Cultivating Creativity

Do not be alarmed.

You might start to notice some actual feelings and ideas appearing on this site.

We’re heading for a slight shift…there are still plenty of complaints to be made about dating and navigating the world as a dreaded 30-something singleton. But there will also be some new musings on navigating life in general. And maybe just some musings in general on nothing in particular.

My life has some holes.

Sometimes it’s hard to discern the symptom of the hole from the cause of the hole, not to mention the solution to the hole. But regardless there are holes that have been there for some time. I’ve been unhappy with them, but I haven’t come close to finding a solution. Things I’ve tried have been band aids or wrong turns or maybe just dead ends, sometimes self imposed.

Little by little, self care, that oh-so-trendy term, has given me tools to start to figure out where to start to fill the holes. (This description is going against all my rules of “revising sentences for clarity,” but it symbolizes the speed and track of this journey.)

I’ve taken some steps towards therapy and I’ve doubled down on exercise, especially yoga. Mediation is still a struggle for me, but I’ve at least accepted the idea of living with intention. I mostly fail, but I think about doing it.

Image result for i can't promise i'll try

Thanks to Bart Simpson for my life’s motto.

On a whim, I responded to a offer for Wisdom Coaching with a yoga teacher who really resonated with me. It sounds crunchy and kinda weird, but I needed a kick. I have all kinds of things I wanted to work on this summer, and the days were/are passing without any effort, meaningful or otherwise, devoted to them.

Out of the many goals I mentioned, the coach zeroed in on my desire to write. (She’s good.)

Writing has always been my secret dream. Teachers and family told me I was good at it from early on, even when my early writing was just a crime series pitting my brother as the murderous main character. Despite my being painfully shy (or maybe because of it), teachers forced me into challenging myself–working with the grade ahead of me, entering contests, joining the newspaper… And it always came easily. In a few lines with a few choice words I could say what others took pages to say. I loved finding the right turn of phrase or going back to remove that errant comma. And yet I was and am afraid and stuck, so I just help other tiny people learn to write.

What’s that cliche? Those who can’t publish force grammar on tweens?

The glaring takeaway from my wisdom conversations was that I just needed to do something if I really wanted to write.

Duh.

But sometimes it takes an outsider to make that clear.

Writing is scary. Going after something you really want is scary because what if it doesn’t work out? If I try and fail, I can no longer say it’s not happening because I didn’t really try. It means I really don’t have any choice but staying in my stinky job and and being only sort of happy.

And writing is work. If I want to write in any real way I need to seriously commit to it. Not in my usual “I have to get this off my chest so ill blog every 4 months” way. In a “schedule dedicated writing time every day even if you have nothing to say” way.

Which I did.

For 10 days, I completed 12-minute writing immersions. Some were based on prompts, some got skipped, some were based on thoughts and feelings of the day, some were based on random inspiration, some were based on the book topics that have been floating in my head searching for permission to land.

It was HARD. Some days what I wrote stunk up the place. A couple times I felt really good about it. There were a few teenage-flashback journal-y days too. But the key was I did it. And having to do it every day for a prescribed amount of time meant I did it without agonizing over word choice or sentence construction or what people might think. Writing for the sake of writing meant words on paper was the only goal. (Paper and pen like an old timey lady of the manor.) And I want to keep doing it, even though it’s been sporadic since the coaching ended…

But I’ll be continuing to work on this and debuting some “pieces” here. Anyone who stumbles by can feel free to add some constructive criticism. One day I may be a famous author and I can thank you, but if nothing else I can be a person who writes to cultivate the creativity that we all need to thrive, if not survive.

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