You’re two weeks into the new school year, and the summer haze still cloaks you like a dense fog as you stagger from one classroom to another. Writing a simple sentence feels awkward, and the pen in your hand seems like a foreign object. Your hand slowly regains mobility with every inky stroke, but you soon realize that with the pace you’re going, it’ll probably take you the entire afternoon to write a passable paragraph about Canada’s role in the War of 1812.
If this scenario sums up the struggles you’re facing now as you readjust to being a student again, we’re here to assure you that what you’re going through is perfectly normal. Who can blame you? Summer days are filled with lazy afternoons and carefree outings with friends. Immediately diving into creative work after two months of summer vacation is not always an easy thing to do.
Creativity is ignited by inspiration, so if you allow yourself to be fully aware of your surroundings, you’ll find inspiration everywhere you turn. Yes, your snoring grandfather, who is taking his third nap of the day, is inspiring! He is the protagonist of your greatest story to date about an 85 year-old man suddenly awakened by a thunderous knock on the door. An old friend he had kept a secret from his family has come by for an unexpected visit, and Gramps is not happy about it.
Now, we here at The Literary Tutor understand that the hardest part of starting an activity is taking the first step. So, if you don’t know where to begin your search for inspiration, we’ve come up with three simple and enjoyable ways to reawaken the creative genius in you.
Read about the life of an inspiring person.
After reading about the lives of history’s most fascinating people, you will realize that many of them began their journey to greatness after being inspired to create change. They were inspired by a voice in their heart encouraging them to be best person they can be so they can help others along the way. This little voice exists in all of us. This means that you (yes, you!) have the potential to be as great as Steve Jobs, J.K. Rowling, or Pablo Picasso. You only have to listen to that little voice inside you urging you to use your talents to bring light to the world.
A book that we highly recommend is Malala Yousafzai’s autobiography “I Am Malala.” At the age of 17, she became the youngest person to receive a Nobel Prize for her activism. Despite nearly losing her life at the hands of the Taliban, she continued to fight for her dream of seeing every girl around the world thriving in school. Now she is recognized around the world for her passionate and unrelenting spirit, and her advocacy for girl’s education is now an international movement.
Inspiring, isn’t she?
Watch young people speak with passion.
When a person speaks passionately about a topic they’re interested in, it’s contagious. They teach us how to speak eloquently about ideas that excite us and encourage us to work up the courage to speak to a large crowd. If a passionate speaker is not around, there is an abundance of inspiring videos you can watch online. Here are some of our favourite TedxTeen videos we’d like to share with you:
forget the conventions of writing and free-write.
Anytime you feel creatively stuck, try free-writing. The beautiful thing about free-writing is you’re encouraged not to correct your spelling or grammar errors as you write. It’s purpose is to allow your thoughts to flow freely out of the cramped spaces of your mind without being hampered by criticism.
If you don’t know where to begin, we’ve come up with three questions to guide you:
- Describe a typical day for a”modern-day hero.”
- Define “joy” and explain what brings you joy.
- You are asked by the Prime Minister to name a new national holiday. Who would you dedicated this national holiday to, and why?
Free-writing is a common practice for well-known writers. Celebrated writers like Jack Kerouac embraced the spontaneity of free-writing and wrote his groundbreaking novel, On the Road, using this very technique. If you have a few minutes to write without distractions, you too could harness the liberating power of writing to your heart’s content.