Thought Catalog
January 24, 2014

Here’s How To Unleash Your Artistic Voice

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What is the issue?

We’ve all thought about it at one time or another: releasing that inner poet that resides in the small corner of your soul. This creative voice of yours has been waiting for quite a while to be released into the outside world. It’s time to share my artistic brilliance, you find yourself thinking, day after day, night after night. But where will I find the time and energy to leave my lasting literary mark on the world?

Listen here, you misunderstood artistic genius you: the time is now. No longer must you torment yourself with the what ifs and the always dangerous if onlys—no longer, I say! Here are some tips to help you bring to life those ideas you’ve stored inside for much too long.

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1. Get inspired

If you know exactly what you want to share with the world, then perfect, you’ve saved yourself a step! But what if you’re still trying to sort out and make sense of the many artistic possibilities that flood your mind? Or what if you don’t even know what you want to write about, only that you have an important message to share? Never fear, inspiration is here! Inspiration comes to me in the moments before I fade to sleep: my mind is relaxed and I’m not thinking about anything in particular.  When you let your mind wander, the message you might want to share becomes clear. What do you keep coming back too? What can’t you ignore? What are people not writing about? What makes you angry, sad, or crazed with excitement? Write about it! Sometimes inspiration can be found walking the streets of some foreign city, perusing bohemian coffee shops, while carrying around a vintage typewriter. But, more often than not, inspiration can be found somewhere a lot closer: within you.

2. Don’t be mean to yourself until later

When you’re in the midst of brainstorming and jotting down your thoughts, don’t edit yourself before the ideas even have time to take shape. No matter how ridiculous or weird an idea might initially seem, write it down and see what happens. When you just start writing without filtering yourself, not only are you entering the creative zone, but you’re also allowing all sorts of ideas to get out of your system and onto the page where you can inspect and dissect them later. In the meantime, turn off your inner critic and let your imagination take over. The best part is no one is going to be reading your brainstorms. Don’t censor or second-guess yourself, as there is no one to impress. It’s just you, your ideas, and a piece of paper. Talk about a recipe for a good time!

3. Figure out the best environment

Where do you find yourself the most comfortable to work? The basement of a library, working in absolute silence? Or perhaps lounging on your bed, with Beyoncé blaring in the background? Whatever the answer, make sure the space provides a creative haven. When you’re ready to unleash that artistic spirit within, it’s important to know where you can go to achieve optimal results. When you’re in that special place, you’re sending a message to your inner artist: let’s get to work.

4. Solitude is your best friend

Turn off your phone. Exit out of that Facebook tab. And hey—no tweeting about how you’re about to write the great American novel! Without technological distractions, the creative process shows its true simplistic self: just write, baby, and write a lot. Sure, it might seem odd at first to not check your Snapchats or use Tumblr as an excuse for an artistic break….But without those insignificant interruptions, you can focus—really and truly focus, 100%–on the task at hand. When you see the beginning of a story taking shape, or your own flawless words staring back at you, you’ll know it was worth it. TC mark