Don't Give Up On Your Creative Challenges

Don't Give Up On Your Creative Challenges

Self-imposed challenges are amazing tools for growth. Don't discard them halfway through.
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I'm only 9 days into Inktober, and let me tell you, it's pretty hard to fit a daily drawing into my schedule, let alone one I actually like.

But hey, as someone who has abandoned my fair share of commitments, let me tell you that you should not give up.

Self-imposed challenges are some of the greatest tools I've ever used. Without them, I never would have written all the novels, short stories and poems that I have. I wouldn't even be close to being the motivated writer I am. (And yeah, I'm talking about NaNoWriMo again. I'm not sorry. The site re-launched on the 1st and I'm too excited).

Whether you're taking part in Inktober, NaNoWriMo or some other challenge to increase your creative integrity, I just want to tell you that you should fight the urge to falter. Over the years, I've listened to a lot of people tell me why they gave up such-and-such a challenge (usually NaNo) before it was over. Scheduling is the biggest excuse. I do completely understand how tired you are at the end of a long day spent at class, work or both, but to me, a challenge isn't about bending to the pressures of life and letting them get the better of you. It's about succeeding in the challenge despite them. That's the whole point of the word challenge.

Now, there will be things you don't anticipate. This is a given. There will be days when you won't have access to your laptop or notebook or sketchbook, and you'll feel horrible when bedtime rolls around because you failed today. And the next day, a similar thing might happen and you'll think 'well I skipped yesterday so I might as well skip today.' This is poisonous thinking. Remember: a challenge isn't about bending. It's about persevering. Mental motivation is half the battle.

So if you're planning on undertaking a challenge this year... plan. Take a few free days and work ahead, or make time in your schedule to draw that one ink picture a day. It's totally up to you. And if you fall short, evaluate what went wrong and try all the harder next time; don't just let it go. That's not how creative people grow toward success.

Make a plan, stick to the schedule and remember you're doing this for you. For fun. For a purpose.

Now stop reading this and go write something.

Cover Image Credit: Quino Al

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What Your Hogwarts House Says About You

Get yourself sorted and find out where you belong in the world of witchcraft and wizardry.
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Sorting at Hogwarts is a big deal. Being sorted into a house is essentially being placed into a family while you are away from home learning about witchcraft and wizardry. Your house is made up of the people you will live with, go to classes with, play Quidditch with and everything in between. You basically spend 24/7 with them. Your Hogwarts house is your home away from home.

When you get sorted into a house, it is based on your personality traits. The people in your house are typically like-minded people who display the same characteristics as you.

When you’re a first year at Hogwarts, the minute you set foot in the castle you are swept into the Great Hall to have the ancient Sorting Hat placed on your head. This Sorting Hat decides which “family” you’ll be spending your seven years with.

For some, it is very obvious which house they will be in, due to certain personality traits they possess. For others, they may exemplify traits that fit a multitude of houses and are uncertain where they may end up.

To find out where you belong, you can take the official "Harry Potter" Sorting Hat quiz at Pottermore.com. For all you muggles out there, these are the characteristics that the houses possess and what your house says about you:

Gryffindor: The house of the brave, loyal, courageous, adventurous, daring and chivalrous. Those who stand up for others are typically Gryffindors. Brave-hearted is the most well-known Gryffindor characteristic, and Gryffindors are also known for having a lot of nerve.

Gryffindors are people who hold a multitude of qualities alongside the ones listed, making them a very well-rounded house. People who are Gryffindors are often people who could fit nicely into another house but choose to tell the sorting hat they want Gryffindor (there's that bravery). "Do what is right" is the motto Gryffindors go by.

Being a Gryffindor means that you're probably the adventurous and courageous friend, and you are usually known for doing what is right.

Ravenclaw: The house is known for their wisdom, intelligence, creativity, cleverness and knowledge. Those who value brains over brawn can be found here. Ravenclaws often tend to be quite quirky as well. "Do what is wise" is the motto they strive to follow.

Though Ravenclaws can be know-it-alls sometimes, they most likely do know what the wisest decision is.

If you are known for being the quirky friend, the smartest in the group or just great at making wise decisions, you're definitely a Ravenclaw.

Hufflepuff: This house values hard work, dedication, fair play, patience, and loyalty. Hufflepuff’s are known for being just and true. "Do what is nice" is their motto.

Hufflepuff is known as the “nice house” and believes strongly in sparing peoples feelings and being kind. This is not to say that Hufflepuffs aren't smart or courageous. Hufflepuffs just enjoy making others happy and tend to be more patient towards people.

If you ever find that you are too nice for your own good and cannot bear to hurt someone’s feelings, congratulations, you are a Hufflepuff.

Slytherin: This is the house of the cunning, prideful, resourceful, ambitious, intelligent, and determined. Slytherin's love to be in charge and crave leadership. "Do what is necessary" is the motto of this house.

Slytherin is a fairly well-rounded house, similar to the other houses. They are loyal to those that are loyal to them just as Gryffindors are and are intelligent as Ravenclaws.

Slytherin house as a whole is not evil, despite how many dark wizards come out of this house. That is merely based on the choices of those wizards (so if your friend is a Slytherin, don’t judge, it doesn’t mean they are mean people). Slytherins do, however, have a tendency to be arrogant or prideful. This is most likely due to the fact that everyone in Slytherin is exceedingly proud to be there.

What Hogwarts house you’re in says a lot about the person you are, the traits you possess and how you may act in some situations. But in the end, your house is really just your home that is always there for you. Always.


Cover Image Credit: Warner Bros Pictures

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Why You Shouldn’t Play With Ouija Boards This Halloween

This seemingly innocent toy isn't touched by most professionals for a reason.

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Ouija boards are synonymous with sleepovers and scary movies. Most people think these toys are nothing more than a hoax pulled by supposed ghost hunters or friends trying to mess with them, but these boards are the real deal. Those who are considered professionals in the paranormal swear that these things bring nothing but trouble so why are these still being produced by Hasbro, a company that specializes in making Playdough and My Little Pony toys? As tempting as it is to pick up one of these boards and mess around for awhile doing so can have serious consequences that could last for years to come. So why is it such a bad idea to play with these? Well here's just a couple of reasons you should steer clear of these boards.

You could find out information you were better off not knowing

When the spirits tell you that you'll have 19 cats and die alone.

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Many people like playing with these boards because of their ability to accurately answer questions about their futures. However, the entities that you interact with through the board may have no filter telling you answers to things you really shouldn't know like how and when you'll die.

There’s always a chance you could get possessed

No one wants to end up looking like this...

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Does a movie with the name The Exorcist sound familiar at all? Well, it should because the real events that inspired this movie started all because a child by the name Ronald Hunkeler played with an Ouija board with his grandmother. After interacting with a spirit over the course of multiple sessions, the boy became possessed and well you know the rest. Pea soup anyone?

You don’t know what you’re inviting into your home

When the planchet starts moving in an infinity sign, it's time to end the session.

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Ouija boards open portals that spirits and demons can enter your home through. There's a reason professionals say if you're going to use an Ouija board never do it at your home. That's because there's no way in telling that the spirit your interacting with is really who it says it is. Good luck getting rid of something from your home when you don't even know its true identity.

You could be visited by Zozo

Don't say it's name or you can invite it without a Ouija Board!

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Perhaps one of the few things that genuinely terrifies this author is the demon named Zozo. He is notorious for coming through Ouija boards to possess those who are unlucky enough to encounter him, spelling his name over and over again with the planchet. One man claimed that after contacting this Ouija board residing demon, his one-year-old daughter was almost killed twice, once by almost drowning and then from a very rare infection of the intestine. Those who come into contact with the demon have similar stories of scratches and illnesses that have no logical explanation, there have even been reports of possessions from this creature. Many refuse to say this demon's name multiple times because they fear it can enable it to manifest without a board present.

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