Creative block is the inability to access the flow of inspiration and creativity. It can last for days, months, and in some cases years. See how you can overcome it, with this cool infographic: 10 Fun Ways to Fight Graphic Designer’s Creative Block.
What makes a book irresistible to read? What gives readers the urge to carry on, right to the end, gripped until the last word? There are so many elements that make a successful book, and a fairytale usually has most of them. Your resume needs to have many of the same elements to keep your potential employer reading on, and by looking at what makes up a fairytale we can culminate the perfect resume that could lead to an international career just through visual attraction and creativity.
Good versus evil
Good and evil are the crux of any fairytale. There is always a baddie and a goody, ready to fight against each other and come out on top. What you need to consider when creatively writing is what aspects of your job history, experience and qualifications are good and what are evil. Promotions, qualifications and awards are all great things to include and should stand out on your CV near the beginning, giving your reader a reason to carry on. However, negative elements such as being fired, exam failings (or low grades) and referees who you know are not keen on you are definitely ‘evil’ aspects you need to leave out. Remember to format and change fonts to draw aspects out, bold the good and use lower casing with the weaker elements that make your resume look evil.
Embellish the positive
Readers love to hear and see more positives than negatives, especially in the fairytale genre so make sure you talk about your achievements and skate quickly over anything which isn’t much to shout about. Go into detail about anything positive, highlighting what you did to achieve it and how you did so. Did you improve productivity, boost team moral, or get a great grade on a piece of coursework. Talk about it all and use positive words such as, ‘improved,’ ‘achieved,’ ‘impressed,’ and ‘gained.’ All these words will get your readers attention and keep them interested.
Impress with your strengths
We all have our strengths and weaknesses and so do fairytale characters, but most of the time, you would never know as they go to great lengths to hide their weaknesses and appear immortal. You can do this with your resume and make sure that your potential employer knows about every strength you have. Remember, you don’t need to highlight your weaknesses – ever hear Superman telling the baddies about his Kryptonite allergy? If you aren’t great at managing your time but are an excellent communicator and team leader, focus on that – they don’t need to know you need hone your time management skills. Great on a computer but really bad at English? Tell them all about your computer skills, your achievements using a computer, the software you know well and leave out your penchant for spelling incorrectly. We all have our weaknesses and a resume is not the place to highlight them.
Use imaginative graphics to tell the story, illustrate a comic character and then state what your power is. Just being a little bit creative will have you noticed for a job in no time.
If you think of good and evil the entire time you are formulating your resume you should have a positive, enticing one before you know it. Your resume needs to draw the reader in, keep them in suspense and throw in interesting facts and figures along the way. It is essentially a positive story about you and why you could be a great employee. Finish by telling your reader why you think you would be great for them and what you feel you could learn from them. Let’s hope the sequel is all about you getting that job!
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Self-publishing is a huge craze in the literary world, and a controversial one, too. On one hand, the traditionalists believe it to be a lazy way of getting your book out there without dealing with rejection, editors and publishers who might be able to make it a better novel. On the other hand, those in favour of self-publishing believe it to be the future of publishing, and bypassing the middle men means more profit and more creative control. It’s always an interesting debate to have with writers and literary folk.
Regardless of whether or not you agree with it, self-publishing is big business, and here to stay. If you’re looking to get your self-published novel out there and give it the best possible chance of success, here are some techniques you can use to give it every opportunity to succeed.
Design an Amazing Cover
You can write the best piece of genre fiction, the best poetry collection or the best young adult novel on the market, but if it doesn’t catch the eye of the reader, it won’t connect with an audience. A great way to design a cover is to speak to an illustrator or web designer and work together on finding an image or design that sums up the book and gives it every chance to grab the attention of somebody looking for a novel to download to their Kindle or tablet.
If you have your own website or blog, keeping it updated with fresh and interesting content could be a great way to drive up sales. Your website subscribers could be the first port of call for additional sales, and if you keep updating the site with news, excerpts and details of the writing process, it can certainly help to market your novel.
It’s quite cool that a number of novels now have trailers made for them. It has worked wonders for the film industry, and for the right novel (and as long as the trailer is well made) it could work in the literary world too. The video could be anything from a basic to-camera interview with the author to a full blown movie-style trailer. There are plenty of examples of both out there for you to check out. It all depends on what you are comfortable with and the type of novel you are putting out. A horror novel would suit a dark, blood-soaked trailer. A romantic novel… not so much.
Interviews and Press Releases
Despite what some writers might say or think, newspapers, magazines and critics are extremely helpful when it comes to publicising novels. Even self-published ones. You have to understand that nobody is ever going to put as much effort into marketing your work as much as you (especially if you have no publishing house backing), so you really have to put out all the stops to try and make people care about your work. Interviews and press releases are great ways to do this. You can contact bloggers and local journalists about featuring your work online or in print. The worst they can do is say no, and you might be surprised at how many say the opposite.
Social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter have millions (or over a billion, in Facebook’s case) of users, and if you can connect with just a tiny percentage of those and engage them, you could soon find your readership improve. The lesson here is to be a real person, not just some kind of sales and publicity machine that bores people to death. Social media users are fickle, and you’ll soon find yourself “unfollowed” or “un-liked” if you don’t converse with your fan base and keep them coming back to your profile. If you have a budget, sponsored posts on Facebook are a great way of improving the reach of your page, blog posts or statuses to a wider audience. With over a billion people signed up, it could be worth a shot. It’s not a guaranteed success though, of course.
The online world is fantastic, and has enabled self-published novels to thrive, but nothing quite beats the natural way of building up a readership. Live readings and festival appearances will help people put a face and a personality to the work, and if you make yourself more accessible and a regular on the live performance circuit, you will soon see your fan base – and sales – grow over time.
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Article by Daley
One of the most important skills which students in UK universities need to have is related to academic research. Conducting academic research is an essential part of your studies, and a very significant stage in the preparation of your written assignments, reports, essays, and your dissertation. Many students have excellent understanding of their subject fields, but when it comes to academic research, they find it challenging to deal with the large amounts of information available in their university libraries, and on the internet. This brief article will provide several useful tips on how to improve your academic research skills, and how to conduct research quickly and efficiently.
Define your research question
The first and most important condition for conducting research efficiently is of course to determine your research question. Both essay writing service websites, and dissertation writing service providers are adamant that the research question is going to have huge impact on how you conduct your research. This is why you need to make sure that your research question is properly defined, and that there is availability of literature on the subject. Never choose a question which is too narrow, or too broad to tackle. If you choose a question which is too narrow, you might be facing the problem of scarcity of information, which can jeopardise your assignment. If you choose something way too broad, you are most likely to produce a paper with no focus, and the research process will be lengthy and tiring, because of the wide availability of literature.
After you have determined your research question, you can do some brainstorming in order to identify some key search items to guide you throughout your research. Make sure these search items are closely associated with your research topic, or with its most important aspects.
Another thing you have to bear in mind at this stage is the difference between primary and secondary research. While primary research is data which you collect and which has not been published before, secondary research is related to the search of already published books, articles, news, documents, etc.
Learn how to apply research techniques
Academic research can be far less daunting if you know how to apply the different research techniques most university programmes teach in the beginning of the academic year. Learn how to make the most of your library database in the university you are attending, and how to use the different journal databases such as EBSCO and JSTOR. These can be very useful sources of information and most universities offer unlimited accesses to specialised journals and publications.
Also, learn how to conduct quick and efficient library search. Most universities offer library induction courses, which are useful in teaching you how to locate and search titles/authors in the online library catalogue.
Regardless of whether you search for books or articles, make sure that you choose relevant sources. This would mean that you do not get carried away with every piece of information, which is remotely related to your topic. Try to locate sources which are straight to the point, and which offer useful insights into the subject you are investigating.
Keep track of your sources
In the process of research, many students lose track of the sources they have found. With the abundance of information, sometimes important sources can be lost or forgotten, and left out. Make sure you keep track of your sources, and take diligent notes on the content and main ideas which you think might be relevant to the presentation of your arguments. Although at the end some of the sources might be replaced by others, it is a good idea to have a notion of what you have found so far.
Assess and classify your sources
The most difficult part of conducting academic research is the assessment and classification of your sources. First of all, not all sources of information are considered to have academic value. For example, websites such as Wikipedia or Sparknotes, or personal websites and some blog posts are to be avoided, as they do not offer information which can be used for other than general reference purposes. When you select your resources, always think about bias. Every piece of work is biased, and subjectivity is always an issue when it comes to academic writing. Yet, always check the background of the authors, and their relation to the subject in discussion, and always be critical of the information you come across. Try to assess it from a scholarly perspective, and to be able to see its strengths, as well as weaknesses.
Classification is also importation when it comes to academic research. Make sure you create a system in which to classify your sources. You might even want to create that system in the very beginning, so that you can use it as a guide throughout your research. You might want to classify your sources chronologically, or based on the similarity of views they support. You might also want to group them based on certain themes which they have in common, or even around similar formats and research methods implemented.
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Article by Simon Rogers
For more tips on academic research, and how to receive quality essay writing service, visit www.essayorders.co.uk. There you will also find free essay samples, and access to expert proofreading service and paper writing service.
According to Wikipedia.org, scrapbooking is “a method for preserving personal and family history in the form of a scrapbook. Typical memorabilia include photographs, printed media, and artwork. Scrapbook albums are often decorated and frequently contain extensive journaling. Scrapbooking is a widely practiced pastime in the United States.”
I came upon scrapbooking several years ago when I moved across the country and was trying to make new friends. It seemed as though all the people I met gathered together on a regular basis to socialize while they cropped and chopped their recent photos, presenting them on a 12×12 page with a plethora of embellishments including various specialty papers, themed stickers, patterned ribbons, matching buttons, textured fibers and so much more and then protecting them behind a plastic sleeve and storing them in a scrapbook album. So in a valiant effort to engage my new environment I found myself immersed in the world of scrapbooking. I have to admit, part of me really enjoyed it – the social gathering, sharing tips and life, having a creative outlet. Another part of me thought there must be a better way to preserve and share my photos, stories and memories than to have to renovate my home so I could have a dedicated craft room to house all the various gadgets and supplies I began accumulating to fuel my new hobby.
Why do people scrapbook? It isn’t about creating a project with technically perfect photos. It’s about the story behind the photos. The story of our lives. The starting points are as varied as the seasons of life we find ourselves in. Perhaps you inherited a box of old photos from a relative and felt inspired to write and document the stories from your past. Maybe you’re celebrating a major milestone – getting married, starting a family, graduation, birthday, promotion, moving, retirement. Many people travel and relive their adventures through their scrapbooks.
Nowadays with digital cameras, computers, scanners, photo editing products and online publishing websites, it is easy to capture those memories and put them into a format that will be enjoyed for years and generations to come. People are transitioning away from traditional paper-based scrapbooking and entering the world of digital scrapbooking. The message is the same, it’s just the medium that is different. Gone are the scissors and corner rounders, instead the computer is your tool. No more closets full of colorful inventory, instead online digital art collections are in abundance from various independent designers and websites. From “cut” to “crop”, “develop” to “upload” the vocabulary changes as technology advances and allows digiscrappers to do more with their photos and print on anything from paper to metal to canvas to fabric to wood.
Take time to learn about the delights of digital scrapbooking and how easy it is. One of my favorite features is that there is no mess! My family appreciates that too. More than that, they love all the photo books and home décor items in our home that remind them that they are loved, appreciated and belong. That is what digital scrapbooking means to me!
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The gift basket is making an unexpected resurgence as a preferred way to give a gift for virtually any occasion. Putting together baskets is nothing new, but modern arrangements provide an opportunity to customize your gift as well as hunt for affordable items on sale to create a gift that is personalized, meaningful and one that fits with your budget.
If you have a special occasion coming up, start by creating a list of a few theme ideas that might be suitable. Think about the recipient and their hobbies, likes and dislikes as well the occasion. Is it a more formal event? If so you want to theme the basket accordingly. If it is a less formal event such as a birthday, then you can take a little creative license to make the basket fun with novelty items and activities.
Where to Look for Inspiration
It’s no surprise that Pinterest is a great place to look for inspiration when it comes to creating your own gift basket. Tap into the social network as a creative resource to help you get started with a few ideas that are easy to produce in your own home. Forget what you thought you knew about traditional gift baskets and explore some brilliant alternatives that will make an impression without breaking your budget!
1. Baby Shower
Folding wash cloths or receiving blankets into lollipop shapes creates a cute and affordable gift basket for any baby shower. Wash cloths are very affordable to purchase in gender neutral colors and any Mom will tell you that you can never have enough of them. It is a great design to make a large stylish impression on a small gift budget.
Take some large ice cream cones and get creative with inspiration from this baby shower basket. It uses onesies and socks to make a deliciously sweet baby basket. It’s a gift everyone will remember for under thirty dollars, so remember that when it comes to creating baskets, less can definitely be more.
2. Housewarming Ideas
The purpose of a housewarming gift is to give something that is practical and useful. Typically housewarming gifts are under $50 and meant to simply help your friend or family member get established in their new home. It’s also a great opportunity to give them innovative gadgets and fun tools for use around the house.
Using dishtowels to create a custom basket, this theme has affordable kitchen tools bundled up for a gift that will be appreciated. Don’t forget the man of the house. If he loves to barbeque then gift him with a custom basket of grill gadgets and special seasonings. Anything that inspires him to cook dinner is a good thing.
3. Bridal Shower
You don’t have to spend a lot to make your gift basket personal for a bridal shower. The focus should be on the couple and their future together, so when you design your basket build in some words of wisdom or encouragement for the couple and their upcoming milestone.
We liked this simple basket with “great pairs” inspired by the Bride and Groom. Affordable, romantic and deeply sentimental. Organizing a wedding is hard work! What about creating a serenity or relaxation themed basket to encourage some couple time in the middle of the mayhem. It is a gift that is bound to be appreciated by both the bride and the groom.
4. Birthday Baskets
Creating a themed basket for a birthday is a great idea. For the gardener consider a tool belt full of gadgets and useful items to help keep their vegetable or flower gardens in order. For the aspiring home bartender, try a creative spin on a cocktail basket with all the essentials to celebrate in style!
5. Engagement Party
When a couple announces their engagement, it is a special time for both families and friends. And with so much planning to do, the couple will be glad to get a little help and guidance. Consider a basket of ideas to get them started on their event planning. Every day office supplies coupled with magazines and other conveniences make for an endearing basket that shows them you can’t wait to share their day.
Couples gifts that you can use together such as novelty beverage mugs can be included in a gift basket for your partner. Mix and match useful kitchen or other gadgets with fun good humored ones for a personalized gift you will both enjoy. We also liked the idea of a year of envelopes to inspire “couple time” with some date ideas and novelties.
7. Baskets for Kids
Remember that when it comes to gift baskets for children don’t be afraid to have a little fun! Unleash your inner child and create a novelty or activity basket that will keep them busy laughing and learning new things. A little bit of candy won’t hurt, but try to keep the basket full of healthier, engaging experiences instead.
Shop for unique gifts by Funslurp, a quality novelty and trendy household item retailer. You can find affordable items to build your own gift basket for virtually every hobby and theme, and have your order shipped directly to your door.
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Getting your readers interested in your article requires a great title. As a professional writer, you know that your title needs to be catchy and captivate the interest of your readers without giving too much away. But along with a great title, you also need to have a great title hook. Title hooks are the snippets found on the covers of magazines, on your social media pages or even listed on email newsletters that try to get your readers to go directly to that article, white paper or blog post.
Cosmopolitan Magazine has a reputation for creating great title hooks. Whether on their website or on the cover of their magazine, they’re always captivating their readers’ attention enough to get them to move directly to a certain section of the magazine or website. So what can you learn about title hooks from Cosmopolitan?
Chances are you’ve heard it by now, but Cosmopolitan is so successful with their title hooks because they use sex, and they use it a lot. Granted, the magazine is known for providing information on both sex and fashion to its readers, but sex will easily captivate the attention of their audience, and they use this to their advantage. Whether the hooks talk about the actual sex life or provide tips on how to make women feel sexier, it’s enough to get women to feel as if they need to know the information, which is how they generate readers.
Know your audience.
Cosmopolitan knows that their audience is made up entirely of women, but they also know that their audience is made up of women who vary in age. Cosmopolitan uses this to their advantage by ensuring there is something for everyone. For example, one title hook may be directed at younger females while another title hook may be directed at their older audience. By calling out to your direct audience, it increases your chance of gaining interest and having your work read by your audience.
Cosmopolitan is also successful with title hooks because they know exactly what their audience wants. For example, they know that their audience is interested in learning about fashion, diet and exercise, beauty, sex and building self-esteem, and they use this to their advantage by creating content their audience wants. You could have the best title hook in the world, but if it doesn’t lead back to information that your audience wants, it’s not going to be effective. Make sure you not only know the demographics of your audience but what information your audience wants, and then give it to them.
Title hooks work best when some information is left to the imagination. While it’s important to give your audience an idea of what information they’ll find in your article, it’s important not to give it all away. If you do, your readers will feel as if they gained all the information from the hook and don’t need to read the article. Instead, give a small, concise preview of what they can expect, but leave it open ended enough to get them to want to read more.
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Article by Carrie Smith
Carrie Smith is a freelance writer and avid blogger from Dallas. She is currently writing about the best online grammar check website
Freelance writers are on the rise. There are many reasons why people increasingly opt to work from home. These pressures are often financial, such as the rising cost of fuel or the expense of child care. Sometimes there are more personal reasons such as needing to stay with children or other dependants, a medical condition or dislike for the 9 to 5 routine. Whatever the reason, whether working from home full-time to supplement an income or as a part-time interest, if you are embarking upon home working for the first time, it’s important to set up your work space. From reducing the distractions to putting up whiteboards, there are lots of things to consider when creating your “sacred work space.”
So it’s Easy, Huh?
So you think it’s as easy as sitting down at your PC and tapping at the keyboard for a few hours? Home-working is tough: it takes a lot of self-discipline and a defined structure to make it work. Just think about how easy it was to get distracted back at the office, now add to that the pressures of your home life: the phone rings, the dog barks, you need to do the laundry, the kids need a lift, you get distracted by something on the TV, you make another cup of tea and a friend sends you a text. When will you ever find the time to write?
Zen Work Space: Mind Over Matter
You need to make a definitive work space as this will help you to literally get the peace you need and psychologically prepare you to work. Make sure friends and family appreciate that even though you are at home, you will not be checking your personal phone (except in emergencies) and that you understand that this is work time, not a time for being distracted or doing household chores. If you are called away, keep it short and to the point, just as you would when receiving a personal call in the office.
In an ideal world your home office should be a separate room, it doesn’t matter if this is a spare bedroom or study, so long as you can minimise distractions. If you can’t have a whole room to yourself, choose as quiet a room as possible and make a corner of it your work area.
Back Off – I’m Writing!
Now for the important part: what should this workspace contain? First and foremost you need a desk. The desk is your most important tool and it is also a sacred space: when you are sat at this desk you are working. Tell your friends, your family, yourself and the whole world. The desk must contain only work related materials. A work computer, phone, diary and calendar are the basics.
Inspiration Not Distraction
Next, you need to minimise the distractions around you. If there is a TV in the room, it must be switched off while you are sat at the desk. If at all possible, particularly for creative writers, make sure that things which will inspire you are in your eye-line, rather than things that distract you. A dictionary, thesaurus or set of encyclopaedias are a good start.
Make sure things which will keep you focussed are close at hand too, your work calendar should be hung on the wall above or beside your desk and ideally a clock as you need to learn to use your time as productively as possible. If you are writing a new article set yourself time limits; particularly if you need to use the internet.
Brainstorming: Keep it Fresh
Finally, make sure you have the right materials for brainstorming. If you have the space, a whiteboard is ideal but a selection of pens and a notepad are useful too. If you can, make your work environment as pleasant as possible, add a pot-plant, let in some fresh air and circulate some zingy citrus room fragrances. Make sure you have a good office chair which is comfortable and offers adequate back support.
Once you have set out your ground rules and set up your workspace you will have the basis to build a home-working life that is productive, rather than frustrating.
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Article by Chris Hoole
Chris Hoole is a writer who believes that when working from home, you should ensure that you create the perfect work space which will promote productivity. If you are setting up your own home workspace you should research home whiteboards for your brainstorming and scheduling needs?
If you take a look at any design or art history book you will immediately see that what differentiates the work of the most successful artists from that of others is the fact that they were able to develop their own unique artistic voice and perspective.
While it may sometimes take years for an artist to find his or her unique angle, there are a few practical steps that you can take that will help you with this long process.
Unraveling the Secret of your Own Artistic Preferences
Understanding yourself and your own preferences, as well as what aspects of your work speak to others must be explored.
Let’s take a look at some practical steps you can take in order to make this happen.
Keeping a creative diary and sketchbook
Keeping a creative diary and sketchbook on a regular basis will be helpful for visual artists that would like to explore their inner world and understand it better. I always keep a small notebook and a sketchbook with me and take them wherever I go.
You will need to learn to open your eyes and look at your immediate surroundings in a more artistically inclined way in order for this technique to be a successful one.
To give you a few examples –
Take your sketchbook with you when you are going grocery shopping. Try to understand why you prefer certain product packages and designs and sketch them.
Sketch and draw everything that appears interesting to you, from street signs and window shop designs to trees and flowers.
Write down a few sentences about anything that you found visually striking during the day, try to understand what it was that spoke to you and think about how you could improve it or give it your own personal twist.
Studying your Artistic Research Results
Undergoing this process of self exploration for a few months will provide you with a handful of sketchbooks and notebooks filled with drawings and remarks. Now comes the hard part: trying to analyze the research you have done and understand what visual and intellectual ideas you should utilize in your own work. The visual forms and ideas that you will discover may sometime surprise you and send you to explore new directions.
Developing your Own Style
Unless you are a genius, and sometimes even if you are a genius, your first original creations will seem uninspiring, imitations of the work of others or simply not good enough. A lot of designers and artists find it very difficult to overcome this obstacle. The secret is to continue and work, sometimes for many years, until you find the way to bridge your ambitions with your actual capabilities. You will need to be attentive to the advice and criticism of other, even if they are not professional. You will also need to develop the ability to view your own work in a critical way. Artists and designers that think everything they do is simply perfect from the very early stages of their work will most of the times remain amateurs. A healthy dose of self criticism will help you to continue and improve until you can translate an idea and an image to an actual designed object.
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Article by Doron Heifetz
Doron Heifetz is a blogger, owner of the popular Name Necklaces website and an expert jewelry designer.
Creativity can be defined in many ways, but one of the most widely accepted definitions of creativity is producing something that is not only worthwhile, but also original. Creativity is about finding new ideas, and converting them into a piece of art or music. Creativity means finding new methods of solving your daily life problems. Some people misconceive the concept of creativity by limiting to the arts, music, and literature; however, creativity is a much broader concept than that. People who know the importance of creativity, always look to boost their creativity by using different methods. Following are some useful tips that can help you in boosting your creativity:
The first step of developing creativity or boosting your creative abilities is to show commitment towards your goal. You need to show a complete devotion towards creativity, and in this regard, you can set your goals to achieve the required skill development.
One of the best ways to boost your creativity is to become an expert in a certain field. When you work on many different areas, it kills your creative skills, but if you keep working on the same topic, it becomes easier for you to develop creativity in that certain area of work.
Ready to take Risks
Creativity is all about taking risks, and you need to take risks at times in order to develop your abilities. It is not necessary to do so every time you become successful, but you need to remain consistent in experimenting with things so that you can advance your creative abilities.
Though creativity itself is a reward, and often you feel satisfied with your efforts when you achieve something creative, you still need to reward yourself every time you complete a goal. You can reward yourself by giving yourself the opportunity of exploring new areas of creativity.
Build Self Confidence
Often insecure feelings kill your creative abilities. It is the confidence of a person that take him/her to the highest levels of the creativity. In order to boost your creative abilities, you need to improve self confidence in your personality.
Devote Your Precious Time to Creativity
One thing which you need to understand is that no creative work can be completed without proper attention. You have to spend a lot of time in thinking and understanding the actual concept in order to produce something more creative. To help you with this you can make a time schedule to keep things simple.
When there is negative energy around or inside you, you are unable to do anything creative. It is negativity that takes you far from being a creative person. You have to be in a good mood when you are creating something.
Brainstorming for Fresh Ideas
One of the keys for boosting creativity is to brainstorm and find the new ideas. You have to think beyond book theories if you want to do something really creative. Once you create and find the ideas, you can think over these ideas to polish them further.
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Article by Kara
Kara , Te is a teacher. When she is not busy teaching, she likes spending time with her family or reading books.
It’s becoming increasingly common to send electronic birthday wishes, with the most common form being eCards, which can also be sent to mobile phones. ECards are highly effective as ways to wish someone Happy Birthday – they’re easy to send, and can be extensively customised with photos and videos, as well as with special messages. What, then, are some of the main advantages of electronic birthday wishes, and what other alternatives are there?
Primarily, electronic birthday wishes will cut down post and packaging costs, and also reduce environmental damage by not using paper. By sending a card online, you also don’t have to worry about whether or not a card will arrive in the post on time. Going onto websites, you can find ready made templates, as well as complete cards that can be sent with options for adding in names to the design of cards, as well as photos and videos.
When deciding on what sort of designs you want, sending an eCard gives you the advantage of the broad range of card styles available online – this is typically much greater than the stock limitations of a high street card shop. You can find different templates to use for particular seasons or holidays, or you can work with different templates to produce something more personal, which can involve adding in your own photo to an animation.
At the same time, eCards can be sent directly to someone’s email address on their birthday, or can be distributed over social networks – the latter option is useful if you want an eCard to show up in your friend’s social feed – cards and animation for social networks can consequently be used as a complement to traditional cards, and can mean that you can keep on top of your card sending if you’re living abroad.
It’s also possible to send eCards to mobiles, which can be distributed as SMS messages, or as email attachments; many websites offer a straightforward sending service for mobiles, which means that individual eCards can be optimised to look better on smaller screens. One of the most common ways to send these eCards involves attaching them to a normal birthday text message – an SMS message will cost a little more than a standard email, unless you have unlimited text messages – this can be a better option, though, if the recipient doesn’t use the Internet very much.
ECards can be effectively combined with other electronic birthday messages, which might involve vouchers or online gifts, and can be sent as part of a package of different messages. When sending an electronic birthday greeting, make sure that you follow safety rules and use websites that send eCards that won’t be blocked as spam, or set up in such a way so that the recipients won’t be confident about opening an email attachment or a text message.
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Article by Rosette
Rosette has been sending birthday eCards to friends and family for many years, and particularly likes being able to put together animations for Christmas cards. She blogs about fashion and lifestyle tips.
If you haven’t yet jumped on the online scrapbooking train, you’re probably staring at your boxes of paper, stickers and photos and wondering where you will store them again this year. You might even find yourself taking fewer pictures since you still haven’t done anything with the last few years of photos which are sitting on your computer’s hard drive.
Because pictures are now almost entirely stored digitally, it makes sense to create digital scrapbooks. Online scrapbooking cuts out the middle step of developing your pictures, so you can just drag and drop them right into their digital pages. If you’re not yet ready to turn in your decorative scissors and glue dots, consider these advantages of online scrapbooking.
Online Scrapbooking is User-Friendly
- There are many online scrapbook sites with loads of templates, stickers and tools to edit your photographs. Some require a download which makes it easy for you to share your photos to an app on your computer or even your smartphone. Others don’t require any download and allow you to easily upload your photos onto their server.
- Drag-and-drop templates make it simple for beginners to add photos, text and other customizations to each page.
- You can create page layouts which enhance photographs without the mess and time of traditional cut-and-paste scrapbooking.
- You can even scan in your old printed photographs to add them to your digital scrapbook. If you prefer real film and choose to print your pictures, just have the photo lab make a photo CD of your images so you can use them in your digital scrapbook as well.
Online Scrapbooking Saves You Money
- Most avid scrapbookers have drawers and totes full of paper products and tools. With online scrapbooking, you can choose from a variety of backgrounds and decorative elements without having to purchase each one. This means no more buying large books of paper just to get the few pieces you really like.
- You can even try out several different looks for each page and choose your favorite without wasting materials. Making the book is free on most sites.
- Many sites allow you to download your creations for free to share online. You can post your scrapbook to your blog so friends and family can easily view your “Year in Review” or new baby album.
- Use a PDF creator to convert your digital scrapbook pages into PDF files which are easy to share via email or even as a picture message on your smartphone. You can also make the digital pages on any scrapbook-making site, and then send the files to the print shop of your choice to make your bound scrapbook. This way you can shop around for the best printing deals and sales.
Online Scrapbooks are Multi-media
- When sharing online, you can include an audio track or even video clips to bring your scrapbook to life.
- You can print your pages on other items such as coffee mugs, t-shirts, mouse pads, and calendars.
Digital Scrapbooks Preserve Your Memories
- You can have your digital scrapbook printed on acid free paper, so you don’t have to worry about glue and other adornments yellowing the pages with age.
- Your digital scrapbook can be saved online, on your PC or on a disk so you will have backups if anything happens to the printed book or the photos which were used in the book. You can’t back up a traditional scrapbook.
Get Creative with Online Scrapbooking
Because digital scrapbooks are so quick and easy to make, people are finding other creative ways to use these sites. Here are some ideas to get you started.
- Personalized alphabet book for your children using their own photos
- Yearbook pages for your child’s school, club or other organization
- School projects
- Business needs such as flyers or other ads
- Framed artwork for home decor
Life is passing us quickly in this digital age. Take advantage of this technology today to preserve your cherished memories for many tomorrows.
Featured Image: Creative Commons – Attribution by Meg Lessard
Article by Jared Jaureguy
Not all of us are blessed with high levels of confidence in ourselves. Most of us at some point in our lives have felt that sinking feeling of doubt as we consider our own abilities. For some people low confidence levels are a more serious problem and can have a profound impact in many different areas of life.
Even for the more confident amongst us the occasional bout of self-doubt can have a negative effect – often during job interviews or in our attempts to develop our careers. For those with more profound issues, low self-esteem often develops early in childhood and the implications can last a lifetime. However, there are several ways in which to learn to deal with confidence issues ranging from the more traditional methods, such as therapy and confidence building classes, to the less traditional method of having a bit of fun and taking acting classes. The latter may seem an odd route at first glance to dealing with issues of confidence but it can, and often is, be the best method for many people.
Getting Naked in Public
Actors make a living by getting up on stage in front of (hopefully) large groups of people and becoming the focus of that group’s attention for several hours. In the course of a performance they are expected to play characters who may have attributes that are very definitely not their own. They may need to play despicable or lovable characters and even, on occasion, get thoroughly naked. They do this all under the glare of a (hopefully) adoring public, but possibly under the glare of a highly annoyed or bored one.
Self-confidence under these circumstances is essential and yet, surprisingly, it’s not a natural trait in all (or even many) actors. The truth is almost entirely the opposite and throughout history some of the greatest performers have admitted to the fact that they have been frequently affected by crippling bouts of stage fright. When it comes to getting over self-confidence issues, it’s this reason that acting can be exactly what the doctor ordered.
Broad Skill Development
Acting classes don’t necessarily focus directly on self confidence building but use a range of techniques to develop acting and communication skills. The ability to get out on stage in front of people and perform is, of course, essential and building confidence is a crucial part of the process for all actors.
However, because it’s not necessarily a specific focus but part of a more rounded development this can make acting classes an easier way to develop your confidence. By focussing on a range of skills it also develops slightly more than simple confidence and can also improve team skills, communication skills and abilities at empathising with others.
Creating a New Skin
Building confidence in children from an early age will help to improve their chances in life in many different ways. Regardless of their existing levels of confidence acting, dance and drama classes can help them to develop their abilities in many areas. However, at any age drama and acting allow us to lose a few inhibitions, simply by virtue of the fact that we are busy pretending to be someone else (ask any actor/ress who’s been required to remove their clothing in public and they’ll verify it helps to be imagining it’s not you doing it!).
Acting and dance also require high levels of self-expression and also offer the freedom to break away from our own worries and take on another (more confident) skin. In the real world, the ability to do this can have a seriously positive impact in many areas of our lives. While not the most traditional route to self-confidence building, acting classes can achieve the same results – often more – than specific self-confidence building techniques.
Featured Image: Creative Commons – Attribution by Victor1558
Article by Bob Emerald
Bob Emerald is a freelance writer who is interested in personal development. He’s found that acting classes London can help to develop many new skills and boost self-confidence.
Yes, you heard it right! You can combat depression by becoming more creative. For instance, by writing some stuff on a page or by simply putting together all the proper colors for a nice sketch. Here, you will learn about ways to fight back depression with some creativity forms.
1. Create things when depressed. A few creative artists tend to become alcoholic. This is because depression consumes these people completely forcing them to pursue alcoholism. Thus, instead of resorting to alcohol to battling depression, consider writing something and see what your creative mind can come up with. In addition, as it is a way better and healthier alternative to alcoholism.
2. Reassess the important things in life. It is often seen that depression hits the most creative souls. Take for instance any type of usual depression such as flu and break it in several ways. In some way or the other, at least for me, it offers some water for the pond, as it permits you to reassess as what is significant in your life.
3. At times, the most enjoyable thing in the entire globe is all about creating something and that too in pieces, whereas the most distressing thing is to let it go. At times, shining some light on gloominess may appear healthy and this is what the creativity does to you.
4. Explore your agonpeopley by exploring other . Make it a rule that you stay creative for most of the days in a week in some or the other way. You might get influenced by some book or painting. Exploring the anguish of other people is what arts is all about. If you paint or write, then join them. This is the step that you must take into shaping the novel or starting with the sketch. In short, creativity is all about exploring solutions. In fact, it helps you tackle the problem as well as have fun.
5. Talk to your inner self. Creativity indeed works as a medium to engage in conversation with your inner self. Be a constant reader of the mind. When you indulge in this kind of talks with your inner self, try to listen to all the things, as it will help to throw some light on you and allow you to see the entire world in a completely different way.
So we cannot simply underestimate the power of creativity to tackle depression. Use your creativity in a wise way to lead a depression free life.
Featured Image: Creative Commons – Attribution by dadblunders
Article by Matt Walker
Matt Walker is an expert lifestyle writer. He loves to share his insights and views with the masses. Matt also writes expert articles on home décor, entertainment, technology, health, etc. You can find his blogs and articles at www.rugsandblinds.com.