August 31

Find Writing Focus and Inspiration by Changing Your Location

When it comes to writing anything from a book to a short story, an author’s surroundings can make all of the difference with their productivity and focus. While being in a busy coffee shop might offer the perfect inspiration and concentration that’s needed one day, it could very well end up becoming a distraction the next.

If you’ve been suffering from “writer’s block” for a while and can’t seem to find a spot near you that’s breaking it, then you may want to change your location completely. A geographical change might be just want you need to enhance your point of view and finally get the words pouring out onto paper.

Shifting Your Focus

1. The Library

While this may not be very far away from home, it’s still a wonderful place to enjoy peace and quiet while still being in a public space. What’s even better is that you can choose to be in an area of the library from everyone else, or you can choose to be in an area where you can see other people. Being surrounded by so many books is just what many authors need to continue writing their own, but the peace without distraction is another important feature of this location.

Try going to a library in a different town, if it’s not too far away. There are many beautiful libraries out there, and just their ambiance alone can make a big impact with your focus.

2. Cabin in the Woods

Being in the middle of nature is very peaceful and can be insightful to someone looking to curate the perfect words. Some authors do their very best work when they go to a remote cabin in the woods, and it might just be the right location for you. While you’re there the only thing you’ll hear is the sound of nature, making it an ideal place if you can’t concentrate with distractions around you. Many writers choose to work outside where they can see the beauty of their surroundings, but others choose to write inside near a fireplace or a window. It’s up to you where you write, as a cabin will have many places to choose from.

3. Local Hotel

A mini escape to a hotel can help clear your mind and unblock anything that’s been haltering your writing efforts. There are likely many hotels in your town or even a few towns over, so there will be many options to choose from. Although it may seem like staying in a hotel room won’t work because it’s essentially the same as being at home, it’s actually far different. The new layout can have a big impact on the way that you see things, even if it’s just for a day or two.

This is one trick that many professional authors use to get their work finished, so it’s worth trying out. You might be surprised at the impact being in a new room has on your thoughts.

4. Tropical Location

An extended beach vacation can offer tranquility and relaxation like no other place, giving you a fresh perspective on the content that you’re writing. One of the most popular beach cities for authors to write at in particular is Boca Raton, FL. This location is visually stunning and has gorgeous rentals available that are much more peaceful than typical hotel rooms.

The best part about a long-term rental is that it can be affordable! With a rental like the one seen here, you’ll have unobstructed views of the beautiful Boca Raton sea shore so you can sit outside and write as long as you’d like. You’ll also be within walking distance to the beach and will have the entire home to yourself, so writing in different locations is very easy.

5. Big City

Many writers love being in a big city while they are working because inspiration is all over the place. From sky-high buildings that shine all night to people from all walks of life, there’s always something to see. For authors who are stuck in their own head, this can be just what’s needed to gain a brand new point of view. Even just writing in a hotel room while looking out at a city can play a major role in overcoming writer’s block, so there are endless places to continue getting work done.

Which of these places will you try first? The truth is, any of them can be wonderful places to write at, so they are all worth exploring. In time these can be your go-to spots for a fresh perspective, making writing more enjoyable than ever.

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June 4

Train your Brain with Speed Reading!

Reading is one of the activities that help people acquire knowledge. Remember how your parents read fairy tale books and other interesting children’s books for you up to the time you learned how to do it independently. Aside from intellectual health, other aspects in a person’s life are also improved because of reading. Social and mental abilities are developed, and in some ways, the physical aspect as well. Generally, people are bound by interests. When you share something interesting you have read which lights up the interest of another, there is a great possibility of forming bonds and friendships and your social circle will continue to expand. Additionally, reading is good for the brain as it induces mental activity. It keeps the brain busy and creative.

Information Overload

With all those pieces of information stored in your brain which you acquired from reading, you are now faced with the challenge of remembering the details. Information overload happens, and all other knowledge gained from your reading experience may seem irrelevant.  In the case of information overload, the brain will involuntarily throw out all the necessary information that you need and retain ones that you don’t need. This may be temporary, but experiencing information overload is not good for your mental health in the long run. It would affect the way you make decisions. You also tend to become clumsy and forget things. Information overload is prevalent especially in the Internet Age where people get access to a lot of ideas. The world is becoming more and more demanding, and the only way to cope with it is to train and expand your brain’s abilities.

Scanning & Skimming

There are reading strategies that help develop reading speed and reading comprehension. When you read a material, it does not necessarily mean that you understand it instantly. In order to know if you truly understood a passage you just read, take reading comprehensions tests. These tests are a way of assessing one’s reading speed and reading comprehension ability. However, reading word per word takes a lot of time in understanding the whole reading selection. To prepare for these tests, scanning and skimming is used as a reading strategy. Scanning and skimming helps save some time especially in reading comprehensions exams that are mostly comprised of long passages with follow-up questions. Readers are taught at an early age on how to scan and skim important details especially in long passages and excerpts. Scanning is done by looking for the most relevant details in a reading selection to get the thought of the whole material. Meanwhile, skimming is done by reading the first and last sentences and understanding the main points of the paragraphs in a reading selection.

Speed Reading

One of the most effective ways to train your brain is through speed reading. Contrary to popular belief, speed reading does not only improve your pace in reading. It also improves retention and comprehension. Additionally, it develops intellectual health because by then you will be able to train your brain to take in loads of information without experiencing information overload. Readers who do not practice speed reading and other reading strategies tend to stop at a certain portion of the reading material and read it over and over again until they understand it. Speed reading keeps the reader focused on the material and not on anything else. An advancement that speed reading does is to not go back to the previous sentences once you went over it. Practically speaking, this enables the reader to save a lot of time.

Avoiding Eye Strain with Speed Reading

For wide readers particularly, this reading strategy is helpful because they can avoid eye strain which mostly results from concentrating too much on a novel or book within a period of time. In other words, it reduces the time you spend on one book. With speed reading, you can read as much books as you want because you spared yourself some more reading time. Also, you do not have to worry about having strained eyes.

Speed Reading for Professionals

Doctors, lawyers, professors, and writers need to read tons of materials needed in their line of work. Doctors need to update themselves with researches, studies, and papers on medical advancements. Lawyers read a lot of case readings everyday. Professors need to have a good grasp on different topics so that they can share more information with their students. Writers, on the other hand, need to read a lot to come up with several writings in line with their field. All these and more are successfully done with speed reading.

Speed Reading for Personality Development

Speed reading enables readers to retain more information in their brain. This gives them ideas on just about everything, whether they also personally experienced it or just read about it. Some people love it when you try to give an answer to everything. It means you are capable enough to handle unexpected situation. Being able to share ideas fruitfully empowers your self-esteem. This leads to lasting bonds with people.

Basics of Speed Reading

Practice speed reading in a quiet place. Get comfortable and avoid distractions as much as possible. Keep track of your reading time to achieve the reading speed you want. There are also modules on speed reading available on the Internet for more guidelines. You can either download or purchase them. Being able to do speed reading is very practical and worth all your effort.

Reading has been deemed important ever since. Any time spent on reading is never a waste because it is indeed a productive activity. It gives a lot of benefits to the readers regardless of which book it is, may it be a novel, a science book, or a collection of fables. It enables the reader to try new things according to what they have read. It also challenges the reader’s existent beliefs and makes a room for discussion. Reading expands a person’s knowledge, values, and interests for a more fruitful life.