Tips to escape the mundane

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High school, university or any other kind of formal education has its downsides. The hours can be long, the study intense, the homework never-ending.

But when I graduated from university and entered the workforce, there was one thing I began to miss immediately— the mental stimulation that comes from constantly compounding knowledge and developing new skills.

When you leave an educational environment and enter a job that requires much of the same thing all day, every day, it can begin to feel like your brain is melting inside your skull. The boredom sets in quickly.

So how do you combat…

This isn’t about being trendy

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I’d like to preface this entire story by acknowledging my privilege by the very fact that I have a choice to shop at retail if I wish. There are many people who don’t have this luxury, who shop at thrift shops out of necessity rather than preference and they exist, first and foremost, for this demographic. The very fact that I also get to enjoy the benefits of secondhand clothes shopping is something I try not to take for granted.

I thrifted my favourite pair of jeans. And my favourite shirt. And my favourite dress. In fact, the majority of…

Find your literary green thumb

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I have a little garden of ideas tucked away in a Onenote notebook.

In this garden, I grow seeds of story. Some of them are lines of dialogue, while others are anecdotes. Some are quirks of taste or personality. Some are character features. I have philosophical ideas, pet peeves, rants. Fears and goals and dreams, waiting to be assigned to one of the little fictional people floating in my head. I plant them in my garden when they first come to me and there they stay until the time when I decide that they are right for a particular story…

A curious practice for you and others

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Today I left a letter in a park for a stranger to find.

It was typed on a single sheet of paper with a typewriter. It was spritzed with one of my favourite perfumes and tucked in an envelope, read me inscribed on the front.

Within, I poured out my heart.

I don’t know where it will go, who will find it. If it will simply sit there until the rain comes and turns it to mush and bleeding ink.

Not knowing is the reason I do it.

It is easier than ever before to connect with people in this…

Here is the world. It’s right in front of you. Do you see it?

The air is free of dust, crisp with moisture. There is the smell of rotting wood. Of damp earth and tiny green shoots. These are the little miracles.

The bird song is brighter now. There are harmonies, echoes, magpie melodies. They rustle the trees where there is no wind. It is still today — barely a breath, only the slightest sway of gum leaves.

Do you see the moon? Half its orb, translucent in the sky and lined in silver. In the blue of day, it…

A weekend I will never forget

In August of last year, I experienced a creative high unlike any other. It blew me away and gave me hope for my future as a creative and an artist. I wielded magic in a way I have never before. I will never forget it.

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I had just returned from a semester in Italy. It was a time in my life that changed me forever but left me without direction upon returning home. I was in the depths of post-travel depression, constantly anxious and struggling every day with purposelessness. I didn’t feel like I was alive. …

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Jack was a smart boy. He had never been predisposed to fairy tales. He knew better. And so, it came as a surprise to Alex Rainer when his son placed a baby tooth in front of him at the dinner table that night and asked, “How much do you think I’ll get for it?”

Alex held the tooth in his palm. It looked like a tiny, pale corn kernel. There was still a spot of blood on it. He frowned.

“Jack, you’re too old for fairy tales. Just put it away with your other teeth, ok?”

Jack’s face crumpled, his…

An unlikely tool for creativity and focus

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Every second writing-related story on Medium features an image of a typewriter. Hell, this one does. It’s the universal symbol of literary enthusiasm. It’s the weapon of a word wizard. The proud crest of the artiste.

But who the hell actually uses one? Like, actually sits down and punches out sentences on an ancient, clunky, clumsy machine. This girl right here.

I bought an old vintage typewriter about three years ago which, it turned out, needed a thorough clean and a new ink ribbon. When I discovered this, I promptly packed it up and forgot about it.

About a month…

The festive season is tough for creatives

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Don’t get me wrong, I love Christmas. December in Australia means family and drinks on the deck and cricket on the beach. It’s cousins shouting from the pool and laughter around the dining table. It’s my favourite time of the year.

But anyone pursuing a creative career knows it’s also a bittersweet time. We know about the nervous energy before an end-of-year event, preparing for the inevitable “what do you do for work?” We all know the frustration of that annual interrogation from the relatives. “How’s that writing thing going? Do you have anything else lined up?”

They mean it…

Lauren Elise

Australian, writing about things I’ve learned and things I’ve imagined ✨

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