spark of inspiration that just lit the lamp in your head, you know.
But sometimes you can determine exactly where the inspiration came from.
And I’d say there are several elements that quite frequently touch upon the creative corners of the mind:
* people
* overheard conversations
* emotions
* surroundings
* social observations

We’ll take it step by step: People

There are people that with their worldview, their attitude, their physical appearance and presence just make you stop whatever you’re doing and draw you into a sphere full of ideas and creativity. You just want to listen, to observe, yes, you want to inhale them, take a bite, devour this energy.
There is this notion that creatives are like vampires that suck out the creative energy from people and their surroundings.
Or these sweaters that state “Careful. You may end up in my novel.” (I always wanted to have one of these tbh, haha)
And it’s not too far off to say that oftentimes we draw inspiration from the encounters we have with other people.
What I don’t like is the idea of vampire in the sense that we take away from another person. We do, kind of, but I personally try to avoid leaving the table empty, so I make sure I bring something myself, that way, an exchange and a fruitful mutually inspiring place is created for both parties.
I’d like to take this moment to express my gratitude towards the people I was allowed to encounter that moved my mind and made me think, feel and explode into creative ecstasy.
I’m grateful and I want you to know that you are special.

Little excursion:
Oftentimes there would be two kinds of people: Those that think that what they bring to the table would never inspire anyone. And those that think they are so inspiring that you should have written a whole book for them already.
Let me tell you something: To those that think they don’t bring enough, when an artist sends you a poem, a text, a picture, they created because of the fire you or the interaction with you ignited, don’t take it as a compliment. Take it as the truth that you are special, inspiring and that you harbour more power within yourself than you probably know.
To those that think they’re giving so many great impulses: When you watch the works of an artist that you encountered, stop trying to read yourself into it and claim it yours, it will only end up in frustration once they tell you that it wasn’t you but someone else who lit that idea. And if you ever inspire an artist, know that this is something special.
I’m sorry to say that, but sometimes this cockiness drives me mad and raises another question: Would you also claim the inspiration for an artwork if it was ugly, rough, hurtful, nasty?
Everybody wants the flowers and the blooming blossoms of beauty, but you know what? Even if you encounter a critical, nasty poem full of pain, that was based on you, it’s an honour, cause you moved their emotions enough to make them write about it.
(I know it sounds weird, but let that just sink in for a moment.)

Back to gratitude: Are there specific people that you can always go to and be sure that you’re gonna go home with new ideas?
Yes and no.
There are people who have the tendency to inspire you again and again. These are the ones I’d call a muse. And I’m more than grateful to have been allowed to meet people like these.
Not many, one specifically, but it’s a precious treasure that I value a lot.
But it wouldn’t make me try to exploit that person for the sheer sake of inspiration.
Either it comes naturally or it doesn’t.
At least that’s my attitude towards it. And it is also connected to valuing and honouring your muse by not squeezing them like a lemon and leaving them empty.

Now, does that mean if some of my close friends don’t inspire me, that I love them less?
Obviously, yes! What are they good for if they don’t lit a lyrical lamp?!
Just kidding, of course the amount of poems I write for, to or about you does say something about our connection, but it doesn’t necessarily say anything about the intensity of love I feel for you or about the love I feel for others.
There are a million reasons and a billion ways to love someone, and yes, it is a special connection you have with your muse, but none of it takes away the love my heart harbours for someone I’ve never written a piece for.
Just like the saying “The beauty of another woman doesn’t take away your own.” or however it goes, it’s the same with inspiration.
So there is no need to compete or to compare yourself and the amount of works someone produced for or about you to the works someone else inspired.
It’s a process set in motion that sometimes the artist themselves can’t describe in every detail. It just is.
Nevertheless, don’t take it for granted, but also, don’t feel bad if there’s is none or just one piece of art you inspired.
This doesn’t mean you have no meaning, and it surely doesn’t mean you’re not loved.

There is this saying that you can learn from anyone, even if it’s only what you don’t want or how you don’t want to be or want to behave.
So, inspiration can be drawn from “positive” encounters, as well as from “negative” encounters.
But often we’d prefer the feel good vibe of the word inspiration than reflecting upon the possibility that even moments and people that don’t makes us feel like cakes and cherry pie can lead to a spark of inspiration. We like this idea of being a positive impulse for our surroundings, and true, it’s nice. But let me tell you something: De Profundis by Oscar Wilde would have never been written, had he not been betrayed and sold by someone he loved and thought of as a partner.
Does this now mean we need to search for struggle and suffering in order to be great artists like Oscar?
Well, we could discuss that and I have many thoughts on this topic, too, but this would rather be dealt with in a separate post or in an additional format.
Would you like to talk about it? Well, my answer is yes.

Now, before this post gets too long, I recommend you join me on my balcony to continue this chat.
I’ll announce when the random rambling and prolific ponder is on.

How about you?
What inspires you? What inspires you in people?
Can you pinpoint it down and put a finger on specific traits, expressions, movements that ignite inspiration in you?

Please let me know in the comment section below.

So long, my dears.

xx

#socialsaturday: Idols vs. Inspiring People

#socialsaturday: Idols vs. Inspiring People

Hey my dears,

there is something that I have had on my mind for quite a while now and I thought it’s about time to tackle the topic.
So, today we’re gonna talk about the concept of idols and inspiring people.

Why? Well, first of all, because I consider it interesting and as this is my virtual space here… but moreover, because I think it’s an up to date topic, especially in times like these, where social media is as popular as it is.

According to the Oxford Dictionary idol has the following meaning:

and according to the same source, inspiration has the following meaning:

As a creative you’re often asked “Who are your idols?” or at least I have the feeling that this question pops up from time to time. Or the other way round, creatives stating who their idols are.
On the flip side, the question “What inspires you?” comes up frequently as well.
And I can’t help myself but feeling the urge to make a distinction between both. (Which is also supported by the fact that the dictionary makes a distinction.)

To go a bit deeper, I personally have a slight rejective feeling towards the word idol, as for me, it has a connotation of wanting to be like one’s idol or even worse, being them.
And now taking the definition into account, it also has this aspect of God and worship, and yes, I know it’s said that humans were build in the image of God, but I don’t know…
Let’s take an example: I love Oscar Wilde’s works. I adore his writing style, his subtle social critique and I read about his personal life as well.
But would I call him my idol? No.
Because that for me would imply that I wanted to write like him, be like him, which for me includes a bit of being a copy cat or neglecting my own potential, talent and not searching for my own voice as a writer.
And sorry, Oscar, but I do not consider you a God. (Although we tend to say things like “Gosh, this man is a GOD.” and yes, colloquially everybody knows what’s meant by that, but in serious terms… no.)

Even if we take someone else as an example, maybe less male and less dead (God bless him), I wouldn’t call Elizabeth Gilbert for instance my idol. Sorry, Liz.
I really loved reading her books, some of her approaches caused a click moment in my brain, made me think and took my thoughts down other roads that I didn’t perceive before.
But that’s what I’d call an inspiration. Not an idol.
Because, with all due respect, I wouldn’t like to swap my life for hers.
And I guess that’s the greatest part within the process of distinction I’d make.

Don’t get me wrong, I loved meeting her on a reading tour in Germany for her book Big Magic* two years ago and I was really touched when my question was one of the last ones and she took her time and even asked a little more to understand my question correctly before answering.

*Hi, Liz, if you read this, I was the girl asking about how to know when it’s fear trying to take over and when it’s your intuition telling you not to do it because it’s better for you. (I took the leap of faith and did it, overcame the weird feelings, put myself through it and the outcome wasn’t as great, so my intuition was right, but I consider it a good lesson in many ways and I’m still more than grateful for your advice and words.)*

Okay, back to the topic, my friends.
I consider her an inspiring person, in terms of writing, in terms of being a person.

But with all the movements I perceive on social media, I get a little worried that these two terms get mixed up a lot and people call youtubers and influencers inspiring when they are actually treating them like idols, not questioning the actions of said person, but tending to follow their example and just do the same.
And this uncritical worshipping is what worries me a lot.

Suddenly, you get up at 5 a.m. because your idol does and you go to the gym because your idol does.
Which is nice. Nothing against early birds and gyms.
But did you question whether it fits your individual body type? Whether it fits your schedule?
Maybe you’re the type of person that is better at working out later, maybe you’re the type of person that needs to sleep 8 hours, but your idol just needs 6. And this doesn’t mean that you’re bad and your idol’s better.
It just means that you’re different. And guess what: That’s okay.

Maybe you start eating like your idol, but your body type is different and within a certain time span you realise that you have low or no energy and wonder why.
And one of the worst things that happens then is the comparison between you and your idol, leading to the assumption that you are weak, worse or incapable of achieving what your idol achieves.
So it leads to a negative self perception.
And isn’t that weird? Odd?
That’s why I say idol for me includes a bit of this aspect of copying.

If the same person I just called your idol, we now call an inspiring person. What would change?
Well, you’d watch your inspiring person get up at 5 and maybe you’d try it too and realise that 5:30 is better for you.
Your inspiring person starts their day off by going to the gym, you try it, too, but you realise you’re slow in the morning, need your breakfast, and working out in the afternoon after finishing work, is much better for you.
You read a book of an inspiring author and this takes your thoughts on different roads, you play with words like they do, but you take the inspiration you got from them and mould them into something that fits your personality, character and nature, instead of just copying.
That way you have a tendency to grow, to find something out about yourself, your body, your time management, your writing voice, which in turn has a high tendency to lead to a positive self perception. And there is no need for comparison between you and the person that inspired you.

Taking the above mentioned definitions into account, inspiration has a divine quality, as the divine influence is mentioned.
But this doesn’t mean that you worship the inspiring person like a God. But that you perceive the divine spark that they were maybe touched by and that they now radiate into the world.
It is also connected to breathing in, inspiration.
But you know what, breathe in. Through the nose.
Do you think you absorb e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g that is included in the air? No.
There are a million little filters, that do their job, before the inhaled air reaches your innermost parts.
And if you apply that onto inspiring people, it’s quite similar.
You inhale this inspiring thought, but it runs through your own little million filters before reaching the spots deep inside of you.
And these filters are your critical approach, your own opinion, your personality, character, tendencies, preferences, etc.

So, don’t get me wrong, I don’t dub anything as good or bad, I just came across this topic and it has been lingering on my mind for quite a while and after having had a conversation about this topic, I decided it was about time to let this be my first #socialsaturday post. Thanks for the inspiration, mate.

As long as you keep your critical perspective, it might be okay to have an idol, I just worry about this copy cat components that I perceive sometimes when scrolling through social media.
I myself am more than grateful for all the inspiring people I was allowed to meet on my way, be it in person as Elizabeth Gilbert, or on paper, like Oscar, be it my closest friends, my creative crew, or just a stranger I had an inspiring conversation with.

As these thoughts are just thoughts and not set in stone perspectives, please let me know your thoughts on this topic!
You already know my creed inspiration through communication, so please delight me with your divine sparks.
Feel free to comment or send an email or slide into my DMs on instagram.

Enjoy your weekend.

x

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

#writerswednesday: Tips for Creativity & Inspiration

#writerswednesday: tips for creativity & inspiration

As there are many creatives out there in different fields, be it photography, film making, writing, singing, acting, modelling, dancing, painting, whatever, I realised that often they are confronted with the same or similar problems.
Some of them being in the direction of the following:

* I’m not in the mood, I don’t know where to go with my art, it feels useless what I’m doing
* I have the feeling that I’m just repeating and reproducing what I’ve already done
* I have too many ideas and my mind is all over the place so that I feel like getting actually nothing done

These and similar thoughts I myself have encountered, but I also heard them quite frequently from other creatives, as by now I know quite many of them.
That’s why I’d like to share some advice with you. And this is not just for writers or photographers or other creatives.
Creative comes from create and therefore, any task that creates something can be seen as a creative task.
Be it gardening, redecorating your home or something else.
To cope with all these negative, limiting and blocking thoughts, I’m gonna share some tips with you that helped me all along the way of my creative path.

1. Take a break, have a coffee*. Consume art.

* can be substituted by anything you like, tea, whiskey, chocolate, cake…

When you feel like not being in the mood, like having all these ideas in your mind but they don’t mould into the next great piece of art, leave it. Let it take a rest. Don’t let inspiration run away, but give it a little time.
If you feel like being really blocked from it, it can also help to consume a lot of art to get into your own flow again.
As a writer, read. And read a lot.
As a photographer or model, watch a lot of pictures, follow other models/photographers and get your inspo board refreshed.
As a film maker, watch a lot of movies.
As a cook, read recipes, watch cooking shows or youtube videos.
The list could go on like that now, but I think you already got it.
This is not to say consume a lot in order to copy, but in order to get your inspiration back on track.

2. Sit down. Turn your phone off. Produce.

When your mind is so overflowing with ideas that you’re loosing track and you always think “I don’t know where to start.” this is gonna be lethal to your inspirational flow.
Instead, sometimes, although it feels like sh*t, just take the next best thing on your list (or if you already prioritised, take the top priority), sit down and get something done. Just start.
Or if you feel totally lost, like nothing great is coming out of your mind, take one thing that has been on your to do list for a quite a while or take a small creative task and push it forward.

As Picasso said “Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working.”

So, if you’re missing inspiration, it’s not necessarily gonna come while you’re contemplating about not having inspiration, you know.
In most cases, negative thoughts create a negative environment, so why should inspiration feel invited?
Create an invitational environment for inspiration and keep on working!

3. Try something new.

If you feel like you’re stuck in a rut and you’re only reproducing and repeating things that you already did and you tend to be bored by yourself and your art, just try something new.
Again, this is not to copy someone else, but if for instance you’re a writer of romantic stories and you’re completely stuck, try to write, dunno, a detective story or something from a different genre. Just to see whether you like it or not, to challenge yourself and to keep your mind in your creative field but with a different perspective.
This can also add to your own authentic voice, because maybe you find out that you actually like this genre, or parts of it or even that you don’t like it at all. It doesn’t matter. Either way it’s gonna show you something about you and your art and work.
For me, I realised that the #sundaystory helped a lot with this. It is challenging to combine the prompts to something coherent and as the mood or tone or genre is given as well, sometimes they are completely off my normal field of creative work. But I consider it exciting and really refreshing to use my skills in a different genre and to learn and grow with it.
Of course, this also works in other fields, cook something new, wear a combination of clothes that you haven’t worn before, style yourself in a manner that you’ve never styled yourself before in, take photos of things that normally don’t attract your photographic attention, etc.
Just try something new. It’s refreshing and helps you grow and learn.
About you. About your work. About your art.

4. Communicate. Meet friends. Chitchat. Share. Exchange.

One of my creeds and believes is “Inspiration through communication”.
Oftentimes while chatting with close friends, business partners and strangers, this exchange gives me impulses that hit a spot that was untouched before. And sometimes a good conversation is all you need to get you back on track again.
More often than not, when my mind is overflowing with ideas and I don’t how to prioritise them or whether they make sense or not, calling my best friend and chatting with her over a nice cup of coffee is the best thing I can do.
It’s not only her input, although it’s a beautiful input and I feel blessed to have such great friends, but it’s also that while you’re talking to someone else, you’re also talking to yourself and in that moment you shape things in a manner that you weren’t able to when everything was just in your own head.

5. Take yourself on a date.

As much as communication and conversation with people can be inspiring and give you impulses, as much is it important to take some time just for yourself. And no, darling, I don’t mean you on your own, glued to your phone, having a ton of chats open and still communicating with others.
I mean you, yourself and you again.
And when I say take yourself on a date, I really mean it.
Don’t go to the laundry service alone with a cuppa to go and call it a date, ok?
Don’t cheat!
I really mean, if you were another person taking yourself on a date, what would it look like?
Would you go to a restaurant? A cafe? To the cinema? Taking a long walk in a park?
Whatever you consider your dream date to look like, don’t wait for anyone, treat yourself to it.
Sometimes you would find me in a cafe with a cup of coffee and a piece of cake, mostly with my paper notebook or my laptop or a book to read, enjoying some time alone, just doing things that I love and that inspire me.
And no, no, no, I don’t do it to have a cute picture to post on instagram.
I mean yes, you caught me, that happened too, but I don’t go there in the first place to promote and advertise dating oneself on social media, you know. If I do so, I do it because I’m in the mood.
One of the things that I also love doing is getting up early in the morning, when the streets are still quiet and drive into a city, any city that I like, and walk the streets, watching all the details of architecture for example, taking pictures of the rising sun between houses or a beautiful flower on a wall or anything that captures my attention and that I therefore want to capture too. It’s really an intensive feeling taking a walk alone and watch a city waking up.
Sometimes I also take a walk in a forest or in a park or at a sea, whatever I feel like. And yes, a lot of the times I’m talking to myself.
I mean, hey, this is a date, huh? And normally we do talk on dates, don’t we?

General advice: Disconnect.
In many cases it’s a good choice to enjoy these moments disconnected from emails, social media and chats.
This is not a necessity, but it helps you refocus on what’s important to you without comparing yourself and your art to others and their work. And this gives you more freedom in your mind to work on your very own business.
You can still share the pictures you took, the things you’ve done, the experiences you made later on, but grant yourself a little time to really feel them inside of yourself.

I hope these tips and advice gave you some impulses on how to get yourself and your creative energy flowing again.
Of course there are many more things that I could put on this list and I might make a series out of it, but right now, I don’t want to bore you until the last spark of inspirational flow ran out by reading a blog post that was waaaayyyy too long.

Plus, guess what I’m gonna do? Yup, I just heard some coffee call my name. Can you hear it, too?

Insight into Labelled Love: Terms

On Instagram there is this #6wordchallenge and a fellow writer, @joshuacallawaypoetry challenged me to participate.
I ended up having more than one inspiration, but one was actually taken from one of the chapters of Labelled Love, a little bit modified, but nevertheless.
So, instead of just using it on insta, I thought, I’m going to share the whole chapter with you to set it into context.
Enjoy the read, my dears 😉

Terms

Stamps, labels, scales, measurements.
This seems to be the way we understand the world, our surroundings.
In her life, she was allowed to experience the miracle of unconditional love.
A love without conditions.
Without thinking “I love you, but…”, or “I love you, but only if you…”.
The universe had allowed her a glimpse on the utmost and only truth: Love.
A small glimpse, the rush of a moment and since then, she understood that she was able to love someone without expectations, without ‘buts’ and ‘ifs’.
That was why she revolted against stamps, scales, measurements and labels. They just didn’t matter to her.
Once she had discovered that she loved him, that was the only thing she needed to know.
Where would it go from there? Would she be defeated? Tricked and fooled again? Would she fly too high and fall too hard?
She banished those fearful thoughts and exchanged them with the only reasonable answer or contra question possible:
What does it matter? Does it matter at all?
If she fell, she’d get up again. This might be the most stupid and risky or the best and most moving idea ever. Anyway, it would be an experience.
Truth or dare? She dared the truth.
And she was rewarded by the soft words of a smart young man, who didn’t care about labels either. He told her that the term ‘relationship’ was what they both would define it as. And that they would discover this definition together in time.

Gina Laventura©2014

Happy (Chinese) New Year and Thank You!

Dieser Beitrag ist auch auf Deutsch verfügbar

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Photo & Editing: freshandjuicy

My dears,

I am utterly, utterly sorry for not having posted for so long.
And I know I have said that a hundred times before, but as plain as it sounds: sometimes life comes in between!
I had planned so many blog posts and thoughts I wanted to share with you and I am well aware that I still owe you two sundaystories.
But I hope you will be kind with me and understand that I was just too busy and too many things happened all at the same time, so I had to set priorities and work my way through a whole lot of to-do-lists and tasks. And although art and writing is definitely a priority in my heart, other matters had to be put first.

I felt terribly sorry and even told a friend “now that I have gained some new readers who even show interest in my blog and interact with me, I let them down” and he said I shouldn’t worry and that my readers probably would be patient and understanding and caring and kind and that they would be happy when I finally post again.
So, I hope he was right.

I won’t promise to publish a bunch of blog posts right now, because I prefer making promises that I can keep and as it is still a turbulent time for me with loads of things to do, I don’t want to disappoint you by not finding the time to blog.
But I promise that all the posts I had planned will be published bit by bit and I hope you find something interesting, enjoyable and inspiring in it.

Well, I haven’t made it to post at New Year to wish you a wonderful start into a hopefully successful and amazing new year, but at least I made it to Chinese New Year, which started on the 8th February.
It will be the year of the Red (Fire) Monkey and is said to become an interesting, adventurous year with many chances to achieve goals.
So, I wish that this year will hold its promise for you and that you find the strength to set out and achieve the goals you’ve set yourself!

Remember when in my Christmas Post I invited you to count your blessings on Christmas Eve?
Well, of course I did the same and I think it is a beautiful way to end one year and step into the next: Being aware of and thankful for one’s blessings!
This is why I’d like to say a big

to all of you.
To the ones of you, who have followed and accompanied me from my first blog steps to the relaunch, through texts and videos and photos to the publishing of Labelled Love.
I am thankful for my family and friends who support me in all my endeavors.
I’m thankful for all the inspiring people I was and am allowed to meet and for the remarks and moments that brighten my days and keep me going.
Some examples (as shown in the picture):
Once an acquaintance wrote me a message, saying something along the lines of “I’ve just read your blog and I love your story Reflection” followed by one of the remarks that has stuck with me ever since: “Your art matters.”
Or when I was having a really bad phase and a million things happened at once and I was struggling and one of my closest friends asked what was wrong with me and I answered something like “Everyone reaches their limit at some point” and she replied “My free spirit Gina has no limits!”.
Or when another one of my closest friends bought my book and when I said that she doesn’t even read in English, she said “but it’s written by you and I want to display it on my shelf because I’m proud of my friend”.
Or the moment when I advertised my first book being published on social media and a former close friend hit the ‘like’ button and I had to smile, because we had known each other eight or ten years before “One day” (the day I published) and I always said “One day I’m going to publish a book”; it was as if my words were remembered and hitting the ‘like’ button somehow said something like “Well done, girl, I knew you would.”. Despite my critical point of view of overrating ‘likes’ and the like, this was a moment it actually meant something.
The moments when someone says that they read my blog and liked it or when people send me inspiring and motivating quotes or ask for more entries to keep me going; the moment one of my favorite poetry slammers (Patrick Salmen, the first slammer I ever saw on stage and the reason I still go and watch slams) started following me on instagram; the moment I was allowed to see Elizabeth Gilbert, the author of Big Magic, a book I love, live and even ask her questions; the moments I’m able to collaborate with other creative people, like writers, dancers, actors, directors, photographers and videographers; the moments you guys read and like and comment and interact with my work; the moments I’m allowed to be connected to creativity and experience inspiration.
I could list at least twenty more examples, but I’m going to leave it at that.
Thank you!

What is it that you are thankful for?

I think it is important to sit down once in a while and really take the time and list the things we love, appreciate and that we are thankful for.
And to communicate them.
That is what I’d like to invite you to: Think about it, count your blessings, list them (in mind or on paper), communicate!
Tell someone what you appreciate in them, tell someone that you love them, tell a stranger that you find their aura astonishing, tell yourself something nice.
Life is too short not to spread the love.
Namaste.

To provide you with a sweet little appetizer of what is planned for the next blog posts (please, give me some time):
* Two book recommendations
* Some tipps for creativity
* Two sundaystories I still owe you
* Another game of #sundaystory
* At least three further blog posts on diverse topics
* Text and Image collaborations telling stories through visuals and lyric
* Further projects, still to be planned in detail 😉

Any preferences how I should prioritize? Any other ideas?
Hey, it’s New Year with goals to be achieved: Let me know, is there anything you’d like to see here and what you’d be interested in?
Comment here or send me an email or a message on Facebook.

All the best and loads of love.

Gina.

Frohes (Chinesisches) Neues Jahr und Danke!

This entry is also available in English

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Photo & Editing: freshandjuicy

Meine Lieben,

es tut mir unglaublich leid, dass ich so lange nicht gepostet habe.
Und ich weiss, das habt ihr schon hundert Mal von mir gehört, aber – so blöd, wie es auch klingen mag –: Manchmal kommt das Leben dazwischen.
Ich hatte so viele Beiträge geplant und Gedanken und Ideen, die ich mit euch teilen wollte und ich bin mir sehr wohl bewusst, dass ich euch noch zwei Sundaystories schulde!
Aber ich hoffe, dass ihr mir verzeiht und Nachsicht habt und Verständnis dafür aufbringt, dass ich einfach zu beschäftigt war und zu viele Dinge auf ein Mal passierten und ich Prioritäten setzen und mich erst einmal durch einen ganzen Haufen von zu erledigenden Dingen ackern musste. Und auch wenn die Kunst und das Schreiben in meinem Herzen definitiv eine Priorität einnimmt, so musste ich doch zunächst andere Dinge voranstellen.

Ich hatte ein furchtbar schlechtes Gewissen und sagte sogar zu einem Freund “Na toll, gerade wenn mehr Leser sich für meinen Blog interessieren, lass ich sie fallen”, woraufhin er meinte, ich solle mir keine Sorgen machen und meine treuen Leser brächten sicherlich Verständnis dafür auf und würden sich freuen, wenn ich denn dann endlich wieder schriebe.
So hoffe ich nun, dass er damit Recht hat.

Ich werde nicht versprechen, dass jetzt in nächster Zeit eine ganze Menge Posts online gehen werden, denn ich bevorzuge es, Versprechen zu geben, die ich auch halten kann und da es nach wie vor eine turbulente Zeit für mich und eine Menge zu tun ist, will ich euch nicht gleich wieder enttäuschen, wenn ich es dann doch nicht schaffe.
Aber ich verspreche, dass ich die geplanten Beiträge Stück für Stück und nach und nach veröffentlichen werde und hoffe, dass sie etwas Interessantes, Schönes und Inspirierendes für euch beinhalten.

Zwar habe ich es nicht geschafft, zu Neujahr zu posten und euch ein tolles, aufregendes und hoffentlich erfolgreiches neues Jahr zu wünschen, aber immerhin habe ich es nun zum chinesischen Neujahr geschafft, was am 8. Februar begann.
Es soll das Jahr des Feueraffen werden, was viel Dynamik, Veränderung und die Option zur Erreichung eigener Ziele bereithalten soll.
So wünsche ich, dass dieses Jahr für euch sein Versprechen hält und ihr die Zeit, Kraft und Muße findet, eure Ziele zu erreichen!

Erinnert ihr euch, als ich euch in meinem Weihnachts-Post dazu einlud, dankbar für all die schönen Dinge im Leben zu sein?
Natürlich habe ich das auch selbst getan und ich denke, das ist eine wundervolle Art und Weise, das eine Jahr zu beenden und das neue zu begrüßen: Sich all der guten Dinge bewusst werden und dankbar dafür sein.
Deshalb möchte ich heute ein ganz großes Danke

an euch alle aussprechen.
An diejenigen, die mich seit meinen ersten Blog-Schritten begleiten, über den Relaunch bis hin zur Veröffentlichung von Labelled Love.
Ich bin dankbar für meine Familie und Freunde, die mich in all meinen Vorhaben unterstützen.
Ich bin dankbar für all die inspirierenden Menschen, die ich treffen durfte und darf und die Bemerkungen und Momente, die meinen Tag erhellen und mich weitermachen lassen.
Hier ein paar Beispiele (wie im Bild angedeutet):
Ein Mal schrieb eine Bekannte von mir mir eine Nachricht, die in etwa sowas sagte wie “Ich habe gerade deinen Blog gelesen und ich liebe deine Geschichte Reflection” gefolgt von dem Satz, der mich seither begleitet: “Your art matters.” (Deine Kunst ist bedeutsam)
Oder als ich eine schwierige Zeit hatte und verwirrt und ausgelaugt war und eine meiner engsten Freundinnen mich fragte, was los sei und ich so etwas sagte wie “Jeder gerät mal an seine Grenzen” woraufhin sie antwortete “Mein Freigeist Gina hat keine Grenzen!”.
Oder als eine weitere meiner engsten Freundinnen mein Buch kaufte und als ich anmerkte, sie lese doch gar nicht auf englisch, sie entgegnete “Aber du hast es geschrieben und ich will es in meinem Regal zur Schau stellen, weil ich stolz auf meine Freundin bin”.
Oder der Moment, in dem ich die Veröffentlichung meines Buches in den Social Media Kanälen bewarb und ein ehemaliger guter Freund ‘like’ klickte und ich lächeln musste, da wir acht oder zehn Jahre vor “Eines Tages” (dem Tag, an dem ich publizierte) befreundet waren und ich immer sagte “Eines Tages werde ich ein Buch veröffentlichen”; es war als hätten diese Worte nachgeklungen und das ‘Like’ sage so etwas wie “Gut gemacht, Mädchen, ich wusste, du würdest es tun.”. Entgegen meiner kritischen Meinung gegenüber der Überbewertung von ‘Likes’ und ‘Clicks’, war das tatsächlich ein Moment, in dem es etwas bedeutete.
Die Momente, in denen jemand sagt, er habe meinen Blog gelesen und es habe ihm gefallen oder wenn Leute mir inspirierende und motivierende Zitate senden damit ich weitermache und mehr schreibe; der Moment, in dem einer meiner liebsten Poetry-Slammer (Patrick Salmen, der erste Poetry-Slammer, den ich überhaupt auf einer Bühne sah und der Grund, warum ich nach wie vor zu Slams gehe) anfing mir auf Instagram zu folgen; der Moment, in dem ich Elizabeth Gilbert, die Autorin von Big Magic, einem von mir heiß geliebtem Buch, live sehen und sogar meine Fragen stellen konnte; die Momente, in denen ich mit anderen kreativen Menschen wie Schauspielern, Autoren, Tänzern, Fotografen, Regisseuren und Filmemachern zusammenarbeiten darf; die Momente in denen ihr, meine Lieben, lest, kommentiert und mit meinen Werken interagiert; die Momente, in denen ich mit Kreativität verbunden und Inspiration erfahren darf.
Ich könnte noch mindestens zwanzig weitere Beispiele listen, aber ich belasse es nun hierbei.
Danke!

Wofür seid ihr dankbar?

Ich denke, es ist wichtig, sich ab und zu mal hinzusetzen und sich bewusst zu machen und aufzulisten, was man liebt, zu schätzen weiss und für was man dankbar ist.
Und das auch zu kommunizieren.
Dazu würde ich euch gern einladen: Listet all diese Dinge ein Mal (im Kopf oder auf Papier) und kommuniziert sie!
Sagt jemandem, was ihr an ihm schätzt, sagt jemandem, dass ihr ihn liebt, sagt einem Fremden, dass ihr seine Aura beeindruckend findet, seid gut zu euch und sagt euch selbst etwas Aufbauendes und Liebevolles.
Das Leben ist zu kurz, um die Liebe nicht zu verbreiten.
Spread the love.
Namaste.

Um euch einen kleinen Vorgeschmack auf das zu geben, was für die nächsten Einträge geplant ist (bitte gebt mir etwas Zeit):
* zwei Buchempfehlungen
* Tipps für Kreativität
* zwei Sundaystories, die ich euch noch schulde
* eine weitere Runde #sundaystory
* mindestens drei weitere Einträge zu diversen Themen
* Text- und Bildkollaborationen, die Geschichten durch Optik und Lyrik erzählen
* weitere Projekte, die noch im Detail geplant und ausgefeilt werden müssen 😉

Irgendwelche Präferenzen, wie ich priorisieren sollte?
Hey, es ist Neujahr mit Zielen, die zu erreichen sind: Lasst mich wissen, ob es irgendetwas gibt, was ihr hier gern sehen würdet und was euch interessieren würde!
Kommentiert hier, oder schreibt mir eine E-Mail oder eine Nachricht bei Facebook.

Alles Liebe.

xx

Gina.

Creating Controversial Content

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Photo & Editing: Dave Greensmith, 2012

Controversial content can raise awareness, right?
Often it does.
A “Fuck” in the title is almost a guarantee for clicks and reads, isn’t it?
And when you utter a controversial sentence, you can assume that a huge discussion will break loose, right?
Controversies polarise and that’s why they often gain attention.
That’s why many people use controversies on purpose.

I once created controversial content.
But not on purpose.
I created content. The story Underground.
And back at that time (still on the old blog) I got a response to it.
A response that showed me that I actually had created controversial content without being aware of it.
Suddenly, when reading this comment, I was confronted with a critique of this story, because the comment criticised the headscarf that is mentioned.
It was said the headscarf was a sign of oppression through the patriarchal system.

My first reaction to that?
“Sh*t, I need to delete this story, it’s controversial and bears the potential to polarise.”
I was shocked because I didn’t expect this controversy to arise from this story.

But you know what the good thing about a critical comment is?
It makes you shift your perspective onto the very thing you created.
Because what happened next was that I started arguing for the story, like I would defend my argument when it comes to literary analysis.
So I was wandering through my room with a cup of tea in my hands and hold an imaginary dialogue, or monologue, and said
Well, first of all, neither is the headscarf condemned nor is it glorified in this story, second, don’t read too much of the author into the work, as it’s only the character’s perception described, thirdly, take a postcolonial reading to it and you will see that Orientalism is at work here, as the character associates exactly the attributes to the woman that can only stem from an Orientalist point of view, like “I smell a thousand scents of the Orient, spices and perfumes, bodies and wood, sand and the sun.”. Furthermore, this aspect is even criticised in the story when it is said “[…] I want to listen to two thousand and two stories told by her.”, which aims at showing that still the stereotype of “1001 Arabian nights” is at play here, because although the amount of stories is doubled they are still limited, which shows a critical claim that the Occidental point of view is limited and doesn’t grant the woman of Oriental origin an unlimited number of stories. On the other hand, the story also shows a disappointment raised by the fact that the perception is shaped and therefore somehow limited to a certain extent, when in the end it is said that “And I will never know her stories. And she will never know that I wrote one about her.” after the two characters separate. So, it shows the sadness that those two characters and their perception of each other and of themselves will never be as close as they could have been.
This was just a little excerpt of the monologue, but I hope you can see what I mean.
Had there not been this critical comment, probably I would never have changed my perspective on the content that I myself created.
Because, to be honest, everything mentioned in this monologue had not been in my mind while creating this story, only after receiving the critical comment and when I started arguing and discussing my own work was it that I could read more into my own work and engage differently with it.
And today I’m glad that I didn’t delete it, and I’m thankful for that critical comment, because it opened my perception towards a new perspective.

It still didn’t make me want to create controversial content on purpose, but I think it helped me overcome the fear of putting something out there that might be controversial or have critical comments as a result.

It was a perfect example of inspiration through communication and I invite you all to think about it.
I invite you to overcome your fear of putting yourself or your work out there because someone might criticise it.
Critique can be a great chance to change perspectives, to see more, experience more, and it is an interaction between you and your audience, but also between you and your work.
I’m not saying “try to take sh*t from the naysayers as something good”, no, please don’t.
But if it is a constructive critical comment, don’t be afraid of engaging with it.

So long, my dears.
Be kind, spread the love.
Be creative. Be yourself.