Andrew Zahn, Creatives blogger, wrote a post recently titled, “Slow is the New Fast.” You must check it out. It’s a valuable exercise and perfect reminder to take time to stop and smell the roses.
For creatives, sometimes we get so caught up in the frenetic pace of life that we burn out and lose ideas. Hence creativity block. We become lost in the arid desert of uninspired thinking. It’s true that we cannot be “inspired’ all the time. There are factors that affect us like: hours of sleep, lack of concentration, mental fatigue, sensory or noise overload, etc.
These past two weeks, I’ve done everything BUT work on my memoir. I don’t hate it. I don’t dread it. I just haven’t done it. Why? Because life has gotten in the way. Instead of making the time to write, I let other things that seem more interesting at the time take over (baking orange ricotta pound cake? painting my toenails? Again?). Yet, at the end of the day, I regret not sitting down and letting my words pour forth.
It’s important to stay focused, and inspired, as a creative. Here are several suggestions to calm your crazy life and recharge your creative battery.
- Look, look at everything: If you’re standing in front of a street light. If you’re waiting for a bus, check out the ads on it. Look at a magazine. Look at anything. Be aware. Stop and take a deep breath and notice even the minute details.
- Go and take a walk: it’s not only healthy, you’ll also be able to relax your mind.
- Take a nap: Trust me, sleeping just a couple hours will not make your imagination raise. You’ll lose a lot of time and you’ll be highly irritated, etc. The lack of sleep can turn people into monsters. Take at least a 15 minute nap and check out the difference!
- Listen to music: Listen to nature inspired music, tribal beats, the tinkling of the ivories. Whatever creates a restful, engaging experience.
- Go window shopping: See catalogs, stores, stands, magazines, ads, anything will be useful for your imagination. Malls are full of colors and ideas will flow right into your head, just bring pen and paper.
Here’s a quiet, inspired moment from my own life:
The mountains undulate with each breath, rising and falling. Far off in the distance, speckled and stippled with an artist’s brush, they glimmer in muted embers and deep emeralds. Kissed by the crystal azure sky, examples so broad and sweeping. Periwinkle marshmallows topped with frothy white fluff float imperceptibly, lazily by. Inky black crows twitter atop their perched nests, gliding here and there, to and fro. Whispers of a gentle caress blow seductively at my lashes, butterfly kisses upon my eyelids. The molten warmth paints a swath across my back, heating up so languidly. Purring contentedly, stretching my toes, inhaling a sweet breath. My furball nestles close, sending shivering rumbles into my belly, calming and serene. Happiness at its purest. Sinking into momentary bliss. I sigh and wait, reveling in the minute, a space ” a pause ” bloated with promise of rose-colored glasses. It is here I find solace for my weary soul. Still waters of quiet contemplation. Just being.
I feel the scratchy braided wool beneath my cheek, comfortingly familiar. The cradle of the bed softens against my heated curves. Such silence, broken only by the sounds of nature flittering, tittering, floating. Transported to another heaven, swaying in the gentle breeze. The clinking of glass as the neighbor buries last night’s libations carry softly, a musical accompaniment. Faraway, a yipping starts, stops, starts again, melding in with the sounds. An orchestra of natural occurrences creating a masterpiece. The crows are the conductors leading the symphony – caw, clink, clink, yip, tweet, tweet, clink, clink, yip, caw. An occasional buzz swishes by as the fuzzy little bees add their singular note. Drifting seamlessly along, enchanted by the encore.
I relish these brief glimpses ” stop overs, ” samples of heaven – balm of Gilead for my soul. Hearing the wooden thud of a door echoing dimly, signal of the coming end of my moment of clarity. My momentary bliss. But I will seek to discover it again.