A lot of my time is spent thinking about how to be a better person and a better writer. Usually, the two go hand-in-hand. So anyway, there are three pretty basic points that I've at least personally been adopting. There maybe more; I'm 23 and there is no way that I could even start to have an authoritative voice on such things...but these are the ideas which one could use as cornerstones. So many of these things all bleed over and all points can be boiled down to no more than the words "Be" and "Transcendence", but it's important to spell out different angles of that. So, yeah...
Participation and expansion of external consciousness, liberation of mind and development of psyche- and idiosyncratic, near-belligerent expression and practice.
Participation and expansion of external consciousness-I spent many hours and a large amount of actual capital and debt in university workshops on writing. Many nights of writing prompts. Not to say that this wasn't necessary or helpful- there are a few things that I learned about publishing and a lot of things were learned about the minds of others. But being an active and deliberate individual did much more to set me on the right path. Live raw and passionately, travel, talk to strangers, go to shows, go to the country, go to the city, go to the mansion on the hill, go to the slums, the swamps, the industrial sectors, the deserts, go to parties, just go. Be hungry, be full, be broke, be a baller. It's rare to find an artist who hasn't dropped all qualms and thrown themselves full-force into the muck. Some leave the bustle and commit themselves to a life of seclusion, but normally only after cathartic or cataclysmic realization of the nature of life and society. The days of shoe gazing and grumbling fixation on fleeting emotions should be reserved for the awkward and isolated teenage years. Before you can go on to the next step and liberate yourself, you have to be aware of your surroundings. How and why does the world work the way that it does? What are the predominate forces that mold collective consciousness and propel history? What is history and whose history is it? When you write ,when you speak in front of people, when you paint, when you sing, or when you bang on a drum in the presence of others, you have to be aware of the megathemes to make any true connection. You need to know why people think like they do, why they speak like they do, what makes them happy, what drives them to despair, etc.
This'll set you down on the track to true liberation of mind and liberation of your life. Who are you and what is your purpose? Why do you want to live and why do you want to express? You have to find a reason to be if you are going to do this whole existence thing right. You need to know this and you need to eventually be aware of why you suffer. Get to know your desires and simplify them. Work towards transcending and abolishing them. You can't create anything if you are so far gone wracked in despair that you are rendered a social and psychological cripple.
...and practice. write and do all through all of it. It'll get better and you'll get better at being and doing. I promise.
Written by Kenny Grand who is a member of the YDS Coordinating Committee from the University of Central Arkansas