Reading in Nature

Reading in nature is one of the best ways to relax and unwind and embrace the beauty of the world around us. Too often, technology reels us in to excessively using our phones, laptops and other gadgets, and the business of general life, work and chores makes it difficult to take a minute out for ourselves, but it’s so important that we do.

Our physical health is crucially important but we often forget to nurture and look after our mental health, unwind and rest and take some time to ourselves. Reading is one of those things that often provides a great amount of comfort and peace to people with very busy lives, and is incredibly healthy for the mind and body. By stopping movement, and focusing your mind on words that can create pictures in your own mind, you’re switching your brain from fast-paced, analytic mode to calamity and mindfulness. It can even be interpreted as a form of meditation.

What’s more, being around nature has been shown to improve mental health. An example of the benefits of nature on your mental health comes from a study of 20,000 people led by the European Centre for Encouraging and Human Health. It found that people who spent two hours a week in green spaces were substantially more likely to report good health and improved psychological wellbeing vs. those that didn’t.

So, for all avid book readers out there, reading in nature may be the best thing to help you calm your mind and fuel your imagination. The cool air, the quietness, the scents of the flowers and foliage makes for the perfect reading space. Spending time in nature also inspires a sense of awe. This feeling that the world is so much bigger than you can comprehend leads to “expansive thinking,” which allows us to consider different perspectives and can lead to innovative ideas. This, combined with reading and taking in all the creative ideas from the story you’re reading would be incredibly beneficial for writers in the midst of writing their own novel

The scenery for a novel in the works could also be wonderfully inspired by nature, for example the “Hobbit Holes” in “Lord of the Rings”, little dens inspired by the tremendously thick trunks of native trees, or he forest in “Alice and Wonderland” full of colour with strange and peculiar creatures around every corner. There are so many different benefits to reading in a natural setting, after all, it’s where we all would have resided historically, so we still have a strong connection with it.

So, where’s your favourite place to read, and why? Comment below! We are always interested to hear your thoughts!

If you enjoyed this blog, be sure to check out Ricky’s social media for updates on the weekly blog as well as an insight into some of his brilliant work as an author and poet. Ricky has written a number of books, of all different genres and styles, based on true events in his life/real life happenings. Feel free to have a scroll and interact with the discussion boards.

Ricky’s Platform:

Tiktok: RickyDaleAuthour

Instagram: ricky.dale

WordPress: RickyDaleAuthour

Facebook: Ricky Dale

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Books vs Audio books

What do you prefer? There are many people who are adamant about using audio books, and others who are adamant about reading physical books. At the end of the day, both have the same outcome, which is, that a story is being told, but which one gives you the best experience?

Let’s focus on reading physical books first. The great thing about reading books on paper is that you get to use your imagination to create the voices for each character. For example, you might imagine a wealthy character as having a very clear and crisp dialect, with perhaps an eccentric sound, while as you might imagine a farmer as having a stereotypically southern accent, such as Devonshire. Either way, you get to decide what you believe each character to sound like. In this way, it could be argued that the imagination is more active when reading a book, rather than listening to an Audiobook.

With reading, you also get the novelty of physically taking out a book and turning the pages and reading the words on the page, which can be very therapeutic on a warm day in the Summer or in a comfy chair in your own home. It may also be easier to keep track of where you have read up to as some people may find listening to audio less engaging and become distracted. Books are portable and can be taken anywhere, whilst an audiobook will require a digital device making it less affordable and less practical as a charger must always be on hand as well as a plug socket or portable power bank.

In regards to educational textbooks, the answer is very flexible. Everyone learns in different ways. Visual learners may benefit more from textbooks with lots of descriptive text and pictures and diagrams, while as auditory learners may benefit from hearing the words being spoken, whilst doing other things. No matter how a student learns, revision is important and teachers must be aware of this fact; everyone learns differently to one another. There are many ways of learning and teaching a section of a module.

With that being said, not everyone has the ability to read books. There are members of society who are visually impaired, members of society with learning difficulties and mental health conditions affecting the ability to concentrate on the words. As well as this, unfortunately, not everyone has access to a good education and some do not ever learn how to read, and so audiobooks provide a more inclusive way for people to experience stories. They paint a picture of the characters and their voices and physique and this can help a lot of people to imagine the story better.

Furthermore, with audiobooks, the listener is able to multi-task and get things done at the same time. You can listen while you’re at the gym, walking the dog, doing housework, gardening, or standing in line at the grocery store. It can help to make mundane tasks such as certain chores more enjoyable. Audiobooks also allow a reader to enjoy listening to stories late at night, when it’s dark, which is something that isn’t as easily achievable with a physical books as you often have to squint to make out what the pages say.

Here is a list of found benefits of listening to audio books:

  • Increasing reading accuracy by 52%
  • Increasing reading speed, expanding vocabulary and improving fluency
  • Teaching pronunciation
  • Improving comprehension by 76%; and
  • Increasing test scores by 21% when engaged in multi-modal learning.

And here are some findings regarding reading books:

  • Improves brain connectivity.
  • Increases your vocabulary and comprehension.
  • Empowers you to empathize with other people.
  • Aids in sleep readiness.
  • Reduces stress.
  • Lowers blood pressure and heart rate.
  • Fights depression symptoms.
  • Prevents cognitive decline as you age.

So really, there are pros, backed up by psychological studies, to both reading books and listening to audiobooks. All in all, it doesn’t necessarily matter how someone reads, as long as the story or text that they’re reading or listening to is interesting or enjoyable to them. There is the argument, of course, that technology like this may remove the novelty of writing and publishing physical books with front covers that may help to draw attention to them, but there are also amazing benefits such as allowing all members of society to enjoy a book despite disabilities.

So what do you think? Do you prefer reading books, or listening to audiobooks? Tell us why in the comments!

If you enjoyed this blog, be sure to check out Ricky’s social media for updates on the weekly blog as well as an insight into some of his brilliant work as an author and poet. Ricky has written a number of books, of all different genres and styles, based on true events in his life/real life happenings. Feel free to have a scroll and interact with the discussion boards.

Ricky’s platforms:

Instagram: ricky.dale

WordPress: RickyDaleAuthour

Tiktok: RickyDaleAuthour

Facebook: Ricky Dale

#poemlovers #author #poetry #poetrycommunity #blog #writersblog #blogpost #writer #writerscommunity #gettoknowme #newblog #bookrecommendation #discussion #discussionpoint #bookreccomendationsplease #recommendedbooks #booklibrary #bookstoread #blogpost #limberlost #ontario #interviews #askquestions #gettoknowme #newblogpost #blogsfordays #loveblogs #socialmedia #audiobooks #audiobooksvsreading #readingbooks #newbooks #commentbelow

Can you judge a book by its cover?

We all know the saying… “Never judge a book by its cover”, but how much does this idea hold true?

One might argue, well yes, this is particularly true, a book might have a wonderful story inside, despite having a very plain cover. A good example of this would have to be the original: “A Christmas Carol”, by Charles Dickens. This book is now considered widely famous and is often studied at GCSE Level or in Secondary Education in the United Kingdom. Despite its rather plain casing, this book is exciting, keeps the reader hooked as the story progresses and has clear moral values that can be taken from it, with even small children reading adaptations in Primary School. At the present day, there are also many animated and live-action film renditions of this story, which goes to show just how loved Dickens’ writing is all these years on.

However, in modern times, the mindset of people as a whole has changed drastically, likely due to commercialism and advertising becoming all the more “flashy” and “vibrant”. Psychology, today, says that we, as humans, judge another person, subconsciously in the space of 30 seconds. So what does that say about our tendency to judge in general. If we consider some of the most popular books circling around at the moment, and notice their front covers, they all seem to have one thing in common, colour, vibrancy even. For example, “It Ends With Us” by Colleen Hoover, as shown below.

Even books such as “Harry Potter”, another widely famous and somewhat recent in comparison with Charles Dickens, have covers that grasp the attention of the shopper, and paint a picture of the story that will be told upon reading.

However, with that being said, J.K. Rowling herself expressed that, she struggled initially to get her book known. This seems contradictory to the colourful and gripping cover the cloaks the first rendition of this series that would go on to become a best seller and pave the pathway go making one of the best cinematic franchises of all time.

Like many first-time authors, Rowling struggled to get her first book, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone published. (The name was changed to Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone in the United States.) The book was left untouched by over a dozen publishers. After a considerable amount of time, a British publisher, Bloomsbury, agreed to helping her publish her book. Bloomsbury found potential in the book as the chairman of the publishing house gave the first chapter to his, at the time, 8-year-old daughter, Alice, to read. After reading for a while, she excitedly demanded the rest of the book. After more critics began reading this peculiar book, Rowling’s work gained popularity rapidly and it soon became a bestseller after years of struggling to become noticed. Since, her first rendition of the Harry Potter and The Philosopher’s Stone has fetched £69,000 at an auction!

So it just goes to show that sometimes the best work, is not reflective of the cover that encapsulates it, whether it be vibrant and exciting, or simple and colourless.

However, according to evolutionary psychology, ‘judging a book by its cover’ is, in fact, an in-built human trait which dates back thousands of years and is a natural instinct based on survival. Studies have shown that during the first year of our lives, our natural instinct draws us to people we see as a friendly face. In this way, it can be hard not to be draw to more positive, vibrant looking books, and jumping to the conclusion that the story must also be this way. Though, naturally, this is what one would assume.

Overall, it’s really down the how you interpret the cover. Some may say that the cover gives a very good insight into what the story is about, and the genre and type of book that you’re going to read, but this does not account for lousy writing or an uninteresting story despite the genre being typically this way. What do you think? Should we judge a book by its cover ?

Thanks for reading!

If you’re an avid reader and you love all things literature, be sure to give us a like and a follow on Ricky’s other social media platforms, in which content is regularly posted regarding reading, poetry, quotes, interpretation and a good insight into his wide range of work and novels, of all genres and styles.

Instagram: Ricky.Dale

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With blogs posted weekly here on WordPress: RickyDaleAuthour, on various topics of interest!

Stay tuned !

5 ways we can improve our social media platforms!

Social media. We all have it. At least the majority of us do. It helps to connect with others, keep in contact with long distance friends and help us get ourselves known !

It is a known fact, however, that social media can be detrimental to our mental health, so here are some ways in which we can fix this !

1. Educational purposes – Can we use social media to our advantage? Rather than using social media as a way to focus on what others are doing and compare ourselves to them, we can alter our feeds and our algorithm, to fit a more educational narrative. More often that not, whether we realise it, we are comparing ourselves to others’ perhaps highly edited photos, with men and women feeling a need to live up to these stereotypes, in a subconscious self sabotage, when, in reality, social media, most of the time, just does not represent reality. Instead, we can follow hashtags that bring us positive reinforcement and education, on a hobby or interest. For example, you can seek out hastags such as #gardening, if you have a passion in gardening, or #bookrecommendations if you’re an avid reader. Make your social media space a healthier place today, by making these simple changes. It can really go a long way in feeling more comfortable online, and changing the narrative that social media has to be solely selfies and holiday photos.

2. Protect your privacy – Unfortunately, in this day and age, there are many people out there who are simply out to take advantage of other people’s kindness. Often, scammers will message you saying that they need X amount of money for X reason, which also invalidates those who are actually struggling. As well as the, often there are scams revolving around bitcoin and investment, which have bad intent. Most of these scammers have the intent to steal your bank details and therefore your money, and so it is crucial to be wary of messages that just don’t seem right… Also, if you’re not comfortable with strangers having access to your account and photos, make sure to turn your settings to private. This way, you can manage who does and doesn’t have access to your account, photos and other information about yourself, especially where you live. This is especially important for parents with young children, as too often, uniform brands can be searched up on the internet, and this can be especially dangerous for children being picked up from school. At the end of the day, as long as you’re safe and sensible about what kind of information you post, and who is able to see it, you should be just fine !

3. Be your most authentic self – It’s very tempting to want to edit photos, of yourself, enhance your sunset photo, change the lighting, but, in reality, life isn’t perfect, and we can take a big step into changing that. It would make such a huge difference, and a big help, to post natural, authentic photos, whatever the photo may be, because this way, we can appreciate the beauty of just that, reality. Your photo of the sunset is perfect just the way it is, your candid photo that you were worried about posting is perfect just the way it is ! You have captured two perfect moments here, and you don’t need to change anything about them for them to remain perfect! Less is more!

4. Writing posts – I’ve noticed recently, that captions on social media have become quite short. To each their own, but sometimes this can mean that we are simply scrolling and liking posts that don’t have so much meaning behind them. Some of the most authentic and inspiring influencers I have come across, for example, Melanie Murphy, Jessica Brennan and Robert Irwin, create posts with lengthier captions, something that you would have to stop scrolling and pause to read, usually with some kind of inspiring message or educational information. For example, Melanie Murphy has covered important topics such as mental health, diet, the reality of motherhood, and encourages posting raw, authentic photos, to help improve the way we view ourselves and others on the platform, with her recent post being “8 things that made me happy this week” – which promotes positivity and gratitude. It would be great if more of us could start doing this, and this would also help extend our attention span. Platforms such as TikTok which post short clips have been proven to, although provide us a template spike in serotonin (the “happy” neurotransmitter), also diminish our attention span, leading to us needing shorter and shorter videos to keep our attention up, which may not be good for us in the long run, so, providing more educational, meaningful and purposeful captions, can help combat this, and help us to start gaining new interests and hobbies again !

5. Interact with your audience – Let’s be more social again! Start up conversations, discussions, things you’re passionate about. Ask other people about their passions and why they are so engaged in these passions. You will make more connections and gain confident in speaking to others, especially if you all share a similar interest. It can also help lead you to pages that you find helpful such as writing tips pages, gardening tips, home design, etc. You’re also helping to support small pages that deserve more attention and recognition, you’re giving and receiving kindness to/from others, which, again, helps to promote a more positive social media space. Let’s support each other and grow together!

So there you have it, 5 ways to improve your social media space ! I hope this has helped you to make little changes in your life that might help you to have a healthier outlook. Small changes can really go a long way in improving our life, overall. Little tweaks on different elements of our life all add up, especially when you’re feeling a little lost of negative about yourself. Remember to stay safe and happy scrolling !

Did you enjoy this blog?

If you want to read more blogs like these, feel free to go and follow Ricky’s other social media platforms, where you can get updates on the next blog, which is usually posted weekly on various topics ! Of you’re also an avid reader and have a love of stories from all genres, Ricky has a range of books that you might be interested in, including themes of thriller, romance, friendship and family, and crime! Check out his social media platforms for more information, listed below !

Instagram: ricky.dale

Tiktok: RickyDaleAuthor

WordPress: RickyDaleAuthor

Facebook: Ricky Dale

Have a great day and thanks for reading !

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The History of Halloween

In light of the spooky season coming to a close, I thought I’d write a little piece about the history of Halloween.

Halloween’s origins date back to the ancient Celtic times, during which they celebrated a festival named “Samhain”. 2,000 years ago was around the time that the Celts lived and they resided mostly in the area that is now Ireland, the United Kingdom and Northern France. Their “New Year” was celebrated on October 1st.

This day was symbolic of the ending of summer and the harvest and the start of the dark, cold winter, a time of year that was often associated with death. The Celts believed that on the night before the new year, the veil between the worlds of the living and the dead became blurred. On the night of October 31st, the Samhain was celebrated, and this is when it was believed that the ghosts of the dead had returned to earth.

As well as causing trouble and destructing crops, the Celts believed that the presence of the otherworldly spirits made it easier for the Druids, (Celtic priests), to make predictions about the future. The Celts were incredibly reliant on the natural world, so, these prophecies were a crucial source of comfort during the long, dark winter.

To commemorate this event, Druids built grandeous sacred bonfires, in which the people gathered to burn crops and sacrifice animals to the Celtic deities. During this celebration, the Celts wore costumes, usually consisting of animal skins, and attempted to tell each other’s fortunes.

At the end of the celebration, they, once again, lit their hearth fires, which had been extinguished earlier that evening, from the sacred bonfire to help protect them during the coming winter.

Halloween, as we know it now, is an abbreviation of “All Hallows’ Eve” a holiday observed on October 31, the evening before All Saints (or All Hallows’) Day. The celebration, today, marks the day before the Western Christian feast of All Saints and initiates the season of Allhallowtide, which lasts three days and ends with All Soul’s Day. In much of Europe and most of America observance of Halloween is largely non-religious, and simply a holiday to dress up as traditionally “scary” characters, like these:

So there you have it ! A history of Halloween ! If you’re looking for something particularly spooky to read this Halloween, why not check out Ricky Dale’s “I Knew The Bride When She Used To Rock N Roll!” – The true story of paranormal experiences that occurred in Ricky’s old home !

Do you celebrate Halloween? If so; what did you do this year! We’d love to hear it!

Comment below !

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Ricky: An Autobiography

Ricky Dale was born in England and raised in West Africa and referred to the family as being “Colonial” nationality.

Ricky’s singing career began in 1959 with one nighters, college dates and the occasional radio show. As fame increased, he travelled across North America and moved between the UK and Canada charming capacity audiences in clubs and theatres. An individual style and heartfelt rendering of ballads, and the contrast of his wild Rock n Roll were, he says “inspired from the hop and energy of West Africa.

Ricky Dale, featured in the Burlington Gazette
An extract from the article

As the 60s developed, Ricky began to shun the glare of celebrity. Studios, clubs and sages pulsed with drugs and a tragic mass entertainment of messed up, so called music was becoming mainstream. After a long absence from the stage, he completed contractual obligations in Niagara, Canada and Southampton, England.

In 2000, Ricky, with his daughter Kim visited Canada. “It was a kind of odyssey to the past” he says. Their poignant journey encompassed in the Brant Inn location in Burlington, Ontario. Decades before, as an enterprising teenage from England, he stepped into the limelight of this fabulous nightclub and truly perfected his craft. In that golden era, a host of glamorous stars entertained the Brant’s sophisticated audiences. Ricky had fronted the Guy Lombardo Band, duetted with the sheer genius, Danny Kaye, and been “mothered” by beautiful Jayne Mansfield. “When the old timers were mean to me, she provided sympathetic company where I could escape at will and complain. The Brant Inn was tragically torn down in around 1970, but as Kim and I stood on the shore of Lake Ontario (near Maple Avenue), we could easily imagine the melodies that had floated out across the lake; sometimes reality is not permitted to be an intruder!

Special guests, Danny Kaye and Paul Reid

Sometimes Ricky would come to the UK for a few weeks if his  agent had any work lined up for him. On such an occasion was in 1962, when he was booked to appear at the Princess Theatre in Torquay. Helen Shapiro was the main attraction but Ricky also got some time on the stage. Most of his work was in and around Ontario – Toronto, Hamilton, Burlington and Niagara Falls, and he also participated in a show similar to the “X factor talent show” on Channel 11 TV. The Brant Inn used to broadcast nightly across the Province. Ricky expressed that his mother was incredibly thrilled when she heard him singing on her radio one evening.

Before Peter ,Paul and Mary were big stars Ricky and the group used to gig at the Downstairs Club  in Hamilton !

Venues also included weddings and  bar  mitzvahsm.

Inside the Princess Theatre

In July 2001, Ricky and his daughter Kim visited Smithville; Ontario which was where the Limberlost Restaurant was situated back in the 1960’s. This is the restaurant features in Ricky’s “Limberlost” Series

Ricky in Smithville Railway Station

The building in the background is Smithville railway station. Ricky had a professional photographer/editor change the name on the sign to “Anville ” which is the fictional name in his novel 

Around this time, Ricky owned a 1957 previously, police car. Most people of his age at the time were driving around in similar style cars, now considered vintage. For Ricky, it was important to have a car because unlike the UK, public transport was poor at that time and oftentimes Ricky wouldn’t finish his act until after midnight when the club closed.

Ricky pictured, with his car

Ricky went on to write a number of brilliant novels including his five star critic – rated “Limberlost” series, “The House on Dundas and Vine”, “Cloud Burst” and “I Knew the Bride when she used to Rock n Roll!”. Each with its own different genre. Ricky Dale describes these books as “stories within stories” or “non-fiction fiction”, which provide a sense of authenticity and realism. These books incorporate elements of Ricky’s inspiring and wonderful experiences throughout his life, almost reflected what life really is – It’s what you make it !

If you’re searching for a new read, Ricky’s novels are available under these titles: (with a brief overview)

Cloudburst by Ricky Dale – A uniquely personal insight into the fact-based account of Dahlia Carriera and Sandra Comanescu

Limberlost – A young girls journey to finding herself and her path in Ontario, Canada

The House on Dundas and Vine – A heartwarming story based on true events in Ricky’s life, involving a strong sense of friendship and romance

I Knew the Bride When She Used to Rock n Roll – A ghost story, based on true events https

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For this week’s blog, I thought I’d introduce you all to one of Ricky’s best books: Limberlost.

Blurb: The scene is set in Southern Ontario during the emergence of the 1960’s. In the format of purposely brief chapters, the theme unfolds a narrative of events which search and expose the tangled emotional alterations of a virtuoso who desperately yearns to bring her austere demons to rest. The result is and explicit non-cliché colour portrait of devouring pathos and perverse humour; which correlate and blend a relationship of semi-autobiographical sequences with semi-fiction. From the onset, the twists and turns of her life will promise the effect of a compelling and curious realism of empathy; they will captivate, enthral and follow the heart of even the most casual reader.

The story opens with a lonely girl, checking into the restaurant: Limberlost, on a snowy night in Canada. Slowly, as we progress through the story, she grows in strength and confidence and we are introduced to quirky and vibrant characters such as Sandra, who joins our protagonist in visiting the old family house, filled with memories of the past.

What makes this book the most authentic, is that it is based on a true story, as is the case with all of Ricky’s work, and in this way, the story is more special, heart-felt and relatable with real human emotions and through the journeys of each character.

The Limberlost is a real restaurant in Canada which is featured on the front of the book, surrounded by a nature reserve.

Our protagonist finds a sense of warmth and homeliness in this place and when reading, this warmth and sense of family, and homeliness resonates within the reader. Everyone has that one special place, that isn’t their literal home, but feels cosy, like a second home, whether it be a restaurant, café or lodge.

Here are some reviews of Ricky’s “Limberlost”

Sensitive, emotional and profound – Ricky Dale enjoys an easy and fluid writing style and a sure ear for the rhythms of contemporary speech; dialogue, in particular internal, is well crafted”

Athena Press, London, England – Affiliated in the USA

“Compelling, beautifully, sentimental and sensitively written – almost spiritual”

Rosemary Merrell, Devonshire, England – Retired

A quote on the blurb of this book that I think that we can all really feel deep within us is this:

“Who. After all. Kmows who we really are of where we are going? We are all, in a way, carried onwards by a greyhound bus”

In this day and age, with so much immense pressure to make something other of ourselves and achieve such extreme goals and function under all the pressure, this quote gives some sort of reassurance that, no one really knows who they are or where they are going, and that is the most beautiful part of life.

Ricky began to write Limberlost in 2006, described it as a “stopgap measure” whilst his daughter was attending college/university, assuming that the finalised novel might make an interesting read for family and friends – and conceivably a mixed assortment of booksellers/readers.

Limberlost was initially going to be a “one off” book, until residents of the UK and Canada were eager to find out more about the story and whatever happened to Kystyna (Kim)

The great thing about this series is that it doesn’t necessarily have an order. The books may be labeled “prequel” or “1, 2, and 3”, but they really can be read in any order as the main character, Kystyna and her family are “abundantly unsystematic”.

The book is dedicated to Ricky’s daughter Kim, or (Dr Kim Jayne) and inside the book is a picture of the bank of Winter Creek in which Ricky and his daughter walked along in 2001.

Overall, the story is such a beautiful one, with so many wonderful characters from all walks of life, with high spirits and colourful personalities, each based off of someone who or was truly present in Ricky’s life. So much time and effort and love has been put into writing these books and these books are so unique in the sense that they offer that sort of realism and authenticity that makes us ponder about our own lives and living them to the fullest. If you love family orientated books, kinship, love, romance, drama and a strong female lead, this book is the one for you.

Like this blog/Ricky’s work ?

Feel free to check out Ricky’s other platforms for weekly updates, blogs and literary art!

Facebook: Ricky Dale

Instagram: ricky.dale

Tiktok: RickyDaleAuthour

Thank you for taking the time to read this and I sincerely hope you enjoyed it and it has helped you to find an interesting new read to add to your list !

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5 ways to cure writer’s block

Writers block. The annoying thing that word artists get stuck on, seemingly out of the blue, when halfway through a piece of creative writing. The symptoms can appear differently for different writers, but they may include: the inability to focus, feeling mentally foggy, a lack of inspiration, and feeling stressed and frustrated. The good news is that writer’s block is a temporary condition, and eventually, you will get back into creative writing mode, in which thoughts drift consistently from your mind onto paper.

So what exactly is writers block? The Psychology says there are many reasons in which writers block could occur: Fear (fear of getting it wrong), wanting to create a masterpiece (and the pressure of that), loosing enthusiasm, anxiety and even sleep schedule.

But never fear! I have several tips on how to cure writers block once it sets in :

1. Change your workspace.

What is the environment like in which your write? Perhaps you like to write at a desk in the comfort of your own home, perhaps you like to venture out to a nice quiet park and write in nature, or perhaps you have a trust typewriter and your own little office area ! No matter your environment, make it a place you want to be. Tidy up or try putting out fresh flowers or a bring with you picture of what inspires you. Bear in mind the time of day you are most productive. If you are not a morning person, don’t try to write in the morning. If you’re constantly restless, try writing while standing up. Always make time to work when you’re feeling the most motivated, for the best results!

2. Use writing prompts

When you’re feeling like you just don’t know how to start your next chapter, or even the next sentence, in your creative writing piece. There are many apps that can be downloaded which provide new prompts at the same time each day, to help inspire new thoughts. Phrases such as “think of someone in the periphery of your childhood memories, ( a classmate, a teacher, a neighbour ) and cast them as the main character of your story. This prompt would be particularly when starting out from scratch but there are many in which you can choose from, no matter which point in your writing that you have reached !

3. Read

As plain as simple as it sounds, reading is an easy thing to do that can be so inspiring and thought provoking. After all, it is often that the work of previous authors inspires new authors to begin their writing journey in the first place ! Even 10 minutes of reading, any book that you think you may enjoy, or delve into, will put you in the right mindset to right your own words ! Perhaps the work of famous authors such as J.K.Rowling or even Charles Dickens.

4. Try the Pomodoro Technique

Francesco Cirillo, developer of the Pomodoro Technique, says people are most productive in 25-minute blocks. This can also be said for things such as revision, and learning. Set a timer on your phone or download an app. Then remove all possible distractions ( no email, no getting up to get more coffee, etc ). Sit tight, focus and power through that time period. After 25 minutes, take a much-deserved break. Relax, unwind from all that thinking and do something completely unrelated for 5-10 minutes. Grab a cup of coffee, go for a short walk around the block, call a friend, watch some short clips on YouTube, and then repeat the process !

5. Wait it out

Sometimes, the best thing to do, is the most simple thing to do. Wait. Sometimes we have such a tendency to cram everything we think we need to do, and try and get it all done in the space of a matter of days or weeks. Realistically, there is only sp much the brain can take in before it tires out. Its okay to take a well deserved, slightly longer break. Even taking a day or a week out for writing can be a great way to “reset” and return with new found motivation. Everyone deserves a holiday !

Writer’s block can be caused by too much stress, lack of rest or fresh ideas, and even putting too many emotions into what you write. Either way, this can be a distressing moment for any writer and can lead to lack of interest. So take a break, relax, put your feet up. It will help in the long run!

I hope that this blog has give you some tools to help you in your writing journey! Good luck with your creative writing pieces and marvel at the results after a long ride. That is your masterpiece right there in front of you and you should be proud of yourself for all that you have achieved !

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Ricky’s Poem in Remembrance of 9/11

In August 2001, Ricky Dale and his daughter Kim, visited The World Trade Centre (otherwise known as the Twin Towers). This visit would be just prior to the attacks, and tragedies that occurred just several weeks later. Ricky Dale, like many others who watched the news that terrible day, were stricken with shock at the horrors of what had happened, and hearts and sympathies went out to the victims of these tragedies.

It has been 21 years since the tragedies of 9/11 occurred, and years on, we will remember the victims and think about their families during this time.

After hearing of the news when he arrived back in the UK, Ricky wrote a poem in remembrance of the victims.

During the September 11 attacks of 2001. 2,997 victims were murdered. The immediate deaths included 265 on the four planes and 125 at the Pentagon.

Who would have known that death’s shadow was stalking?

Weeping willows crying silent,

Pines that cluster deep secluded

Oaks and ash like towering churches,

Flog the innocent with birches

Hudson mists creep up and chill

Throughout the night of burning embers

Unknown arms reach unknown souls

Beyond the fear of wild September

Nesting deep within the copses

Praying to the wind in whispers

Suspended, floating in confusion

Drifting dead in dreamed illusion

Fantasy, emotions frozen

Bequeaths a hidden sanctuary

Resentments harbour deep within

Running into oblivion

Fasting brief in pain that spreads

Waking torment from our beds

Laughing as clowns – gritting defiance

Crying as infants – stepping like giants

We will remember you – we promise

Loves memory is evergreen

The beginning of the end is over

And it never deflected the American Dream

Ricky and his daughter Kim at the Top of the World Trade Centre

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