Timothy Matias

Author's details

Name: Timothy Matias
Date registered: June 1, 2011
URL: http://nspyraishn.wordpress.com/why-i-write/
AIM: nspyraishn
Jabber / Google Talk: nspyraishn

Latest posts

  1. Getting Back Your Creative Mojo — February 20, 2012
  2. The Importance of Sinning — July 8, 2011
  3. Discordian — June 26, 2011
  4. Sublimating Sin — June 24, 2011
  5. Unspeakable — June 19, 2011

Most commented posts

  1. 8 Ways to Untap Your Literary Genius — 3 comments
  2. Leveraging Perfectionism — 2 comments
  3. Sublimating Sin — 2 comments
  4. Merits of a Pseudonym — 2 comments
  5. Writing Elegantly — 1 comment

Author's posts listings

Feb 20

Getting Back Your Creative Mojo

Photographer: Stephan Mantler

Even among the most creative of writers, there are many times when we look at our blank piece of proverbial paper, and have no idea what to do with it. Perhaps it’s just exhaustion — maybe you’ve been cooped up for too long, and need to get out more to draw some fresh inspiration. Regardless of the reason, there are times where we all lose our creative touch, and especially for those that make a career (or obsession!) out of writing, getting back that mojo is our top priority. So here are some ways you can get it back:


Talk with random people, about crazy topics, in the most spontaneous of conversations — you’d be surprised how much interesting writing you can generate in this way. In fact, psychology today points out that sparking conversations with random strangers can inspire big ideas, and also improve memory retention. The reason for this is that your brain responds more enthusiastically to new information.


There’s a reason why many people feel most creative when they are high on marijuana, or more rhythmically confident when they’re drinking, and it’s not something you need drugs to experience: just let it all go, and (as Morpheus elegantly puts it) “free your mind”. Studies confirm this can, in fact, positively impact your creative potential.


The phenomenon of role-playing, popular among fans of anime, video games, and dice-and-paper games like D&D, isn’t just useful as a form of entertainment — it’s also a highly effective means of brainstorming! So much, in fact, that people write volumes of creative material every day, without even realizing it. One popular role-playing portal has a longest roleplay (titled “Multiverse”) of a whopping 50.3 million words of story-telling! Role-playing is a good way to inspire yourself, brainstorm for fresh ideas, and learn the value of social collaboration. “Multiverse” is a fairly well-written story with the cohesiveness of a work written by a single person, and yet it was crafted by thousands of people around the world and spans hundreds of thousands of pages. The creative potential of role-playing is simply astounding and, if you can tap it, you’ll get your mojo back.


There are plenty of tools and writing systems that will help you to get rid of writer’s block and regain your creative edge. One tool that I found to be immensely useful was Automattic’s Plinky prompts. They ask you thought-provoking questions that you can use as a launchpad for your creative shenanigans. It’s a surprisingly effective way to tap into your creative mind and, as they never run out of questions, you’ll never run out of answers, or inspiration. Plinky also has the added bonus of allowing you to automatically forward all of your posts to Facebook, Twitter, WordPress, Tumblr, and many other online blogging services.


I know this might sound crazy (well actually, it kind of is!), but summoning visual, auditory, and tactile hallucinations is a good way to get your mojo back. In the movie “Stranger than Fiction”, the author enters into a trance-state to find out how the main character of her story would feel when he dies, vividly envisioning herself dying in various ways.

Evidence of this method’s effectiveness is mostly anecdotal, but I challenge you, if you’re feeling creatively stagnant, to go outside and start experimenting with your imagination. Slice through the street light with your mind, watch it spontaneously combust into a million pieces. Then, force the reversion of time, channeling those pieces back into their original form and order. You will witness a full cycle of destruction and recreation, perpetuated  by your mind. There’s a link between creativity and mental illnesses like schizophrenia for a reason, and you don’t have to be crazy to make use of it!


The mind is a powerful tool, and its creative potential is nearly infinite. While some are more predisposed to creativity than others, and even they can sometimes encounter roadblocks to their creativity. If that happens, and none of the other strategies outlined in this post work,  the best route to getting back and keeping your creative mojo might be to explore the potential of your mind, so you know how best to make use of it. Know yourself creatively: know what drives you, what moves you, and what keeps you going. This kind of knowledge is what empowers you as a writer, as a thinker, and as an artist. Go exploring, get to know all the things that make you tick, and you’ll find the key to unlocking your creative potential… Perhaps you’ll even find a part of yourself you never knew in the process.

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Jul 08

The Importance of Sinning

Photographer: Valentina Nesci

When it comes to enjoying the guilty pleasures of life, creative expressionists are more often than not chief among sinners. In fact, if history were to be our witness, it would be evident that creativity has always had an undeniable link with overindulgence. Drugs, sex, and rock n’ roll are invariably cited as the creative impetus for the psychedelic music and culture of the 60’s and 70’s. Furthermore, some of the richest creative culture and philosophical ingenuity of the Eurasian heritage is a product of Ancient Greece, a federation of city-states well known for their debauchery, homosexuality, and humanism. Much in the same way that creative genius has been linked to mental illness, creativity thrives on sin.

“Why is sinning necessary for creativity?”, you might wonder. This is because the progressive nature of creativity often requires you to “strike against the flow, that the river [of life] might be known.” To sin means to violate the established rules of morality, religion or whatever society has decided to recognize as “wrong.” Creativity, similarly, means going against conventional thought and breaking free of the status quo to creatie something new, revolutionary, sometimes even shocking but, nonetheless, beautiful.

Creativity, like everything else, has a price. To create a new tomorrow, one must bury the past. To live a life of altruism and dedicate yourself to the well-being of others, you must sacrifice your own ego.  Simiarly, to create art, you must have the courage to explore all of the facets of human nature, even those  that we are ashamed of, even those that we would like to hide. A truly inspiring creative masterpiece often entails the expression of greed, suffering, desperation, and a host of negative emotions normally reserved for what might otherwise be considered “evil.” William Shakespeare knew this all too well, and his works demonstrate the ironic and unwittingly paradoxical union of love, hatred, greed, enmity, joy, passion, and desperation, all enveloped in the fantastical romanticism that has made Shakespeare one of the greatest creative writers of all time.

Both “sinning” and creativity are essential to change and, as such, to progress. This was particularly evident in the Dark Ages, when the creative energies of the world were suppressed or purged by the Catholic church under the rule of the “Holy Roman Empire” — which , as the 17th century philosopher Voltaire famously and ironically noted, was “neither Holy,  nor Roman, nor an Empire.” With the stringent and suppressive religious standards of 10th century Catholicism given equal authority to the law, all the guilty pleasures went out the window, and creative expression was all but annihilated. The paintings became dull and flat, music formulaic, and writing– well, writing got hit the worst by far! The written word became nearly non-existent during the Dark Ages (because all writing except authorized propaganda and canon were forbidden), this being the principal reason why most writing about the Dark Ages is written in retrospect, and based mostly on paleontological evidence, and even then, written only after the Renaissance.

The Renaissance was the greatest intellectual and creative revival in the history of Western Europe, and was marked by an extreme excess of sin. All of the things that the theocracy of the Holy Roman Empire forbade– drinking, gambling, sexual promiscuity, music, dancing– creative pleasures of all kinds ran rampant in the Renaissance. This momentous “backsliding” provided the necessary creative leverage to transform Europe from the dark, desolate, and intellectually impoverished culture it was, to one of the world’s greatest centers of cultural enrichment and academic research.
Eventually, the notoriously hard-headed Catholic church recognized the error of its ways, even going so far as to hypocritically offer “indulgences” (the Catholic equivalent of “get-out-of-Hell-free cards”), to save face (and to make more money!) This kind of irony really serves to demonstrate the importance of “sin” not only for personal creativity, but also for the creative and intellectual health of the world!

This post is part of the Sublimating Sin series.

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Jun 26


Thriving off the brutal hatred of the masses, the hateful

Cares not for the illusion of love, but the truth of emnity

Discordian willfully scorned, rightfully banished

Heir to the throne of the underdog disowned


What meaning is there in the illusion of unity?

Where compromise breeds only corruption and lies

Surely even in perfect unity there is naught

Even as the light cannot be understood without darkness!

Photographer: Valentina Nesci











Roaming this hateful earth, the Discordian

He strikes against the flow, that the river might be


The imbuer of conflict, that Beauty might be appreciated.

The self-proclaimed Martyr, self-destined as Cain.

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Jun 24

Sublimating Sin

Photographer: Filippo A. Nesci

The relationship between bad habits and creative genius is well established, with Freud’s cocaine addictions paving the way to psychoanalysis, Francis Crick’s acid trip inspiring the double-helix shape of DNA, and Oscar Wilde’s notoriously pan-sexual promiscuity going hand-in-hand with his literary prowess. But having done with and without the many vices those prodigious in the creative arts are predisposed to, it’s very important to note that the preponderance of immoral behavior is not necessarily correlated to being a successful artist.

You could argue that the French poet Charles Baudelaire, who thrived on opium, hashish  and the reputation of a poet maudit, a cursed poet, would not have had the insight of writing La Fleur du Mal if he hadn’t lived as wildly and irresponsibly as he had.

Would Baudelaire have been extolled by Flaubert as “unlike anybody else” if he hadn’t squandered half of his inheritance by attending to his bohemian urges? Perhaps not, but not every artist needs drugs to be great. M.C. Escher, one of the world’s most famous graphic artists, is credited of saying” I don’t use drugs; my dreams are frightening enough.”

Similarly, Isabel Allende, the acclaimed Chilean writer of several bestselling books, only took an hallucinogen once, and, although it did help her to crawl out of the writer’s block, she told The Telegraph that she would “never do it again.”

Additionally, most of the benefits of bad habits associated with creativity are harmful, which makes you wonder whether or not they are even worth it. Thus, finding a way to creatively express oneself just as effectively without resulting to shortcuts (and the karmic backlash they tend to come with!), could be very important to your well being, and also to your work. This is the art of sublimating sin.


There can always be too much of a good thing, and it’s especially easy to get too much of a bad thing. For this reason, we should indulge in the vices of life in the same way a person might eat the frosting of a cake: never eat the frosting by itself (doing so will not only prove unsatisfying, but will make you sick to your stomach!), always eat more cake (virtue) than frosting. But try not to eat too much of either! Tthis brings to mind the jab “would you like coffee with your sugar?” You might be surprised to find that, if the cake is really good,  it will taste much better without any frosting.

In conclusion:  if you must commit to vice in order to be creative drink, but become inebriated socially and with nourishment, don’t do drugs, but if you must, take soft drugs, and do so only in small doses. Similarly when being promiscuous, be creative and exploratory about it, instead of just trying to “get off”. A cigarette will only get you high if you haven’t had one in a while, and sex is most gratifying to those who have it less. Delaying your gratification of such indulgences will not temper your creativity stimulus, but might actually help you to appreciate every moment more. I would like to leave you with a quote from the writer Rudyard Kipling:

“Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind.”

You don’t need any other drugs: you are already holding the most potent one within you.

Photographer: Filippo A. Nesci


While the negative side-effects can be eliminated, such a feat requires a lot of self-regulation and responsibility on your part. Thus, in order to not fall pray of the throes of your vices, “use protection!” Surround yourself with people who care about you, and would help you if you strayed into the wrong path. Similarly, seek professional help if you find yourself sinking int a vicious cycle of negativity and lack of structure. Art is born out of chaos, but too much chaos results in death, both of the artist and of his work.  


Sigmund Freud found that, out of all the defense mechanisms used to deal with internalized desires, sublimation – modifying the natural expression of an impulse or instinct [especially a sexual one] into one that is socially acceptable – proved to be one of the most mature and effective of strategies.

The reason? Sublimation allows a person to take a vice – a sin that is expressed at the expense of the well-being of oneself and/or others –  and turn it into a virtue. When sublimated, the “sin” is expressed freely, but in a safe environment, such as the empty page that you can fill with all sorts of words and visions.  Manifesting your creative impulses while expressing yourself in a productive, liberating, and constructive way will result into a happier life and an even greater quantity of writing you can choose from. Rather than wasting all that creativity on the feel-good freedom and empowerment of drugs, alcohol, and sex, do the smart thing, and channel it into your writing.


To best benefit from your vices when you must have them, and to know the better alternatives when they exist (which they inevitably will!), knowledge really is power. By knowing the effects of your vices and what causes them, you’ll be able to effectively and consistently replicate those effects any way you choose. You don’t need alcohol to loosen up, nor do you need drugs to be high on life.

There are a myriad of mental tricks, self-affirmation, and living habits that can successfully give you the good feeling of just about every vice you can imagine, all through the fundamental basics of psychology and mental control. Learn to manipulate your brain functions at will, and you’ll never have to resort to any vice to think creatively again!

Even if you have no desire to quit your vices, knowing their effects, as well as the effects of the alternatives (socialization, self-improvement, physical activity, and a million more), allows you to fully benefit from both your vices and virtues.

This post is part of the Sublimating Sin series, which was written as a response to D.A. Blyler’s “The 7 Vices of Highly Creative People”

Valentina Nesci contributed to this article

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Jun 19


Cursed with imagination taboo, the Unspeakable

Knows not from whence the thoughts flow, but the baton he cannot pass on

With none to appreciate, no one to receive his heart

Their minds blinded by conjecture and distrust


Where can the energy freely flow, without fear or hate?

A utopia of Beauty and Love such as this cannot exist!

For whom might the Unspeakable steward his riches?

As riches they are to naught but himself!


To read between the unsaid lines, to think the unspeakable

Only the perverted of mind can see Beauty in these things

His altruism lost in translation, mistaken for Impiety

The acts of purity received as Naivety.


Lost in a torrent of creative deviance

The Unspeakable cannot help but conjure his witchcraft

His good intentions go to waste, as the world marvels at his wickedness

Unwittingly the message cut short, replaced with the imposter Prejudice


Still the Unspeakable presses on, content with the misunderstandings bestowed

The impetus founded in the hope of inspiration

In the lies of the world his Truth might yet be found

For the seeker without bias, doubt or fear


The Truth that can only be known to the Unspeakable

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Jun 18

Picturesque Nexus

Enchanted by your simple grace, entranced in shameless gaze
My eyes locked helpless in surrender, my soul now caught ablaze
Serendipitous silence fashioned, our fate in volatile skies abode
You my light in darkness twisted, I forever acquiesced as yours

Life a fearful melancholy, yet to that emptiness you reside
Time forgotten in your arms, I am comforted by your side
The world my hell unwanted gift, but you my savior undeserved
Where once would lay a pitted gap, my heart now born anew in you

In mystery you shed my naivety, exposing the world uncharted
My love still fresh from life’s womb, my life still not yet started
Empassioned with desire from the fountains of your youth
Your breath of life, love, and joy consumes me!

In a life where all is lost or recanted, you my karmic spirit indwelled
The life unworthy of living without, love for you my heart now swelled
Where tortuous mundane did once reside, your smile effortlessly excites
Where one I lived in a purgatory crestfallen, you are my angel

My true bird of paradise, my flowering pristinity, my eagle’s wings

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Jun 15

Leveraging Perfectionism

We can’t always be perfect, nor can life always go as planned. The other day, for example, I found out from one of my coworkers that I had neglected to put all of the store products back where they belonged, and that the other courtesy clerks had do what should have been my job. Even though it should have been friendly, constructive criticism, I couldn’t help but become anxious about it, and for the next few minutes, I was pretty upset, and the people around me could totally see it. Being the perfectionist I am, that one little mistake became a terrible sin in my mind. To make matters worse,  there was no way I could fix my mistake: it was in the past, and we all know that we can’t undo what we have already done, no matter how much we would like to.

I had a break coming up, so as soon as the lines died down,  I asked if I could take mine. While in the break room, I took several deep breaths, and plastered myself with positive self-affirmations: “it’s not the end of the world”, “nobody’s perfect,” “just do your best”, “calm down, you’ll perform better if you just relax…”

As I put myself into this self-healing meditative state, I thought of all the other times I had been plagued by perfectionism, and most of them had to do with writing. I would write an essay, the teacher would look over it and return it with her criticisms, and  I would go home dejected, even if she thought my essay was pretty good, overall. All I could see were the mistakes, the could-have-been-betters, the faults. I wanted my writing to be perfect the first time, but when it wasn’t (or rather, because it wasn’t!) I died inside every time.

Over the past several years, I did all sorts of things to avoid the pains of my own perfectionism. I’ve written so many blog entries in which I completely ignored grammar, spelling, and cohesiveness, afraid that if I actually looked at my own writing– actually gave it a serious critique, the vicious cycle of self-hate would begin all over again. I stopped editing my writing, stopped caring about whether or not people liked it– just got my ideas posted to the Internet before I could even proofread it. In my mind, this was for the best, because I knew what would happen if I took my writing seriously.

As a result of my perfectionism, I’ve amassed a huge pile of unedited writing. I say I’ll get around to it eventually, but I never do. It’s not because I’m afraid to, and it’s not because I don’t have time to. I know that if I were to properly proofread, edit, and provide supporting evidence and logic for my writing, it would be so much better. But I’m afraid of my own writing– or at least of taking it seriously.

Perfectionism has not only interfered with my love of writing, but with every aspect of my life– everything that I care about. If I start truly dedicating myself to something, one mistake and it’s over. I can’t handle the pain of even a single mistake when it comes to things I care about, because I’m a perfectionist. My room is messy because I know it will never be perfect, and I’m afraid to try. I even falter in my dedication to friendships, because I know that if I actually try to dedicate myself to a friend, I will eventually screw up. Perfectionism has made me afraid of living life, and prevented me from being able to take life seriously.

But I know that resolving these issues is part of the process of achieving emotional maturity. Perfectionism has its merits– I just need to acquire the level of maturity necessary to properly leverage them. If I could learn to be a perfectionist without getting emotionally distraught about my mistakes, I could gain all sorts of useful qualities, and I could learn to successfully turn raw creativity (like that pile of writing I have stacking up!) into art. I just need to find a better way to deal with these emotions, instead of running from them.

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Jun 09

I Dream Of You!

My heart awash in breathless silence, a tranquil dream of you
Our words echoed in resounding emotion, this love a dream come true
Lost in crystal candidity, consummation now our goal
The truth committed wholehearted to us, this mystic trust has made us whole

Words conveyed the meaning limited, but souls speak where the language fails
Heart against heart, the beatings wield, a rhythmed path to be fulfilled
Holding steady, the moment preserved, Turned from dream to reality
Too good to be true, yet here you are, my angelic soulmate in front of me

I dream of you, my heart filled with joy, hoping you also dream of me
That in our dreams our hearts become one, manifesting ecstasy
Though undeserved this precious moment, longing still to make it last
The whole world now stretched bright before us, camouflaging a wretched past

In this dream our love empowered, a subtle tease of days to come
Euphoria of emotions overwhelmed, entranced as two become one
Love returned anew from sojourn, salvaged an ocean of prodigality
Betwixt my desire and weakness to you, I know you’re the only one for me

If there be a price for eternal happiness, my soul indeed is owed to you
For in the light of your tender embrace, my heart made whole anew
Requite this debt a lifetime needed, each day a delight to repay
My heart, my soul, my essence yours, though words cannot suffice to say

How much I love you!

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Jun 08

The Dreamer

Another day lost to the Dreamer, his whisper a subtle closure negate
Climaxed at the peak of a jaded euphoria, despair recanted a simple wish
Wrinkles Lost in the depths of time, yet even Time a victim to conditioning
Nexus to none, the day swept away, the Memory a forgotten heartless sign

Immortal Untouchable condescend, the impromptu Dreamer’s play!
Devoid of meaning beyond the moment, his Memory in fossil shall stay
Inconsequence the Fool of fidelity avoided, Now as Then as Will Be!
Naught of his entice will remain to know, a fragment lost at the Turn of each day.

Wilt you to suffice the Dreamer’s intangibility
With each day that passes anticipate, his Love passed on in the lucidly abstract
His heart a rampant volatile truth, His life an art of dynamia trampled
Each day born anew, his heart a melancholic match forgeable.

Saturated in the deep waters of identity reconstitute, a new day his reckoning
The price of creativity chaos, and of God the cursed demon Amnesia
Lost not of the pneuma, but the soul faltered, the Memory in stasis held captive
Death’s counterfeit of which the Dreamer is chief, and knows not the fear of dying

His price a temporal nomad Cain, and forever he shall be The Dreamer

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Jun 08

Merits of a Pseudonym

Countless authors choose to use a pseudonym, or “pen name” when writing. For some, such as Mark Twain or Lewis Carroll, their fictitious names become an indispensable part of their literary identity, and remain vivid and alive in the collective memory while their real names are forgotten.

Why would anyone want to use a pseudonym? The reasons are numerous, and the authors who choose to go through this route are more than you might think. For instance, consider this: Timothy Matias is not my real name. If you were to scour the Internet for me, and even if you went so far as to google my SEO-optimized screen name “nspyraishn”, you would find a lot of online activity from this man called Timothy Matias. However, none of the results would point you to my real identity– in fact, I checked all 1880+ google results to be sure of this. So why go through all the trouble of inventing and maintaining a pseudonym? What’s in it for us? There are several reasons, in fact, for choosing to write under a name that is not one’s own. Most of them work as a layer of protection for the author, while others, in my opinion, just help him to be more free to explore the world he sees without having to suffer from any constraint- not even from himself.

Some advantages of using a pseudonym:


While I live in America, a country renown for the freedom of speech it grants its citizens, it would be foolish of me to rely on the U.S.’s continued support of such rights, as laws change all the time, and I need a pseudonym to prepare for those changes.


Even if my country doesn’t mind what I have to say, there is a high possibility that my job might. The place I work for can terminate employees for saying something deemed to be “offensive” on the internet, and I can’t take the risk of losing my job because of something I write– after all, without income, how would I get the “brain food” to write with?


My creative personality can also interfere with my business relations and other professional endeavors, as (depending on what type of content I’m writing) I can quite literally become a different person, and that personality could be disturbing to my colleagues, offend my friends, or even hurt them. This leads to a conundrum: should I limit myself as a writer to ensure that I don’t end up hurting the people I care for? I don’t want my creativity to cause misunderstandings but, at the same time, I can’t constrict my writing into the strict parameters of what is always “safe” and “kosher: to write. If I can’t take the risk of stepping over the lines, I will not be able to really let myself go as a writer. To prevent that, Timothy Matias is my creative persona, and he is free to do whatever he likes.


There are many characters that I have written about, or wish to write about, that go against my own moral stances and ethical code. For this reason, to avoid becoming morally confused or contradicting myself, Timothy Matias becomes my moral Agnostic, and is given free license in my place to violate, revile, sacrilege, blaspheme, and contradict any belief, perspective, axiom, or premise he wishes. And, the best part of it all is that, unlike us, he can get away with it. Paradoxically, because Timothy Matias is a hypocrite by nature, I don’t have to be.  I can be honest, and peaceful, and even boring if I like, while Tim challenges the world, not caring about what people will think about him. I have to admit, out of all the reasons to have a pseudonym, this one is the most fun!
P.S. If you are excited to create your own pseudonym, check out this article.

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