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University Times

The student news site of California State University - Los Angeles

University Times

Advice with Ana

Courtesy of Adriana Davila
Adriana Davila from “Advice with Ana.”

Dear Ana, how do you feel more confident in your art or in anything you create? 

The thing I remember most when creating art is that there is nothing like the art you are creating, and there is no one like you – the artist. When I’m songwriting, it’s easy for me to get stuck in comparison. I listen to my favorite artists, and I wish I wrote as well as they did. 

But they didn’t get there by copying others. They worked at their own craft until they built a sound and style that was recognizably their own. 

When creating art – or creating anything for that matter – it’s important to focus on yourself. The only artist you should be comparing yourself to is yourself. It allows me to be more confident in what I’m making, especially in my writing. Half of success is confidence, I find it by taking pride in the time and energy that I put into my work. 

Dear Ana, how do you overcome that feeling of being compared to others? 

Comparison can be a difficult trap to fall into, and an even harder one to get out of. It’s easy to see other people’s strengths before your own. 

One thing that really helps me is gratitude. Being thankful for what I have and for my own strong suits really helps me focus on myself and not worry so much about others. 

It’s important to remember that there is no one on earth like you, and you are your own person. 

We don’t know half of the things that people go through. Someone can appear like they have their life together, but they’re really struggling. You’d be surprised what struggles people are hiding, whether it be hardships, insecurities or personality flaws. Ultimately, there’s so much about ourselves that we can’t change, so why work against what we have when we can work for it? 

Just do you; just be you.

Dear Ana, 

I only write when I have fits of extreme inspiration, how do I practice writing outside of that?

The biggest piece of advice I can give you is this: The hardest part of anything is the start. As someone with ADHD, I struggle with starting new tasks. 

Finding motivation to do the things I love is challenging outside of those fits of inspiration, but remembering that starting a new task is the most challenging part really minimizes its hold on me. Remember your love for writing. Remind yourself that you’re good at it. 

Tell yourself to sit down and write for 10 minutes, and only hold yourself to that. More often than not, you’ll find yourself writing and being creative for a lot longer than that. By minimizing the task and the time, you are making it easier for your brain to begin. Once you start, you’ll find that it’s easy to keep going.

I also suggest writing down little sentences and phrases whenever they pop into your head. I do this on my notes app on my phone. 

By the time you know it, you’ll have tons of little bits of inspiration that can generate stories and pieces of their own. In doing this, you’re starting new projects without really having to write much at all. This is my favorite way to keep writing and stay creative. 

Dear Ana, 

Is it normal for me to have dreams about my ex if I don’t think about them at all? 

This is normal. Dreams come from our memories, so it makes sense that you have dreams about your ex, because you probably have a lot of memories with them.

A prominent theory is that “dreams don’t actually mean anything: they are merely electrical brain impulses that pull random thoughts and imagery from our memories,” according to Scientific American, a published magazine focusing on science and scholarly articles. 

I wouldn’t worry too much about it, just go out and make more memories! 

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About the Contributor
Adriana Davila
Adriana Davila, Senior Multimedia Reporter
Adriana Davila is a Multimedia Reporter for the University Times and a third year journalism major. Her favorite stories to write are on student affairs. Adriana is also a theatre minor, and you can always find her performing in a show on campus. In her free time, Adriana is probably singing, writing music, or watching her favorite tv show.

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