Reclaiming creativity is my new, important, goal. The lovely thing about this goal is that it is already happening. New ways of doing what I do already present themselves. My job is to listen to the promptings of my mind (or heart) and to respond. To watch out for synchronicity.

For  too long, I’d been wandering in a creative wilderness. The landscape dried up without me noticing. The same thing seemed to have happened to my creativity.

Arid desert
Arid desert

Injuring my calf muscle late last year, and a recent bout of the viral illness shingles, flattened me. I wrote about them here and here.  Perhaps I had not taken enough care of myself. Maybe I needed to rest and take stock. My afflictions were not only physical, but mental and emotional as well.

My need to survive overrode my desire to live creatively. Writing anything more than a blog post seemed impossible. Sometimes, even blog posts did not get written. Low energy levels do that to a person.

At its worst, the dis-ease takes over and must run its course. We withdraw, retreat and protect ourselves. We crave the comfort of our own space. Solitude. We are content to be passive, to allow other people to take over.

The recovery process from physical, as well as mental and creative, malaise is similar.

Recovery expects attention from the convalescent. It demands an act of faith. We hope that our lives will, in the end, return to normal. We must make a decision to get better. To take tiny, deliberate steps. To be gentle with ourselves. To listen to what we need next. Not to rush the process.

Recovery from physical illness demands

  • Adequate hydration
  • Nutritious food
  • Plenty of rest
  • Gentle movement leading to full exercise
  • Meditation
  • Re-engagement with the world
  • Return to former life

Reclaiming creativity requires

  • Refilling the creative well (of images)
  • Feeding our minds
  • Gentle creative activity of any kind
  • Meditation (for example writing morning pages)
  • Taking small creative steps
  • Re-engagement with creative work

In reclaiming creativity, my go-to-guide has been Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way I set out to work through this book, week by week. At the end of Week 7, I am almost back on course. Morning pages flow. Little dates with my inner artist suggest themselves.

The draft of my new novel no longer sits, an undigested lump, on the bottom shelf of my bookcase. I printed it out months ago ready to read and rewrite. I haven’t had the energy to do anything with it. I wrote a plan to finish it by April next year. The printed plan sits in solitary glory on my notice board.

Ideas about my writing pop into my mind when I’m walking. When I’m doing the dishes or in the shower. I’m taking Julia Cameron’s advice. And the words of Albert Einstein about creativity pop into my mind.

Reclaiming creativity
Reclaiming creativity

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4 replies on “Reclaiming creativity”

  1. Hello Maureen
    After reading *who you are * ,it is so wondeful to know you are a very basic person
    I have been following you via the email connections ,and always find satisfaction in reading them
    Not to waste your time
    I am *client * –as that is what we are referred to ,as residents at the Ozcare Complex at Port Douglas .. I am a 82 year old ,and in fact my son in law —
    Bruce Muirhead will be giving details as to reviewng my Autobiography that
    has just been finalized.
    This will give you some idea of where *my values in life and that it is essential to
    maintain a POSITIVE APPROACH in everyday life,thus confirming —
    that your rendition of yourself is so heartening—when comparing our two lives ! .
    We are obviously normal individuals–in this complex world we live in !!
    Welcome to the Club !!

    1. Hi, James, nice to hear from you again. Yes, I am very normal as you have seen from my bio on my website. And I am almost as old as you, although I live at home with my husband. I look forward to reading your autobiography when your son has finished reviewing it. Thanks for commenting on my blog.

  2. Having run so many creative writing courses over the years with many different “types” of people from 4 to 104 years of age, I have no problem with the creativity aspect. I do have pressure from others to show what I am doing, but then confusion as I have so many different ideas and ways of presenting them.
    Perhaps I do need to slow my own self-re-creation for a while and connect with others for a little. Then they might be able to take in more of what I enjoy experimenting with for myself.
    Thanks for the perspective on refreshing the creative spirit. It is something we need to both breathe in and out – inspiration is only part of the process! 😉

    1. Hello, Patience. Thanks for your thoughtful comment. As I said in the post, it seems as if there are parallels between physical and creative recovery, and how to attain both. I only came to that insight because I was physically forced to slow down. But I am very glad to have come out at a different place. Thanks for the idea of breathing in – and out. Inspiration means two different things when you think about it.

      Good luck with your creative writing courses. I love facilitating them.

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