Have you ever studied the movement of water up on the shore? How it ebbs and flows? First, the water rushes towards you covering every bit of wet sand beneath your feet. Then, it pulls away from you. Drawing itself back out to sea. Moving in a rhythmic motion. Occasionally it will rush in quickly, linger for a little bit before it pulls itself back out deep into the ocean. Gathering itself together before it flows right back in.
In 2016, I started out the year moving fervent and steady. I was filled with lots of ideas for this new blog that I have started. I had a goal of increasing the number of blog posts I produced. I wanted to do everything right and I was eager to learn more.
Being the recovering perfectionist that I am, I took every bit of advice. I signed up for every newsletter, listened to every webinar and bought a ton of e-books.
I also had a formula and a plan: One post a week. Consistency is key, right?
Well, over time blogging began to wear on me. Inspiration evaded me. Creativity ceased to flow through me. Nothing in me was moving. Feeling empty and dry, I decided to take a break from blogging. This much needed break rolled over into a long (but much needed) hiatus.
For many of us this seems to be how the spirit of creativity moves within our lives. It ebbs and flows. As creativity is flowing within your life it may keep you up at night, flooding your mind with millions of ideas. Writing comes easy, the words seamlessly flows from within. However, when the tides of creativity are receding you may feel void of inspiration. You begin to experience chronic writer’s block. No matter what you do, the ideas won’t come to you.
It is difficult to allow ourselves to persist in the period of ebb in our creativity. You might be compelled to impose upon it. Instead, listen to the voice of creativity. Learn to work with the movement of it's tides. Here are a few things I have learned to put into practice:
Listen. Listen to the voice of creativity. For you this might be setting intentions, praying, or meditating before you begin writing.
Collect. You don’t have to wait to be inspired. Write down every idea, musings, thought, or any reflections that comes to you. These notes may ignite the spirit of creativity within you later on.
Read. Dive into a book from your “Must Read” list. Study the author’s use of words. Or simply enjoy it. I am currently reading, "The Power of Now" by Eckhart Tolle and learning to appreciate the present moment.
Listen to podcasts. Often times, listening to stories (or interviews) from the lives others awakens the spirit of creativity.
Attend conferences, seminars or workshops that cultivates a creative mind. Now this is something I hope to do more of in the future. Being in an atmosphere of likeminded individuals often arouses the creative spirit.
Journal. For me writing has become a spiritual practice. It appeases me. It grounds me. It brings me back to myself.
Self-care. Indulge yourself. Go to the spa. Enjoy a nice meal at your favorite restaurant. Allow yourself to simply just be.
I began blogging with one purpose in mind, to write. I loved the way words moved through my mind and flowed onto paper. During my hiatus, I have made amends with creativity and myself to simply get back to just that. The love of writing.
For me writing is a contemplative practice. It is a slow meaningful process, which requires time and intention. I am learning to accept that my own creative process does not have to resemble anyone else's. And to move with the tides of creativity as it ebbs and flows.