For the writers out there

We write.

We write to let things off out chest, to think clearer, to express opinions, to make art, to criticize, to analyse, to explain emotion, to feel alive. Yes, I know. I’ve been a person who writes since I was a tiny little girl. That doesn’t mean I’m any good but that’s not the point, to be honest. The point is that I get it. I know a lot of people write and I’m happy so many others in the world understand the joy you can get by creating worlds and characters or even little phrases with a huge amount of truth hidden in them.

So, I thought… Why not share with you my current Writer’s Process – since it changes as I change year after year …more like, day after day!  – and share with you some solutions to the problems I have been facing and may sound familiar if you love to write as well.

At the moment, I am in the process of writing a One-Act play. And I have faced three main problems. Firstly and most importantly, I catch myself thinking like a critic while I’m writing. It’s great to be able to criticize your own writing but that should come after you’ve finished, during the editing process, not in the middle of sentences. The second problem I have at this point is destruction.  A few years ago, what I was writing was always in my head. The characters became my best friends and the big scenes coming up were all I could think about even during class or other activities. Now, I get so consumed by everyday life, I get more and more detached from the story and that makes me lose my passion for it. Last but not least, I am usually more afraid to explore what I really want to write and I keep comparing my ideas to other peoples.  So I had to come up with ways to overcome those struggles and I did my best.

If you’re a person who writes you’ll probably know that inspiration comes when you least expect it. Somehow, you get the best ideas during the exam period or while you’re backpacking somewhere in Spain with friends and you have absolutely no time and peace to sit down and write. Once you get that itch, though… you know it’s time to make time! It’s the only thing on your mind.

Once I find the time to actually sit down and write, all the little things we just mentioned start appearing in your way. Here’s what I do to make it better. First, I try to set the mood. Music is the key to that but whatever else gets you in the right mind and inspires you. We Heart It helps me a lot. I have a huge collection of pictures that inspire me. Also, the sunset is usually the right lighting of the day to trigger my imagination. Find what gets you going.

When there’s not a word coming out of my mind, there is only one solution. Grab that pen and start writing. It could be completely irrelevant or bad writing. Once you start, you’re halfway there. If it doesn’t work, read! Poetry is my key! Once I open one of my favorite poetry books, it’s done. My imagination dances away. If I’m not in the mood for reading though, I start drawing. I sketch scenes and characters, so I have a clear image of them in my head. It always helps even if you’re not great with pencils and colours.

I haven’t found a way to stop doubting my writing, it only stops when I’m really inspired. So, try the ways to get your inspiration to finally arrive and it will free you.

Ernest Hemingway suggested to “Write drunk, edit sober”. If nothing else works, try that!

 

Have a magical day

glance at the sky

by Elena Ktenopoulou

 

note: The photograph is mine but the art isn’t. It is from a lovely exhibition I attended in Athens in May and I do not own it. The artist is amazingly talented, right?)

Look at you…

I pack my bag, wear my bathing suit and throw a dress on top. I let my hair down, I grab a towel and head to the beach. I meet my friends and we seat side by side and start enjoying the sun when we notice a group of girls. Maybe some of them are thinner and in better shape. Maybe their breasts are bigger or their hair curlier… And suddenly, we feel exposed. Yes, probably the same thing happened to them too. Why? Why do we feel the need to constantly compare ourselves to others?

Yes, we are all imperfect. My thighs are way bigger than I’d like them to be, I have a mole that I hate and my skin looks awful on the days I get my period. It happens to me and it happens to you and I don’t know why it is on those days when I feel at my lowest, that I tend to compare myself with others the most?

The truth is that global markets are built on that comparison that goes through your and my head at the beach, on the street or even when you look at a magazine – where you KNOW photoshop’s been used! – We’ll buy the craziest skincare products and clothes and gadgets in order to be one step closer to what we consider “perfect”. We know, though, that this “perfect” we have created in our heads probably doesn’t exist anyway and even though I know that and probably you know it too… we keep making the same mistake over and over. We compare.

This comparison is not only unnecessary it is also unhealthy and it will not get you anywhere. We should try to be just the best versions of ourselves and not the version of us that looks or acts like someone else. We are social creatures, we look at each other for inspiration and that’s not a bad thing. It is actually pretty nice if you don’t get to the point where you obsess over being someone else.

Look at you, your body and your choices that have led you to where you are standing right now. This is you. To live is to evolve and you should embrace change but not force it! When you are true to yourself, change comes naturally. It is painful sometimes and hard but it comes and it makes you stronger and better. I know it’s hard to decide who you want to be in a world that advertises so many different personas you could wear like suits but… how about just being you and seeing where that takes you?

Give it a go!

Have a magical day,

glance-at-the-sky

by Elena Ktenopoulou

 

Colours

You feel alone – I know,

but please,

please

look at the colours

around you.

I finally decided it was time to share my poetry with anyone who might like to read it. It’s a big step for me and I hope you enjoy it. Poetry clears the soul.

This is only a little preview. The first poem is coming up on Sunday. Enjoy your week. Read and write!

Have a magical day,

glance-at-the-sky

by Elena Ktenopoulou

Summer Lovin’

It’s time to get out, free our minds and enjoy the warmth of the sunlight. Who doesn’t want to do that? But what about those of us who are staying in their hometown or in the city for the summer? Some of us are lucky enough to live near the beach and be able to go swimming every other day or at least on the weekends but what about those who don’t?

It is important to find ways to relax and enjoy this season even if you are not going away this summer. So, to inspire you, I came up with a few things you can keep yourself in the holiday mood during the summer time.

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First of all! Transforming your home! If you have a balcony, you can give it a beach vibe with one or two garden lounge chairs and a few plants all around, giving all that tropical vibe. That way, you can enjoy the sunlight in the morning while drinking your coffee and the night breeze for a glass of wine later on. You can also brighten the colours around you by using lighter bed sheets or cushions. Another brilliant way to bring the beach into your house is through posters and art. You can get magnificent posters with pictures of the sea or the beach sand.

Secondly, you could add a few new, summer pieces to your wardrobe. Well, that doesn’t mean spending a fortune in the new trends, just getting a couple of sundresses or cropped tops or linen trousers – whatever matches your style. Clothes will get you in the right mood for all the great summer activities.

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Speaking of activities, fill your free time – which is usually more during the summer months – with new things to do. Summer is the season for new experiences and a little extra fun. Don’t forget to also do things that help you de-stress and get your mind off the busy winter you have ahead of you. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be productive, it only means you should slow down a little bit, so you’ll have more energy when you need it the most: in September!

Your refrigerator is also one spot in your house that can change for the summer! Well, think of all the delicious, fresh fruit you can eat during this time. Make fruit salads, smoothies and tarts! Also, you can make your own ice-cream. For a naughty night with friends, you could even make cocktails with fresh fruit juice!

Have the most brilliant summer and a magical day!

glance-at-the-sky

by Elena Ktenopoulou