Authenticity today has become a dirty word, a saturated marketing concept for sale. What is it really about?

Image for post
Image for post

Photo by Nadim Merrikh on Unsplash

What does authenticity actually mean to me? As someone who writes about creativity, the idea of it really got me thinking.

Probably I’m one of those who thinks of authenticity as something magical. It’s something inside of me - whether it takes me down the process path of an intense, organised routine to create something, whether what I write sells or not, whether it’s relatable - to me it doesn’t matter in the end. Authenticity is something that is mine. Something I hate sharing, actually. …

The more I learn about creativity, the more I see it as an elaborate art of discipline.

Image for post
Image for post

Photo by Lacie Slezak on Unsplash

It may be the year of 2020, but some things never change: for centuries and up until this day, we have been perpetuating the myth of the Muse, an idea that we need to sit around and wait for inspiration.

I personally believe in the power of creative discipline over random and elusive inspiration bursts. I think that we can tame the Muse and make it come to us whenever we want to - but to achieve that, we need to learn to systematize creativity.

It sounds boring - but it doesn’t have to be! There are so many fun ways we can get ourselves into the creative mood. Today, I want to share some of my own creative routines and how I use these to keep my writing inspiration afloat - and while this post is written from a writer’s perspective, I hope it will be helpful for any creative professionals. …

There’s no better time to explore your creative potential than now.

Image for post
Image for post

Photo by Michael Uebler on Unsplash

Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is an international crisis which is currently talking a toll on the global community, adversely affecting physical and mental health of many of us. Governments in all countries are taking measures to circumvent the effects of the virus, with the US, Australia and many European countries closing their borders and Italy going on a full-on country lock-down as well as the increasing burden on public healthcare in all nations all over the world.

In the midst of unprecedented times like this when we cannot control external circumstances, I believe that this is the time to look within ourselves and see how we can utilize our inner resources to survive in crisis. …

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Svetlana Pochatun on Unsplash

For many of us, the dawn of the new millennium has begun with setting New Year resolutions and goals to achieve by the end of this year. It’s the time when we decide to get more creative and pursue a new hobby like dancing, writing, playing an instrument and many other things. Unfortunately, more often than not, life gets in the way and the enthusiasm we’ve had in the beginning wears off. According to some studies, most people are likely to give up on their New Year Resolutions right before they get into mid-January.

I can attest to that: many times in the past, I have struggled to find time to be creative and often ended up falling back into my everyday routine which left bleeding my creativity dry. After many failed attempts, I have found some strategies that work for me and I want to share with you how you can stay on top of your creative goals and not give up all the way until January next year. …

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Jeremy Bishop on Unsplash

The energy radiates from a man

Across the street —

He flaunts his wide arms, letting them go aimlessly

As if he owns this place.

And today, I own it too.

This colourful, eccentric neighbourhood -

today, it’s mine

just like the air I breathe,

today it’s not heavy like lead;

it’s light and pleasant

like the feeling you get as you let yourself go at a salsa soirée.

Today, I have the power to put the world down

On my page.

I feel such happiness inside me

To know colours and sounds,

To swim in the truest sensations of the afternoon. …

And why we need to stop wearing it as a badge of honour.

Image for post
Image for post

Photo by Andrew Neel on Unsplash

There is a quote by an unknown author that I found while doing my research for this piece and it says this: ‘Hurt an artist, and you’ll see masterpieces of what you’ve done’.(1)

It’s hard to deny that art and pain often go together - our emotional struggle can inform our creativity and even serve as an inspiration. Yet this idea of the tortured artist who is in this constant state of suffering and cannot seem to have their life together can be very harmful and dangerous.

The cultural phenomena of the “tortured artist” became a popular concept in the late 70s — early 80s; the idols of the epoch like Kurt Cobain and Amy Winehouse instantly come to mind as the ideal archetypes of the suffering artists as it was articulated by the media at the time. (2) But this idea has taken off before in other forms: Frida Kahlo and Vincent van Gogh are also examples of “suffering artists”; they were known for their incredible art which they produced as a result of immense emotional and physical pain they had to bear. Ancient Greeks believed that there was a divine origin to creativity and that to be creative, one had to be overtaken by “demonic forces” or “madness” which allowed them to enter into the “flow state” to work. …

What if we asked ‘whys’ about our ‘whys’?

Image for post
Image for post

Credit: Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

There is a countless number of tips and remedies for creatives who struggle with procrastination, the imposter syndrome, self-criticism and other underlying insecurities that stand in the way of their success. Today, I want to go a bit deeper and talk about my personal experiences with these creativity and confidence killers and, more specifically, the 'whys' behind them.

As a writer, these are the three main things I struggle with:

  • procrastination, which for me translates into the lack of motivation to write altogether and discourages my creativity;
  • feeling insecure about my language skills due to the fact that I am a non-native English…

And why we should appreciate them instead.

Image for post
Image for post

Photo by Kasper Rasmussen on Unsplash

The other day, I watched an old 1987 film called 'Wings of Desire' - the romantic fantasy masterpiece and an endless classic of arthouse cinema. Even though I am usually not a big fan of old films, Wings of Desire managed to charm me instantly and made me think about my own life and what it means to be a human - happy and positive at times, or, as in my case, frustrated, annoyed and unsatisfied most of the time (spoilers ahead!).

The action takes place in Berlin many years after the World War 2. The first part of the movie is shot in black and white, the second final part is in colour - such artistic choice is quite symbolic, showing Damiel’s transition into a human in the end of the film.Throughout the film, we see angels watching over the inhabitants of Berlin and guarding them in difficult moments. The protagonist, a guardian angel named Damiel, reveals to another angel Cassiel his desire to become a human to experience feelings, sensations and hopes, and, most importantly, to be able to fall in love with the woman of his dreams like a mortal man. …

Like many creatives, I used to wait for Her.

Image for post
Image for post

Photo by Tim Arterbury on Unsplash

I waited, and waited, and waited, and waited,and waited...but, of course, my Writing Muse never showed up.

One day I thought to myself: enough is enough! I am going to start this party without the unpredictable, frantically spontaneous, flaky Lady Inspiration.

I began to write even when I did not feel like it.

More often than not, my first draft thoughts looked like startled deers - confused, scattered all over the place. But I knew this is where it all starts. …

Morning. The time for thoughts to pour out.

Image for post
Image for post

As my favorite inspirational writer Ayodeji Awosika said in one of his posts, we must write in the morning before anyone influenced our thoughts trhoughout the day.

So here I am, writing with a sniffy nose I always get because of my morning allergies, half-asleep, resisting the urge to get back into the warm bed. This process in a way feels like meditation — serene, undemanding, quiet. This morning, I am here for myself and no one else.

The sounds of morning are meek, subtle, almost non-existent. Birds sing here and there. Cars in the distance. Banging noises that I hear through the wall as my friend gets ready for work. …


Olena Prusenkova

Writing about creativity to discover myself. Ukrainian-born, Australian-based writer.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store