5 Open Secrets To Creative Writing. From the world's most creative writer online

MANILA: From one of my favorites, the Muppets: "Rainbows are visions / But only illusions / Rainbows have nothing to hide." They have nothing to hide, and they have something to show: blithe spirit, bright spirit in the midst of dark clouds – doubts, chaos. A rainbow is a perfect metaphor to encourage writers burdened by the inclement weather of the mind. 

Look at me: How can I write 17 long essays in 30 days with a rainbow of topics if my thinking is not unbelievably a rainbow of creativity? In my consolidated blog, A Magazine Called Love (blogspot.com), for several years now, I have this unchallenged claim: "Frank H, the world's most highly original, creative writer online."

So, here are those essays I published in the dates indicated:

2016 March 03 – "Attack of The Ateneo 400 and Historical Revisionism"
2016 March 05 – "Vision Is The Greater Part Of Statesmanship"
2016 March 12 – "Considering Mar Roxas"
2016 March 13 – "Looking For A Great Statesman"
2016 March 14 – "Global Miseducation: Teaching The Global Judges Judging The Local Teachers"
2016 March 19 – "Old Soldiers Never Die, They Just Word Away!"
2016 March 20 – "Knowledge In UP Is Upside Down!"
2016 March 23 – "Here's What We Can Do At Once To Fight Climate Change"
2016 March 25 – "Frank H's Landscape Agriculture: Can You See The Water?"
2016 March 27 – "The ISIS Question Is The Muslim Question Is The Question"
2016 March 28 – "Bongbong Marcos: The Son Also Rises"
2016 March 30 – "What Federalism? Precisely, That Is The Question!"
2016 March 31 – "Google's Genius & Mine"
2016 March 31 – "Ilala & Cotabato's Drought Of A Thousand Days"
2016 April 01 – "We Will Invest In A Greater 'Asia's Bright Star'" – Mar Roxas
2016 April 02 – "If Scientists Knew Science Well, They Would Be Artists"
2016 April 03 – "Many Kinds Of Deaths, Many Months Of Drought"

Those are all long essays, more than 1,000 words each. In all of them, I try to be different and practice the 4 Cs of Communication: Concise, Comprehensive, Clear, Coherent. (If you want a very different lesson on those 4 Cs, go read my essay, "Vatican Nude. The ladies protest too much!" 17 January 2013, Frank A Hilario, blogspot.com.)

14 long essays this March alone – it's summer in the Philippines and El Niño is afoot; now, why don't I have a drought in my writing?! How can I write about so many dissimilar topics in so many days? And look at the titles: None of them is boring, none similarly constructed as any of the others.

As of today, 04 April 2016, I now have 2237 posts in my collect-them-all-in blog A Magazine Called Love (blogspot.com), the last being "Many Kinds Of Deaths, Many Months Of Drought" (03 April 2016). You wouldn't think that essay is about the Cotabato farmers' rally that became bloody, would you? And that I blamed, among others, the farmers!

I want to celebrate this creative milestone that I'm sure nobody else has achieved via the Internet. 2237. Actually, I have been wanting to celebrate the number 2222 since I reached it on 19 March 2016, when I uploaded "Old Soldiers Never Die, They Just Word Away!" (A Magazine Called Love, blogspot.com). It was my way of encouraging writers to use Microsoft Word as their app. Also, it was a very conscious paean to myself and Word 2013, in the environment of Microsoft Windows 10. From Word 1 (DOS version, 1983, my copy acquired 1987) to Word 13 (Windows version, 2012), this app has been my constant companion in the last 25 years as it has proven to be excellent for writing, editing and desktop publishing, all of which I have been doing. Oh yes, I do all the blogging myself, including doing the HTML, using mostly Word 2013 now.

Except for a handful of one-liners, my Love posts average 1,000 words each, and not one of them is a hodgepodge of texts thrown in and separated by asterisks – ***** – that show discontinuity of thought. Each of those thousand-word essays has a proper Beginning, Middle & End, and not simply a jumble of thoughts in texts separated by symbols.

2222. What's the spiritual meaning of the number 2222? From Angel Numbers (blogspot.in):

(Angel) Number 2222 is a powerful number that vibrates to all of the attributes of number 2, amplifying and intensif(ying). Number 2 resonates with service and duty, balance and harmony, adaptability, diplomacy, co-operation, consideration, receptivity and love, understanding, personal will, the ambition, sensitivity, just and justice, selflessness, sociability and support, attention to detail, decisiveness, intuition, caution, flexibility, grace, devotion, mediation, partnerships and relationships, encouragement, faith and trust and serving and living your Divine life purpose and soul mission.

While those meanings are merely symbolic, incredibly I find many of those entries apply to me: service, adaptability, co-operation, love, attention to detail, personal will, intuition, encouragement, faith ... but not diplomacy, not sociability, not mediation. Well, nobody's perfect!

To celebrate my reaching the magic number 2222, to celebrate this occasion, let me tell you and encourage you that you too can be as prolific as I am, now going on 76 (I was born 17 September 1940), or half as prolific, or a third as prolific. (To further celebrate, I am making a one-time free offer: a whole-day session on Creative Writing on any subject in any one of these campuses: Ateneo de Manila, La Salle, UST, UP Diliman, and UP Los Baños. Any number of learners can attend; with LCD/LED projection, any number can undergo the learning process, provided they bring their own laptop. Write me at frankahilario@gmail.com. For mentoring, a different story but same email.)

Right now, to encourage you on your own journey of writing, here are free lessons on Open Secrets to Creative Writing from this happy writer:

(1)     Open Heart
Love. Whatever your Christian brand of faith, never ever say you love and yet cannot forgive. You may give a million dollars away, but if you cannot forgive the one who has made you mad, you are unhappy I know, and you'll have a hard time being creative. Take heart and yes, learn to celebrate life! "Until further notice, celebrate everything" – Anonymous. "I thank, therefore I am" – Frank A Hilario.

(2)     Open Mind
Po! Po is an invented word by Edward de Bono; this is brainstorming device with a very creative difference. Po is a magic word to open your mind to all possibilities while brainstorming with others. Say Po to every suggestion. I brainstorm with myself, but I Po myself anyway; there are no crazy or wrong ideas – admit them as they come so that your mind feels free to give you other wonderful thoughts. Po works all the time! I have had no Writer's Block in the last 40 years, since 1974 or 1975 when I discovered De Bono's Po when my friend Orli Ochosa (God bless his soul!) gifted me with De Bono's The Mechanism Of Mind (published 1968).

(3)     Open Notes
Internet. How to be always creative: Go and surf the Internet, the largest library in the world. Never assume that you know everything, which means never be lazy to find out more about what you think you already know. That's why I have been subscribing to SmartBro (it was bad), now PLDT Home ULTERA (it's great!). Browse, browse, browse, read, read, read. When you're not writing, pick and reread the stories that charm you. I never run out of ideas because I always visit the Internet and read outstanding examples of contemporary writing in The New Yorker, WIRED Magazine, Fast Company, The Atlantic, and New York Books. (I have not visited the National Geographic lately.) I love the way their stories are written and how they treat their subjects – they always inspire me. To be inspired all the more, read the best.

(4)     Open Sesame
Paradigm Shift. Open all the doors to creativity, and all windows. It's perspective. If a glass is half empty, look at it as half-full, or vice versa. If all signs point to a No, look around and find a Yes. Remember the lesson of the donut: The optimist sees the donut, the pessimist the hole – you can always write about both! If you have Writer's Block, try reading some jokes to lighten your mood.

(5)     Open to Chaos
Starting Wrong. I recommend that before you start to write, gather all the notes you can get about your subject, or even remotely related to it. Of course, if you simply string them together, they don't make any sense. Remember, when God created the world, he started with chaos, or should I say the environment; to rule over the chaos, he created man. So, what do you do? Read each of your notes and try to translate them in your own words. You will find that as you go along, your article will be forming in your mind, what to include and what to exclude.

Frank H's 5 Open Secrets. If at first you don't succeed, try and try again. Smile and do it again. It's an open secret that you shouldn't say die until you're dead!

You have to be an open dreamer, and persevere until you get the hang of those 5 Open Secrets to Creative Writing. Take heart and learn from the Muppets:

"Someday we'll find it / The Rainbow Connection / The lovers, the dreamers and me."

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