Writing the landscape of your soul.

Infinitely Obscure: Guidance / Writing the landscape of your soul.

 

Do you ever get the feeling that you would recognise a writer by their texts? Even when subjects and themes vary, there’s something distinctly them about their writing, and sometimes it’s so obvious that you only have to read a paragraph to recognise who it’s by.

 

 

Infinitely Obscure: Guidance / Writing the landscape of your soul.

In my mind, the landscape of my soul will always be a place.

I think one of the most recognisable characteristics in a writer’s texts is the quality of their soul. In Finnish, we sometimes refer to this quality as sielunmaisema, which literally translates to ‘the landscape of the soul’. It could be your general character, but in my mind, the landscape of my soul will always be a place. Today, I want to share that landscape with you.

This place sets my heart on fire – what ignites your soul? 

 

Infinitely Obscure: Guidance / Writing the landscape of your soul.

 

The landscape of my soul is present in my grandparents’ house. If people are made of stardust, then parts of my stars must have fallen in that place. Everything seems to fall into place there. It is a getaway that infuses my soul with possibility and inspiration.

 

Infinitely Obscure: Guidance / Writing the landscape of your soul.

 

Infinitely Obscure: Guidance / Writing the landscape of your soul.

 

Each day spent by the landscape of my soul shapes me as a writer. It’s a place I find myself revisiting in my plays, in my novel drafts and poems.

 

Infinitely Obscure: Guidance / Writing the landscape of your soul.

 

Infinitely Obscure: Guidance / Writing the landscape of your soul.

 

But how do you approach explaining the landscape of your soul to others? You don’t. You only write it into every word. In fact, it’s impossible to escape your landscape – it is that horizon behind your eyelids, that overwhelming feeling of home.

When you look back at your writing, where does the landscape of your soul reveal itself? Is it in the settings; in the people, in the words they use, or in the songs they sing? You claim truths in your works – what are they?

I find myself writing my landscape as though I was on the verge of losing it. My landscape is in the places where my characters hide. It’s infused in their names and in their values. It shines in the claims I make of this world.

 

Infinitely Obscure: Guidance / Writing the landscape of your soul.

 

Infinitely Obscure: Guidance / Writing the landscape of your soul.

What places awaken your writer’s soul? Where do you feel most alive, most creative? 

Show me your landscapes in your Instagram. Use the hashtag #writetheworldmorebeautiful and tell me about the landscape of your soul – and feel free to tag me (@infinitelyobscure) in the description so I get notified. I can’t wait to see where your stars have fallen.

4 powerful affirmations to live by, inspired by my grandparents.

Infinitely Obscure: Leisure / 4 powerful affirmations to live by, inspired by my grandparents.

If you’ve ever visited my Instagram, you will have noticed that my favourite place in the world is my grandparents’ house. It’s the place from where I draw my inspiration; where I can get away from the hustle and bustle; where I feel at home. It’s also where I’ve heard some of the greatest pieces of advice anyone’s ever given me.

Now, grandma and grandpa don’t set out to give me any life-changing advice, but every so often they’ll say something they take for granted, and I’ll write it down so I never forget it. Some of these sentences have even turned into affirmations to live by. I tell myself them to encourage myself. They make me a better artist, a better writer, and a better person. I want to share these sentences with you.

They might be a little weird, because they weren’t meant to be inspirational quotes or anything. That’s what makes them so powerful to me. They’re everyday sentences that have taken on a bigger meaning than originally intended. I hope they can inspire your life as an artist as they have inspired mine.

So, here are 4 powerful affirmations to live by, inspired by my grandparents.

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10 delightful weekend activities to charge your creative mind.

Infinitely Obscure: Leisure / 10 delightful weekend activities to charge your creative mind.

Friday – sweet, beautiful Friday. As much as I love my work, I also love taking days off to charge my creative mind and prepare for the upcoming week. Proper relaxation is the key to staying creative and inspired.

Even if you have to work this weekend, remember to take some time for yourself. Any little moment will do. Do things that make you happy and for that precious moment, forget about your responsibilities. They will still be there when you’re relaxed and more ready to tackle them.

I came up with some weekend activities to help you charge your creative mind. Treat them as suggestions, but please: don’t set yourself up with a massive to-do list for this weekend. Let your mind rest and find yourself more creative as the result. (And yes, that includes the things on this list. Don’t treat it as a set of tasks to be accomplished.)

Here are 10 delightful weekend activities to charge your creative mind.

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The Infinitely Obscure writer’s manifesto.

Infinitely Obscure: My art / The Infinitely Obscure writer's manifesto

Today, I thought I’d want to share something different. I’ve read wonderful things about creating a writer’s manifesto, and having read other people’s manifestos, I wanted to give it a go. It was very liberating to get the words down on paper; to express why I do what I do in the way I best know how.

I hope this manifesto will inspire you like it inspires me. I hope you connect with my thoughts and share your own writer’s manifesto with all of us – recognising why you write will breathe new life into the process. I can guarantee it.

So here it is: the Infinitely Obscure writer’s manifesto.

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25 playful “What if” writing prompts.

Infinitely Obscure: Guidance / 25 playful "What if" writing prompts.

“My inspiration tends to come from two words. The two most important words to a writer: “What if?”” -Beth Revis.

As a writer, I adore What if -questions. They give you freedom to experiment, to be goofy, to be serious. They can lead you down paths you never would’ve taken otherwise. I’ve found them the most lucrative form of writing prompts.

“What if?” is a simple question, yet it can expand to hundreds and hundreds of possibilities. And what’s most fun is that different writers will interpret the same question differently. The beauty of what-ifs is that there are no right or wrong answers.

Today, I want to share 25 playful “What if” writing prompts with you. Let them spark your creativity. Let them lead you somewhere mysterious. Let them transport you to another reality and explore them to your heart’s content.

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The gentle guide to productivity for writers.

Infinitely Obscure: Guidance / The gentle guide to productivity for writers.

I’m not sure how I feel about the word ‘productive’. Sure, it has some nice meanings behind it, and when we talk about it, we mean well. But I also know that being productive isn’t worth everything. When I tried to get things done as efficiently as possible, I ended up with a calendar that didn’t give me any space to breathe, as well as anxiety about things that still needed doing.

In short, being productive is extremely useful – it’s a sign that you’re approaching your passion like a profession, and that’s the first step to becoming professional in that area. So yes, you should definitely strive for productivity.

But no, you should not strive for productivity above everything else. I think humans are excellent at pushing themselves to their limits, and creative people do that probably on a daily basis. So, when planning out tips about being more productive, I also wanted to pay attention to being gentle.

Set yourself achievable goals, but do it gently. Don’t grind your teeth together and think this is something you just have to muddle through somehow. That way lies nights of desperation and days filled with constant anxiety.

Here’s my gentle guide to productivity for writers.

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A day in the life of a writer.

Infinitely Obscure: Guidance / A day in the life of a writer.

One of the things I worried about becoming a writer was that I’d feel lonely. I didn’t want to be cooped up inside, while everyone else was enjoying their freedom outside in the open air. Yes, I really did think I would turn into a dusty ball of loneliness.

I’m glad to say that’s not what happened at all.

Since I’ve started approaching writing like a job, I’ve found that my life is full of opportunities to meet new people and network. Sure, a lot of the work includes sitting in front of the computer in solitude, but I don’t consider myself lonely at all.

Today, I want to share what a day in the life of a writer could look like. This is just one of my days from this week, and while every workday is a little different, I wanted to show you what kinds of things you can potentially do as a professional writer.

So, here’s a sneak peek into a day in the life of this writer.

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Abandon fear of failure and become a better writer.

Infinitely Obscure: Guidance / Abandon fear of failure and become a better writer.

“I’m here to help you grow and remind you that stupid is fun and failure is rewarding.” -Grace Helbig

A couple of days ago, I found out that I didn’t get a work project I really wanted. I’m stressed out about money right now, so this felt like a major setback for me. After I’d finished wallowing, I started to think about it and realised that a) there are lessons to be learned from this failure, and b) fearing failure would’ve been useless.

Creative people are notoriously afraid of failure. But it’s not useful, because it can hold you back from failing. Yes, failing is so incredibly useful that you shouldn’t try to prevent it.

Failure doesn’t make you a less wonderful person, or a failure at everything you do. Failure can actually help you succeed. And because it is so helpful, I’ve learned that fearing it doesn’t really make sense.

But I know it’s hard to not fear failure. Here’s why you should abandon your fear and welcome failure to turn you into a better artist.

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How to work like an actor to electrify your writing.

Two years ago, I was pacing my bedroom in tears. My work-in-progress was going nowhere, and I needed something new to power my writing process. So I turned to the thing I know best after writing: theatre. The moment I started working like an actor was the moment that changed my writing forever.

Infinitely Obscure: Guidance / How to work like an actor to electrify your writing.

My experience in the theatre (as a writer, director, and actor) has always shaped my writing, and I believe these techniques shouldn’t stay hidden in the rehearsal room, when they can also be applied elsewhere. Today, I want to talk you through acting techniques that writers can easily borrow and adapt to electrify their writing process.

The techniques I’ll be talking about are:

  • Warming up
  • Interviewing your characters
  • Improvising
  • Performing to yourself

So, here we go: How to work like an actor to electrify your writing.

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15 exceptional resources for Camp NaNoWriMo writers.

It’s day 6 of Camp NaNoWriMo, which means you probably have a decent amount of words in already. For me, the one-week mark means that the honeymoon phase is over and the writing gets a little more difficult at this stage. So today, I want to share 15 exceptional resources for boosting your Camp NaNoWriMo (or any other) project.

Infinitely Obscure: Guidance / 15 exceptional resources for Camp NaNoWriMo writers.

Creating something new is a powerful event, and one that as writers we like to stay on top of. I struggle with my first drafts, because I constantly see things I want to change.

I’m writing the draft for myself, and I’m already thinking what my audience would think if they saw all the garbage I spit out on the page! But of course, no one is going to read your first draft but you. You don’t have to show your work to anyone until you’ve rewritten it yourself.

In theatre, we call mistakes gifts, because they often generate new ideas that work even better than what we were going for. So when you’re writing your first draft for Camp NaNoWriMo, go bravely towards failure – it might lead to something more magnificent than you could ever imagine.

But let’s face it – on occasion, you will need to look for inspiration, or just change your mindset for a moment to get a fresh look on your first draft. That’s what this list is for. Choose any site, visit it, and be prepared to feel inspired. (Psst! These are all resources that work just as well with other writing projects.)

Here are 15 helpful resources to inspire you this April Camp NaNoWriMo:

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