Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Creativity: Talent or Just Experience

If you want to be successful, you need to be creative. A good motivational phrase that looks like it’s taken from some workshop held by I-did-it-myself manager of an art project. To tell the truth I totally agree that you need to be different, stand out from a crowd as we live in the era when typical things don’t put up with the competition and it definitely means that you need to be above the average. But what does it mean “to be creative”? Is it all about being unique and beautiful? Or just not similar to the precedent?
It’s a very interesting issue because there are loads of definitions that connect creativity with something new and valuable but it is not possible to produce something original without knowing what it was before. As a result, it is necessary to be intelligent and competent enough to produce something “fresh and juicy”. In other words, you need to have life experience because of two reasons: 1) history and knowledge background give you the opportunity to know what has been already created and what needs to be created; 2) everything is done for people, thus communication experience provides necessary information about the people’s needs. So, if you think that creativity is something people are born with, I suppose you should reconsider your views on that matter. And next time you brag about your inability to generate an original idea or plan your own project, try to expand your world outlook and enrich your knowledge about this or that sphere. I bet your brainstorming will be much more productive and who knows, maybe you’ll come up with a genius idea.

So, creativity – is it a talent? Or is it just experience plus good understanding of human needs? I think there’s really something to think about. What are your ideas on the matter?

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Why Jack London Is My Favorite Writer and What We Can Learn from Him

You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it.
(c) Jack London
You know, when you have favorite writers in childhood, growing up makes you re-evaluate the reasons which influenced your taste in reading. Going through the same books again and again doesn’t give you the same feelings as when you were 10 years old and your heart thumped and jumped out of chest while main characters were fighting for their lives. And it’s all the same with me. I can’t find that joy and happiness or fear and anxiety that I felt as a child living through the adventures from the printed pages, except for one writer who still instills those emotions with the only change – the deeper understanding of human nature. The first book by Jack London that I came across was “The White Fang” and, of course, I immediately fell in love with it. I won’t tell you about the excitement from his novels and stories because you all already know it and that’s not the point. As I was getting older I started to take interest not only in books but in authors as well and Jack London wasn’t an exception. So, you can imagine how impressed I was when I found out that he wasn’t born with such a talent. It was earned due to the hard and persistent work. To seek inspiration he hopped the trains, was an oyster pirate and worked like hell on ships. When he pursued the dream to create real fiction, Jack London barely slept and ate (simply because he either forgot or felt twinges of conscience “wasting” time for sleep). He wrote, wrote and wrote essays, short stories, verses, pamphlets and novels. At the same time he educated himself as much as possible to improve and develop.
Jack London made writing his work and his life. He devoted all his time and strength to become a decent writer and it is a good example of a struggle for a dream. This eminent personality and his not easy but noble path show us that talent can be acquired by hard work and patience. We can’t produce a masterpiece without the preceding tries and fails. So, if you want to write but don’t know where to start, look at your favorite writers. I bet they can teach you a lot of things.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Plagiarism: Something to Avoid or Our Inevitable Future

As writers you regard plagiarism as a matter of honor. At least I suppose so, associating feelings with my writer’s essence. The beauty is in the process of turning your thoughts into the coherent sentences that either trigger emotions or serve as guidelines for your readers. This is not all, of course, and you definitely know it.
Copying somebody’s opinion creates the feeling of some defectiveness and inability to produce an original idea or judgment. Consequently, every self-respecting writer stays away from plagiarism to feel self-confident and secure. But how many times you said the phrase: “You read my mind” or “That’s what I said”? How often do you come across texts on the Internet that seem similar, familiar or the same? Have you ever found phrases that you felt you would say exactly the same way?

Recently I’ve bumped into an interesting talk by Kirby Ferguson called “Embrace the Remix”. He told about Bob Dylan and people’s claims about him stealing songs, mentioned Apple patent of Multi-Touch in 2007 and records of its development way before Steve Jobs even dropped out of college. As a result he made a conclusion: “Everything is a remix”. And then it hit me. Everyday people produce tons of Internet content expressing different or similar thoughts sometimes in the same words. From time to time it seems to me that I have a genius and original idea but when I start surfing the Internet it appears that someone has already got the point. So, most of the time I attempt not to produce unique writing but to avoid plagiarizing and it feels not very good.
Well, the point is that I really have a fear that plagiarism is our inevitable future, that everything possible will be said in any possible way. But I do hope that the constant evolving of society and language will not let that happen.
And are you afraid of plagiarism?

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Cyber Widow, Twoogle or I Love New English Words

I constantly come across newly coined English words while surfing the Internet. Usually they are connected with digital world and new technologies. But sometimes they just make my day :) I’ve decided to share my favorite new English words that I happily use in my everyday language!

  • procaffinating - the situation when you decide finally to do something only after drinking coffee.

Well, I think that it’s just the word I needed all my life! It perfectly describes my working process and when someone accuses me of procrastination I can easily defend myself with “Hell no! I am procaffinating.”

  • bag salmon - a passenger who moves in the opposite direction of deplaning passengers to get baggage from an overhead space.

There is always someone who is elbowing his/her way through the crowd like it’s the end of the world and he/she is running from zombies. Now, there is a special word that will help you to identify people who do this in the plane. “Hey! Who’s pushing there? - Never mind. It’s just another bag salmon”

  • lumbersexual  - a heterosexual man wearing lumberjack style outfit and a long beard

Coming across this word I finally understood who so called hipsters reminded me of. Lumberjacks! Men rack their brains over how to earn enough money to be stylish smoothies and pick up girls. It’s simple: just be a lumberjack! You don’t have to go to expenses because your work clothes is the hit of the season. A perfect crime :)

So, these are my personal “newbies” in English that I already use daily. I love the dynamic nature of the English language and I am always eager to find some new material to use in my writing. The world doesn’t stand still and so do people together with their main means of communication. And it’s wonderful.

I hope this post has lived up to your textpectations and you will definitely use these awesometastic words!
By the way, what are your favourite newly coined words in the English language? Let me know!