Meditate at Work…Are You Crazy?

BY: ELIZABETH UPTON     A friend of mine recently told me, “If you don’t have 20 minutes to meditate then take an hour.” I laughed and found this amusing, but it got me thinking… I had always heard that meditation has the potential to improve productivity, but never felt like I had enough time to devote to the activity. If I’m already spread thin, how can I find more time? It’s a catch 22. In order to explore this idea a bit further, my colleagues at Voyage and I decided to give it a try… For the last year, we’ve been doing 10-minute meditations at the office three times a week. And we’ve had some pretty extraordinary results! Prioritization ~ I get more done in less time. Instead of just jumping from traffic into my chair thinking about a million things I need to do for the day, the 10 minutes we take to meditate actually helps me to prioritize my thoughts and helps me slow down. It’s the opposite of what you think you need to do, but it’s actually the trick to accomplishing more. More Clarity & Mental Focus ~ I’m less stressed. By taking a few minutes to deal with my stress effectively, I find that I’m more able to focus on my own goals as well as the goals of the company. Additionally, by removing clutter from my mind I am more easily able to hone in on the things that matter. Improved Communication ~ I express myself more clearly. A clear mind expresses clear thoughts and successful communication includes attentive listening. After meditation, I...

Travel: Creativity’s Locksmith

BREAK THROUGH BY BREAKING THE ROUTINE BY: ROB BOWMAN   Culture shock. That’s what it was. The phenomenon that many people had less than eloquently described to me over the years had taken a hold of me.Finally, it was my turn. It didn’t disappoint. I was in the back of a tuk-tuk with my sister as we squared off with Delhi’s rush hour traffic. Sensory overload was in full effect. I watched as lanes of traffic transformed into a current of chaos. I heard car horns and new languages volley interchangeably. I felt my comfort zone contract to the point where the hair on my skin was foreign. As for smell, I’ll let your imagination fill that in. Needless to say, my mind was racing. I was overwhelmed. But not in the way I was used to. This was different. It was a spark… And that’s because of what my brain was actually doing. By travelling someplace far away from my norm, both geographically and culturally, I was literally sparking different synapses in my brain by immersing myself in new sights, sounds, smells, languages, tastes, and sensations. To put it simply, I was re-wiring my brain by doing one simple thing: traveling. Now, traveling has been linked to many different health benefits (lower stress levels, stronger immune system, healthier heart), but one thing you may not be familiar with is traveling’s effect on creativity. In general, creativity is related to neuroplasticity, which is the brain’s ability to form and reorganize synaptic connections. By experiencing new environments and cultures, unused neural networks within the brain fire and respond allowing you to broaden how you think. This, along with creating new habits,...

It’s Time!

4 Steps To Finally Writing Your Book   So here you are with a great idea for a book. Maybe it’s your own story, a story based on true events, or simply an awesome idea. You may have even been sitting on this story for months or years. Well it’s time to finally do something about it… But where do you start? I’m glad you asked 🙂 Whether you’re working on your tenth book or your first, use these steps to get that story out of your head and on paper. Decide what the book is about  You may be thinking to yourself, “Yeah, obviously.” But you’d be surprised at how difficult this step can actually be. Let’s say you have a compelling life story—but you have so much material (your whole life!) to draw from that it can be overwhelming. It’s important to boil down the main plot points early on in the writing process so as not to get bogged down in the details. It’s also a good idea to decide on the goal length of your book at this stage too. That way, you can more easily outline the book ahead of time (and not end up with a 100,000 word epic-novel based on that one week you spent abroad in college). Set a daily word count goal We’re all busy. We all have things going on that could stop us from writing. But if now is the right time for you, you need to make time for it. Make it part of your daily routine, like brushing your teeth or walking the dog. Even if...

How to Produce a Micro-Budget Film

By: Dan Benamor, Voyage Producer  In film, there may be no key creative more marginalized than the screenwriter. Screenwriters are fired and re-hired, rewritten and written out, and generally cede power to the director, producers, studio executives, and so on in the filmmaking process. If you are fortunate enough to sell a screenplay, once you as the writer have signed on the dotted line, you relinquish control. The writer is often on the low end of the totem pole in the film world, but it’s a reality screenwriters usually have to come to terms with. As tough as it may seem sometimes to break through and maintain a creative vision of your script as described above, there is an exception to this rule… You can decide to produce a micro-budget screenplay. Taking this journey will require a screenwriter to utilize skillsets more akin to a producer, and/or (if so desired) a director. But by taking control of your own career in this way, you can guide the process, both creatively and pragmatically (there’s no one to blame but yourself if the film is not made). Micro-budget films can be made for extremely low budgets with the modern state of film technology. Crowdfunding has become a valuable resource to the micro-budget filmmaker, and on the back end of the process, VOD has democratized everything. A case in point here is a film I co-wrote, INITIATION.  The film was released on just about every VOD platform last August. That means that if you are scrolling through VOD titles on ITunes or Amazon or any other VOD platform, you could easily find my film...

From Unpublished Author to Hollywood’s A-List

Getting Lucky in Hollywood It’s no secret that Hollywood producers and directors are always on the hunt for the next best movie concept. What’s not so obvious is where they’re looking to find these ideas for their next Blockbuster sweep. Drumroll please…they’re looking at books (even self-published or unpublished ones)! Now, you may be thinking to yourself, “Voyage Media is talking crazy.” But I promise you we’re not! Think about it. A book is already a fully baked idea, complete with an established plotline and solid characters and a built-in audience, whereas a screenplay may be unknown and in various stages of development. Hollywood execs are all about immediate gratification when it comes to looking for their next project because, let’s face it, it’s all about the money. So from a buyer’s perspective, a book holds more weight than a screenplay because it’s more economically viable for them in that moment. Take for instance the self-published book turned Academy award nominated Hollywood adaptation The Martian. Its author Andy Weir found wild success practically overnight after releasing the book chapter-by-chapter online, and then on Amazon’s self-publishing arm where it caught the attention of a producer…and the rest is history. As the movie has begun to gain traction, so has the book, and vice versa. This is another reason Hollywood producers love a book adaptation…the book and the movie provide built-in cross-promotion. They feed off of each other which means more $$$ for everyone involved. After word got out that The Martian was being made into a movie, the book debuted on the New York Times best-seller list at No. 12 in March...

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