Brāno Drāno

First off, this article has nothing to do with the Drāno clog-busting product, but it has everything to do with clog-busting your brain and here’s what I mean by that. Creatives of all types face the ultimate fear of just stopping up. Whether you are a writer, a dancer, an architect, if your job has anything to do with creating something new, something transformative you become aware of the fact that sometimes ideas just stop flowing.

Gosh, don’t we just wish there was some type of Drāno safe to use on our brains that would get rid of whatever it is stopping our creative flow? Well, luckily there is an answer and you don’t have to pour anything into your brain pipes. (What are those?) Sometimes the optional, occasional coffee down your asophogus pipe is a good idea.(Because sometimes that’s all it takes.)

Let’s start with some of the reasons you might be facing this creative block. Some cases are more extreme than others but they can all be solved. Often times there is an external pressure such as a deadline or payment. In cases like these, unless you work great under pressure, we can find ourselves thinking I can’t do this or It’s not enough time. The reality is, the only reason these become excuses is because you’ve told yourself they are. This brings us right into internal pressures.

Negativity you place within yourself with statements like those or being in a hard place mentally in life or even being in a negatve environment physically can all cause these blocks. Now, at this point you may be nodding your head and thinking yeah, that sounds like me and realizing just pin-pointing the problem was all you needed to get your flow back.

If you still feel stopped up or just want to know this cure I’m talking about, then here it is, here is the simple draining product you need for your brain: creating. The idea of creating to be able to continue to create seems counterintuitive, but let me explain. Say you are looking at that blank page, canvas, envelope, rock, you’re looking at anything it is that you need to keep working on but can’t. Set it aside and pick up a piece of paper. Yes, no matter what you are creating or envisioning you just need a peice of paper and something to write with, no don’t use your computer unless you are physically unable to write.

Put that pen or pencil, black or green, no matter what you are writing with just start writing or creating. If you feel a pull to draw something then draw, if you have no idea what to start with try writing about your day. How has your day been? When you write about it do you notice anything you didn’t realize you hadn’t noticed before? The idea is to just keep going, keep writing, keep drawing, even if you stop for the night and get up the next day still feeling dry of ideas just keep creating.

Eventually, you will have something. It may mean only writing one sentence or drawing one circle before you get that amazing idea. It may be ten pages later or three sketches in that you find out what you thought you were working on as a distraction and solution to your problem may actually become your masterpeice. This is no gaurantee, but I must say, it has always worked for me. Even when it doesn’t feel like anything is going on up in that head of yours, we always have something going on in there. You may find yourself writing about your breathing pattern or the way the sun looks reflecting off the floor. It could be the smallest or strangest thing, but it helps. If this doesn’t work wonders for you, well, at least I helped distract you for a little bit. Here’s is to the best of luck. Get creating!

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Journalism 101: The Basics

Welcome to Journalism 101, a series where I will lead you down the path of becoming a journalist along with me. When I learn something new I plan on sharing it with you. Check out these first five basics I’ve taken in with me to the journalism world.

Beat Talk It Out of Them– Get your answers. If you ask to interview someone or simply try to initiate conversation, don’t let them brush you off. If they say no, just walk away. However, if they only seem uncertain, try to make your interviewee feel comfortable. Don’t push people to answer questions they don’t want to answer. If you go easier on them now, they might be willing to answer better questions later.

Prepare– Know what you want to ask ahead of time. Create a “skeleton” of generic questions relative to the person or event you areimage writing about. Don’t feel trapped to only those questions when it comes down to it. Always carry your necessities-
Voice recorder, camera, video camera, note paper, pens, folder, etc.

Be Branded– Have business cards or pens that state your basic contact/ business information so people you talk to know who you are and where to find your work. If people know who you are before talking to you and know they will be able to find the work you do later on, they will be more willing to participate in your research.

Have Initiative– Take the extra steps other people may not be asking you to take. When you go above and beyond without having someone else give you a push you get more of the credit, you get the bigger picture, and you get the better story.

Be Spontaneous– Don’t be too prepared. If they answer your questions unexpectedly, be listening so you can ask questions off the top of your head. Make sure your conversations are interactive and interesting. Keep in mind that you came prepared with a “skeleton” of questions. Once you get beyond your basic questions feel free to get the meat, muscle, and skin so you can build that strong “body” article.