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Showing posts from October, 2013

Let's Write a Novel!

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By Douglas Clark

November 1 starts the National Novel writing month. Check it out here. I first heard about this when I was working on my master’s degree. I actually had a novel writing class where I had to write a 50,000 word novel by the end of the semester. The concept for that class was very similar to the National Novel Writing Month contest. After finishing my class, I promised myself at some point I would compete in the contest and see what would come of it.
Now I love writing obviously, but this contest is a challenge. According to the rules, you have 30 days to write 50,000 words. That averages out to 1,667 words a day. Doesn’t seem too daunting until you realize that’s EVERY day, no break, no rest or writing vacation; 1,667 words a day. The whole point of the exercise is to prove to yourself it can be done. I mean, you are allowed to make revisions, do rewrites, add, subtract, etc., but if you want to be counted as a winner on day 30, your word count must be 50,000 or higher…

Can We Do Without the Trouble and Toil?

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Sometimes I wonder what all this trouble and toil is for. I mean we all do it; trudge to work, struggle with responsibilities, stress over things that cause us grief. But why? Why do we do these things when we know they hold no value for us? I know that struggling against adversity and persevering through hardship builds character and prepares you for life’s ever harder challenges, but there does seem to be part of that struggle that produces nothing but negative. Take for example the problem people have with debt. I know there are a few people out there who are just pain irresponsible and don’t really care. However, I know a lot of people who are responsible, diligent, and reasonable when it comes to their money and they are still buried under a mountain of debt. Unfortunately, yours truly being one of them. Sometimes, it feels like an oppressive weight that just won’t go away, no matter what you do, and every effort you take to move forward and take a step ahead is just slammed with…

The 15 Minute Daydream

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By Douglas Clark
Okay, so finding 10-15 minutes out of my day to just daydream turned out to be a little harder than I thought. But then I realized, I go for a 2 mile run at least twice a week, so I’d do it then. Usually, I listen to my ipod while I run and just zone out. Most of the time I don’t really even pay attention to anything; it makes the run go by faster. This time however, I paid attention to my mind’s wandering. So, in no particular order here are the top five things I found myself being drawn to:
          1. Character development and further plot twists for a  novel I’m about to start           2. Oddly enough, bagels           3. Sex (yup, I’m a guy)           4. The condos being constructed near my apartment (I want one)           5. Possibly running a marathon, or a half marathon, or just starting with a 5k.
If there were others I didn’t pay enough attention to them for them to register in my memory. What’s funny is that when I started out, I thought allowing myself to day…

Let Your Mind Wander

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Douglas Clark
-Head writer, The Inspiration Engine

Do you daydream? How about just letting your mind wander to where ever it may go? I’ve often heard the old saying “you’re either a dreamer or a doer.” However, that seems rather restrictive doesn’t it? Daydreaming lets your brain explore possibilities that we all know pragmatism and reality would squash in a second. I find that some of my best ideas come to me when I just let go of all the mental baggage, all the stresses, all my cares and responsibilities and just simply think.
Sounds ridiculous doesn’t it? But it’s not. So I’m going to pose a simple challenge. In the next few days, find time to carve out about 10 minutes of free, daydreaming time to just let your mind wander. Take note of what comes to mind, write them down even, and see what inspiration you can come up with. I’d say take about five minutes before hand to really relax and unwind first, just to make sure you’re still not pestering yourself about doing the dishes or f…

What Shapes Your Desire?

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Douglas Clark
-Head writer, The Inspiration Engine

“If you greatly desire something, have the guts to stake everything on obtaining it.”
-Brendan Francis

What is want? I’m not talking about the basic wants humans all need, like water, food, shelter, and companionship. I’m asking about the want for something not needed, but truly desired. Desire can be a funny thing. It can give you direction by helping you to discard the superfluous, keep you focused, determined and motivated. But desire can also hinder your life by making you close minded to new things, ridged in your attitude and perspective, and in the worst cases, lead to obsession. Once desire becomes an obsession, there’s a whole new world of problems to deal with.
There are things I have wanted for a long time. I’ve desired them. Specifically, being a published author for one, finding true love (as cliché as it sounds), a life of leisure, and a youthfulness throughout my days. Now I’d say on a certain level, all of those things ar…