Tips for the modern bohemian

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Finding a balance between free-spiritedness and destitution

  1. Spend little. The true bohemian knows what they really need can’t be bought. When you do spend, buy paint brushes and copies of secondhand classics.
  2. Dream a lot. Dreams are free. Everything needs to be dreamt up before it becomes real. Don’t limit what you want or what you can be.
  3. Live to produce your art. Dreams are great, but make sure you work to make them real. Make what comes naturally to you – write poems, novels or songs, illustrate, or sew clothes and accessories.
  4. Create for the sake of creating. Even if you can’t sell it, if you made it, you have given something to the world. Give your creations to others.
  5. Work only as much you need to. Bohemians never have stable jobs, but cost of living now makes being a bum harder than ever. If you have to work, which you probably do, look up creative blogs when you do have to be at a computer – and also make sure you at least find a job that won’t make you work all the hours under the sun.
  6. Have no fixed place of residence. Again, this probably isn’t that viable. But if you do end up homeless or sofa hopping, embrace it as true, authentic bohemian living. Then go on spareroom.co.uk and make sure you have a safe place to keep your iPad during the day when you go off to your 9.00am – 8.30pm job in the city.
  7. Ignore established norms that inhibit your free spirit. Quit your job. Escape the rat race. Travel the world.
  8. Shun consumerism. Cut your own hair, make your own clothes, fix your own clothes and pick your own flowers. Be an active producer – not just a passive consumer. Give, don’t just take.
  9. Go secondhand. You can’t buy ‘boho’, you can only make it (or find it in a vintage shop if it first was sold well over 20 years ago and the owner has likely passed away since then).
  10. Think freely. Be openminded. Do different things. Don’t conform. Speak to someone on the tube. Scary.
  11. Appreciate great work. Read the classics, memorise poetry and recite it drunkenly at parties to avoid making new friends, go to art galleries, and sometimes just be still and enjoy nature.
  12. Love freely. Care for others. See past difference. See that we are all the same.
  13. Follow your heart. Put yourself out there. Let others know how much you care.
  14. Trust in fate. Try to avoid negative mind-sets that tell you you’ve done the wrong thing or you’re in the wrong place. Embrace change as the first step of something new.
  15. Look a little weird but also arty. Bohemians wear floaty clothes. Particularly whites, browns and blue. Throw some items with unusual patterns in there. A stain or two will also do.
  16. Make bohemian friends. Look for people with the same anti-materialist values. Try and make friends with someone who sleeps on a mattress on the floor. They’re obviously the freespirited bohemian individual you’re after whose lifestyle you can absorb by osmosis. Or a crack addict.
  17. Have adventures. See where the night takes you. Be open to opportunities. Speak to people you wouldn’t normally speak to. Go out with people you wouldn’t normally go out with. Take a few drugs here and there. That usually helps.
  18. Wear jewellery. Especially rings. Wear those little rings that sit on the ends of your fingers so they fall off every time you leave the house. Replace them frequently. Bohemia isn’t about practicality, it’s about freedom of expression.
  19. Travel. You need inspiration for your art. See the world.
  20. Don’t settle down early. Have multiple relationships. Have multiple relationships at once. When you get caught and possibly castrated, explain you needed inspiration for your art.

Being a bohemian is creating your own life, and goes hand in hand with creativity of all kinds. Get inspiration for making the most of your creativity, or explore further why being a hippy is the only logical life choice you can make.

Jess

By Jessica Marie

Jessica is an aspiring novelist living in London. She teaches yoga, is an excellent baker and is excited by new experiences. Visit Jess’s yoga blog.

10 tips for writing a good web article

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Ever thought of writing for the web but didn’t know where to begin? Have you written for the web anyway and the only hits you seem to get are from your mum and distant Uncle Fred, who your mum has managed, against all technologically-challenged odds, to email the link over to? Never thought of writing for the web, but have an interest in reading irrelevant ‘how-to’ articles? Then, read on, these tips are for you!

  1. Introduce your argument in the first paragraph, summarising what you’re planning to say and then go on to support it. Don’t leave people guessing – you’re a writer, not a magician, so you should communicate. This approach has the added bonus of ensuring that you actually have a point (the challenge after this is making sure you stick to it).
  1. Support your argument with a number of clearly though-out paragraphs. Use numbers in planning: para 1 – argues this point, para 2 – argues this point, etc. Eg. 1. Chocolate is great. 2. Too much chocolate can be less great. 3. Moderation is probably the best approach.
  1. Ensure you link your paragraphs together. Eg. The start of paragraph 2 could be, “Although chocolate is delicious, too much chocolate can…”
  1. Put your paragraphs in a logical order. Eg. If your premise is how great chocolate is, don’t list the drawbacks first. Think about what you are leading your reader to consider and the order in which they need to digest the information to get there.
  1. Last tip on paragraphs, I promise. When you write a paragraph, close with a line that relates it back to the opening sentence of that paragraph, ie. “Chocolate is my favourite thing to eat. I like milk chocolate with sea salt. I love salty and sweet together. This is why my favourite thing to eat is chocolate.” Easy.
  1. I lied. Make sure your paragraphs are a reasonable length. Lot of unbroken text will have a reader clicking off your page in a millisecond.
  1. Use subheaders. It might be my own personal preference but it definitely breaks the text up and makes it easier for people to read. Reading on screen is harder than reading the printed word, so make it as easy as possible for your reader to stay with you.
  1. Include tangible examples. This is true especially in relation to more abstract subject matter! Relate your writing to concrete things. If you are writing about concepts or theory, explain how it might work in reality.
  1. Consider throwing in some personal examples – as this article is about writing for the web, let a little of your personality in. Tell the reader how it relates to you or what experience you have – or plan to have! – with your subject matter. Write from the perspective of a living, breathing human being rather than a machine. It adds weight, and is how you make your reader connect with your writing
  1. Summarise your argument at the end. Wrap up what you’ve argued and what your original point was.

And there you have it. Hope you enjoyed the article. Mum, can you forward this on to Uncle Fred?

If you found that you really enjoyed this article, you could read Jess’s other article about how to overcome any blockages to your creativity. Alternatively, look at some more beautiful photographs like the one above on free digital image website Unsplash

Jess

By Jessica Marie

Jessica is an aspiring novelist living in London. She teaches yoga, is an excellent baker and is excited by new experiences. 

10 tips to increase happiness in your life

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We all want to be happy, right? And yet this state remains eternally elusive, ephemeral, and undefined, like grasping at smoke. That’s why I came up with these 10 practical tips for the modern curious individual living in 2015 seeking to cultivate more happiness in their life.

  1. Don’t seek happiness directly. Focus on exploring and extending what you enjoy, for at least ten minutes every day. Start now with this incredible website about science, creativity, philosophy and personal development.
  2. Some people need to practise the art of letting go. Other people need to care more. Decide which one you are. You can start keeping a journal to get to know yourself, or discuss your feelings with others.
  3. The sum total of the satisfaction of your life can be measured by the success of your relationships. Deepen a relationship today: notice something about a person and tell them, or ask them a question you wouldn’t normally ask.
  4. Creativity should be at the heart of a fulfilling life. Don’t let a day go by without drawing a picture, exploring a new place, or having an unusual conversation.
  5. Life is only precious while we recognise its transience, which ironically releases us from suffering. Focus on what is ephemeral and fragile about today: being this many years old, living in this specific city, or having a particular relationship – none of these things will last forever.
  6. Some people need to focus on recharging alone to fulfil their needs, whilst others need to get out and explore the world. Work out which one you are and don’t let your needs go unfulfilled. Do you like to sit alone in your room and listen to emotional music, or head out to the nearest new pop-up bar and mingle with the crowds?
  7. Meditation is the key to developing a greater awareness of the deeper beauty of life. You cannot even imagine what you’re missing until you start meditating regularly. Do a ten minute guided meditation on YouTube – now!
  8. You are what you eat, and no mind can function without its body being in balance – mind is body, and vice versa. Take an Ayurveda dosha test to find out your body type, and start eating well, today!
  9. All life is suffering, and the sooner we accept that fact the sooner we can stop railing against the inevitable pain of living – and get to the important stuff. Find something to appreciate about a bad situation, now. Perhaps it taught you a lesson, or had an unexpected benefit.
  10. Self-knowledge and understanding is the key to living an enlightened, noble and rewarding life. It’s painful but worth it. Start learning about cognitive processing and personal development systems like MBTI and Enneagram now, and don’t stop!

And if all this doesn’t work, you can also console yourself with learning to write a novel, laughing at other people’s dating mistakes or becoming a hippie

crop-catherineCatherine Julianne is a writer and digital communications professional obsessed with the field of personality systems theory. She also likes drawing, meditating and being in nature. 

Image: Unsplash