Tag: creativity

“writer’s block” by Lauren Mottel

Cursor blinks at me innocently

Upon the Times throne it resides.

Expectant, it waits for prose

from marionette hands.

Epiphany strikes,

castling queenside.

Cursor reigns;

Pawned, I


Happy National Poetry Writing Month! Often affectionately referred to as NaPoWriMo, the month of April serves to celebrate readers and writers alike with the optional creative challenge of writing a poem a day for its 30-day duration. It was this time last year that I had stumbled upon one of these daily prompts to compose a nonet. This type of poem required the specific format where the first line has nine syllables, the second line has eight, and so forth until you reach the last line, which would be just one syllable. Prompts such as these are one of the many reasons I enjoy poetry and creative writing. With the purposeful placement and selection of specific words, if not syllable) — all to evoke heart-soaring, quiet, twisting, triumphant, and resonant emotions—with such tenderness and care, it is very hard not to be enamored by a poet’s craftsmanship. In my humble, nerdy opinion. The untapped potential and overwhelming multitudes of possibility are what makes a blank page all the more exciting and dreadful at the same time. 

Therefore during last April, I was inspired by my intensive rewatch of The Queen’s Gambit and by the mockery of slow progress on an assignment (most assuredly was not an Honors project or anything… definitely just a typical report…) to compose the nonet for the NaPoWriMo prompt. I found that writer’s block, if not writing itself, is acutely similar to a match of chess. Each move and paragraph is purposeful in building upon its prior movements to achieve a desired narrative, whether that’s checkmate or a defense of a three-point thesis.

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“Thinking Outside the Box” by Jenny Gloyd

I have been told probably a million times to “think outside of the box.” The old idiom has merit in encouraging creativity, allowing your mind to wander outside set limits, and return with something truly wonderful. It has brought us great inventors such as Thomas Edison and innovative thinkers such as Erwin Shrödinger. I encourage everyone to work on developing this level of ingenuity, but I want to see if we can redefine the meaning of this old saying for our lives at the current. Can we instead think outside of the four corners of our laptop screens?  Continue reading

“How To: Start Your Own Podcast” by Abhigna Rao

I’m just going to say it: podcasts are the greatest digital media development since sliced bread! Okay, okay, that’s a matter of opinion–and sliced bread isn’t digital media. That being said, the realm of podcasting has been rising in popularity over the last several years, and whether your interests lie in politics, literature, mental health,  sports, current affairs, chat shows, or anything in between, you have likely given an episode a try on Spotify, Audible, or another streaming platform. Maybe you’re an avid podcast listener already, or maybe you’re still looking for just the right one to jump into–or perhaps, you’re even considering starting your own.

Well, guess what? I had the coolest opportunity to have a hand in starting up a podcast just a few months ago (more on that later!), and for anyone who has been thinking about doing the same for a while or just looking to pick up a new hobby over the upcoming breaks, here are my tips on how to get started. Continue reading

“The Art of Solitude” by Lauren Mottel

For as long as I can remember, I have had this underlying feeling of curiosity in my bones, an itching to create—in whatever form it may take—and a large part of that feeling came from school. I read any book in sight and tried to pick up on storytelling. I would peer at the dance of light on a fruit bowl and transfer that to still lifes for middle school art class. I analyzed iambic pentameter in English class and composed my own poems with their own heartbeat of a  rhythm. Constructed stories out of Spotify music playlists, tried my hand at photography—quite literally anything. However, as I grew older, my class schedules left less room for the arts in exchange for a looming tower of labs and lectures. Yes, I will admit, the standard essay for English 110 and colloquium or lab reports may do the trick sometimes, yet other times I can’t help but feel creatively stifled, and over time this feeling can build quite dangerously. 

There’s a certain restlessness with being idle for too long, now more than ever in this quarantine; it’s a very acute feeling, as if your fingertips tremble with the ghost of a twitch. By the same token, there are times where you can’t help but feel the weight of this quarantine as loneliness. As someone who has danced along the precipice of burnout more frequently than preferred in my very young life thus far, the desire to be productive being blocked by such a weight can be very debilitating. Yet with the two together, restlessness and curiosity, one can begin to reframe that loneliness as quiet solitude. To me, there’s a drastic difference between the two. From my perspective, loneliness has always been something that grew from insecurities and relentlessly ate at my mental health, draining color from life, whereas solitude is isolation willingly taken up, a time for self-reflection and expression when you have the time to notice the different shades of green in the garden, the rhythm of your breathing, or the way branches dance in the wind—life’s colors become brighter. The difference between the two is awareness—awareness of the life around you—and with restlessness and curiosity, it stimulates a desire to create something that can imitate and immortalize that life in whatever form necessary. Continue reading

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