On January 20, 2021, U.S. President Joe Biden had just been sworn in from the podium on the National Mall in Washington D.C. when a young woman walked towards the microphone. Her name? Amanda Gorman.
That day, millions of viewers listened to the poet for six minutes and were stunned. Today, Amanda is one of the most influential writers in the world.
But did you know that Amanda Gorman has some words of wisdom when it comes to creativity and mentally clear? Let's dive into her secrets!
Find Time to Meditate and Stretch
First of her rituals...
During an interview with Vogue, Amanda told digital beauty editor, Hannah Coates, how she unwinds her mental blocks by meditating and stretching.
According to her, she spends a lot of time writing. Therefore, carving out some minutes to meditate and move the body helps. So, as soon as you get a few minutes of peace, light a few candles, burn an incense stick and sit in a quiet room. No phones, no TV!
Sit on the floor. Close your eyes. Listen to your breathing. Feel your heart pumping and the vibrations of your environment. That's it!
Now stretch your body until you’re much relaxed.
Avoid Distractions, Including Technology
I know we're different. Some people will only be mentally clear in a silent environment, while others flow creatively in a different, lively place.
Even for an accomplished writer, it can be hard to get away from the day-to-day distractions — especially technology.
“I think the main difficulty in writing poetry for me nowadays is, yes, that there’s a lot going on,” she told AP. “But even if I’m able to carve out time and space to write, I think the biggest challenge that I can face sometimes is just my own self-sabotage in the sense that I feel so much pressure and so many eyes on me.”
She continued, “I’m like a 70-year-old in an 11-year-old body. I have muscles from that of pulling away from technology and pretending like it’s not there. Like it doesn’t exist. When I write, I tend to put all my devices on ‘Do Not Disturb.’”
Move Your Body
For Amanda, getting the blood flowing is the perfect way to boost creativity and get out of a rut. “There’s something about getting your blood flowing, being out in the sunlight. I’ll often do it with music playing in my headphones — that recenters me,” she shared with Variety. “I’ve gotten into taking Polaroid photos, though I’m not good at it, but it really forces me to stop and take note of the beauty of the world around me.”
She even incorporates music and dancing into her bedtime routine, adding, “It’s just a really great way of building up my joy and keeping that with me into the night.”
Get Inspired By Books
When she is writing, Amanda makes sure to keep books by her favorite authors close by as “a source of historical power.” Some of her favorites include James Baldwin, Toni Morrison, and Ntozake Shange. These art pieces can remind you that whatever subject you're working on has been done before. And so you can do it again!
Stop Trying to Be Perfect
In her MasterClass, Amanda shared her tips for getting rid of writer’s block and one of the most valuable pieces of information she shared was releasing perfectionism.
“One of the biggest things that leads to writer's block isn't actually not having anything to say; it’s being afraid to say it,” she explained. “It means that, as we stare at that blank sheet, we're worried about whether what we have to say is anything of value, whether our voice, what we’re writing, is any good.”
If there is one thing we know about Amanda is that she is wise beyond her years.