What happened to creativity?

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No matter how long you have been chasing your novel (or writing format of choice), if you have ever researched writing advice from those who have achieved literary success, you will be well versed in in the TED Talk-worthy inspirational rhetoric.

Don’t get me wrong, most writing advice is well meaning and sometimes you find the exact remedy to get you out of a writing rut. At times, reading advice from fellow writers can be all it takes to give me a motivation boost and to kick my creativity back into gear. Not to mention, most of this advice comes…

It’s a complex and subjective emotion, but one that’s familiar to most humans.

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EMPATHY: “the ability to understand and share the feelings of another.”

But what makes a person an Empath with a capital “E” other than experiencing this emotion? The definition of this phenomenon varies but here is what multiple sources agree upon:

  • Advanced ability to understand (and feel) the emotions of others.
  • Highly sensitive and easily overwhelmed with emotion.
  • Vulnerable to toxic people (or “energy vampires”)
  • Intuitive
  • Introverted, quiet, and good listeners.
  • Burnt out by crowds. Prefer one-on-one conversations.
  • Motivated to help others to the extent of being self-sacrificing.

Let’s dive in to what this obscure concept really boils down to.


We are not objects for your saviour narratives, pity points, or inspiration porn.

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Here is a summary of the controversy:

  • A successful singer with a massive following decides to make a film centred on a marginalised demographic* which she herself is not part of.
  • She spends years researching this demographic, using what people of this demographic consider hate groups as her sources.
  • For the titular character, she casts an actor who is of this demographic. However, this actor struggles to cope with feeling overwhelmed and disrespected on set. …

And how replace them.

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Different modes of writing call for different technical approaches. Articles, blogposts, short stories, poems, and diary entries each call for different wording, presentation, and tone. Think of them as generic conventions.

Sometimes, you can break these rules, especially in creative writing or experimental pieces. But sometimes trimming the fat of your writing allows your strengths to shine through.

Academic essays tend to judged harshly based on a rigid set of rules and ultimately graded. Therefore, when writing a paper or essay as part of your education, it is worth ensuring that your writing style is tidy. The ideas in your…

How motivational life advice bypasses executive dysfunction and other disabilities.

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“Embark on my self-improvement journey! I created by own business from scratch, became a millionaire on my eighteenth birthday, travelled the world, and bought my own mansion by following the these simple mantras. To be like me, here’s what you must remember:

  • Wake up at 4am!
  • If you cared about your goals, you wouldn’t be distracted. If you procrastinate, you obviously don’t care.
  • Work now. Rest when you’re successful. Then when you achieve that goal, raise your stakes again. Rest when you’re dead.
  • Don’t listen to the voice telling you to take a break. …

“The Song of Love” by Giorgio de Chirico. 1915

Who are you to intrude
upon my idle solitude?

You find me limp like a wet, ripped stocking,
yet as frigid as a dry latex glove.
with your sculpted cheeks of Apollo.
I could frame that face
and hang you from my garden wall.
I will bring the rope,
but have you tie the knot.
I will admire you beneath every archway.
I will sign my name below,
like I sign my own face
when the lipstick goes on.

If you still could
whisper, you would
tell me I should
rise. Above it all.
Stony like your glare.
Shifted, like a lens,

This narrative voice is controversial. Here’s how it can make or break a piece of fiction.

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I am the number one fan of writing and reading prose written in first-person present-tense. But this form gets a lot of hate, some of which is justified. From my creative writing classes at university to online writing guides, writing in first person present tense is made out to be a scary feat. But it all comes down to what you’re used to reading and writing.

The most common register for fiction is third-person past-tense.

One day, Zoe sat on the sofa, flipped open her laptop and opened a writing document. Chronically plagued with executive disfunction and an attention span…

Who was the man behind the diagnosis? How Hans Asperger’s eugenicist-based research shapes the modern perception of autism.

Asperger’s today is synonymous with high functioning autism. For decades, brainy people with poor social skills were diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome, a “milder” form of autism. Over the past few years, Asperger's syndrome has been removed from most diagnostic manuals, including the DSM-5. Why?

Discourse surrounding the validity Asperger's as a diagnosis and identity tends to forget the etymology of the word. Aspergers as a subcategory of autism originated in 1981, long before the sinister details of Hans Asperger came to light. …

No human being looks like a piece of fruit. Let’s explore a healthier relationship with fashion.

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Apples and pears themselves are delicious. Labelling yourself as one of them based on your measurements is not so sweet, however. When it comes to buying fashion that flatters your body and makes you feel good, apples, pears, and egg timers don’t cut the mustard.

I’m done with using clothes to hide imperfections (that don’t exist) to align myself with a label that doesn’t fit.

I admire the stance that you should wear whatever you want regardless of your shape. This is true. However, since bodies are diverse, one item of clothing will look different on each shape and size…

Zoe Tempest-Petre

Novelist. English literature student. Vegan. Cat lady. Neurodivergent. Chaotic Sagittarius.

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