Categories
Inspiration Productivity

How to Become a Virtuoso: 5 Lessons from the Life of Child Prodigy Felix Mendelssohn

Mendelssohn_Bartholdy
Felix Mendelsson: the child prodigy more gifted than Mozart. We can learn much from child prodigies.

It has long been argued that Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was the most brilliant child musical prodigy who ever lived. At five years old, he could already play multiple instruments, had begun composing his own pieces, and was performing in the royal courts of Europe. However, eighteen years after Mozart’s death, another child prodigy was born: Felix Mendelssohn. Like Mozart, he demonstrated a rare and breathtaking musical talent. In fact, the famous German writer Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, who had seen a seven-year-old Mozart perform in Frankfurt, dared to state that Mendelssohn’s skills surpassed those of Mozart. Goethe remarked to Mendelssohn’s teacher Zelter, “What your pupil already accomplishes, bears the same relation to the Mozart of that time that the cultivated talk of a grown-up person bears to the prattle of a child.”

Regardless of whether Mozart or Mendelssohn was the better musician, the fact that they were both so remarkably talented from such a young age is enough to fascinate and inspire. But, of course, talent alone does not equal success. The lives of child prodigies reveal many other factors that are essential for becoming a virtuoso. In today’s post, we’ll look at the life of Felix Mendelssohn to discover five lessons anyone can use to hone their own talents and skills.

Categories
Creativity Productivity Writing

5 Steps to Starting a Writing Club & Why You Should

Writing can be a lonely task. A writing club provides you with fellow adventurers during your writing journey.
Writing can be a lonely task. A writing club provides you with fellow adventurers during your writing journey.

If you want to become a successful novelist or painter or musician, it doesn’t happen overnight. Many different factors are necessary including hard work, practice, and dedication. When reading about the lives of several famous writers, I discovered another important ingredient that contributed to their success: a writing club. Having a group of fellow writers who critiqued their work and encouraged them along the way was an essential part of their writing process.

Of course, it isn’t only writers who can form these kinds of clubs. Gathering together several likeminded friends working on similar endeavors to yours could be just the missing ingredient you all need to successfully launch your next big idea or finish a current project. In today’s post, I’ll share why these groups can be so beneficial and five steps you can take to get started forming your own.

Categories
Creativity Productivity Writing

5 Lessons Learned From Writing A Novel In A Month

notes-on-wood-4-529092-m
5 Lessons Learned from NaNoWriMo
(National Novel Writing Month)

I hope all you fellow scholars have been enjoying the New Year!

Looking back, 2013 was a fun and exciting year here at Inkwell Scholars. I published the first post on this blog on March 4 shortly after releasing the Inkwell Scholars eBook 31 Best Writing Prompts (join the email list to get a free copy). I also created a Facebook fan page; promoted the YouTube channel as it grew to over 150,000 video views; and read over 75 essays written by students in the Inkwell Scholars writing program.

What was one of your biggest achievements of 2013?

Aside from the many milestones reached with Inkwell Scholars, mine undoubtedly happened this past November when I wrote a novel in a single month.

Categories
Productivity Writer's Block Writing

How And Why You Should Write Every Day

Faulkner's Typewriter | How to write every day
Faulkner’s Typewriter / Photo Credit: Gary Bridgman

Writing classes at the Academy ended in June (congrats to all of the students who completed the spring semester classes!), and here at Inkwell Scholars I’ve been enjoying these lazy summer days and all of the time I’ve been able to devote to numerous hobbies.

But, unfortunately, this means that I’ve been finding myself writing less and less. And that means my writing muscle is beginning to atrophy. Help!

In today’s post, I’ll share several very effective ways to train oneself to write daily all while having fun.

Categories
Creativity Inspiration Productivity

Habits of Highly Creative People: Hobby Collecting

Habits of Highly Creative People: Hobby Collecting
Your hobbies can make you smarter.

Want to make yourself smarter? Master a new hobby.

Some people enjoy playing the guitar in their free time. Others enjoy studying foreign languages. Others like to play tennis or cook gourmet meals or paint watercolor landscapes. Whatever hobby you seriously pursue, you are teaching yourself a new set of skills that you will be able to use across every area of your life.

Categories
Creativity Productivity

7 Ways To Unplug From Technology & Increase Your Creativity

7 Ways To Unplug From Technology
Could you disconnect from the Internet for 10 days?

Tony Schwartz, the CEO of the Energy Project, decided to disconnect from the Internet for ten days.

This wasn’t the casual ‘I’m turning off Facebook for the next ten days, but I’m still checking Twitter and Tumblr and Pinterest and text messages and email every twenty minutes.’  No. Schwartz felt overworked and began planning a much needed vacation.

He decided to leave his laptop, iPad, and cell phone at home.

What did Schwartz think of his ten days away from Internet civilization?

Categories
Inspiration Productivity

What’s Your Action Plan? 3 Lessons From An Olympian

wilma rudolph | inkwell scholars
“There’s always a way to achieve your goals.”

What are your goals and what is your action plan for achieving them?

Read on to discover several lessons from the inspiring life of Wilma Rudolph that will help you form an action plan in order to make your dreams a reality. 

The Remarkable Story of Wilma Rudolph

As the doctor examined four-year-old Wilma’s twisted leg, he told the little girl that she would never walk again.

But Wilma and her family believed she could overcome all odds.

“When you come from a large, wonderful family, there’s always a way to achieve your goals,” Wilma explained. “‘I can’t’ are two words that have never been in my vocabulary.”

Not only did Wilma walk again, but sixteen years later she also competed in the 1960 Olympic games in Rome.

She became the first American woman to win three gold medals in one Olympics, and she set a world record in the 200-meter dash.

Categories
Creativity Productivity Time Management

The Key to Productivity: 4 Steps to Laser-Like Focus

Mister Spock Inkwell Scholars
“I object to intellect without discipline.”

Even if you’ve never seen an episode of Star Trek, you’re probably familiar with one of the show’s most famous characters: Mister Spock.

He’s the half-human, half-Vulcan first officer of the starship Enterprise. The highly-intelligent Vulcans dedicate their lives to mastering logic, learning everything they can, and suppressing their emotions.

Of course, Spock is just a fictional television character. No one can suppress their emotions as coolly as he does. Nor should anyone want to. Indeed, his crew mates, Captain Kirk and Doctor McCoy, continually try to prove to him that emotions are often just as important as logic when making decisions.

But from Spock we discover one of the keys to productivity and expertise: laser-like focus.

Read on for four steps to train yourself to think like a Vulcan so you can boost your productivity and allow your creativity to flourish.

Categories
Creativity Inspiration Productivity Writing

4 Reasons To Keep An Idea Journal

idea journal inkwell scholars
Habits of Highly Creative People:
The Idea Journal

Leonardo da Vinci. Marie Curie. 

Thomas Edison. Beatrix Potter.

What do all four of these people have in common?

Not only were they highly motivated and creative individuals, but they also all kept an idea journal.

An idea journal is quite different from a diary. You use an idea journal not to record all of the things that happened to you throughout the day, but to jot down daily goals, achievements, opinions, observations, or bits of inspiration. If you’re working on a project, you can fill the idea journal with updates on your progress, thoughts on how to improve the project, and anything else that motivates you.

A writer’s idea journal might be filled with ideas for stories or articles or blog posts (no need to fear writer’s block when you have an idea journal). An artist’s might contain sketches or inspirations for drawings. Ultimately, the idea journal exists as a private place to plant your ideas and watch them grow.

Here are four reasons why you should keep an idea journal.

Categories
Memorization Productivity Study Tips

Brain Power: Quickly & Easily Memorize Anything

Memorize Like A Superhero
Iron Man flying in his cool suit of armor.
He’s also the brilliant inventor Tony Stark.

Has anyone ever asked you: “If you could have any superpower, which one would you choose?”

Would you want to have lightning speed? Super strength? The ability to fly?

Of course, this is a silly question because you will never be one of the X-men or Fantastic Four or the Avengers. In real life you can’t have any of those superpowers.

Except one:

A super-powered memory.