In any event, here are some things that have put a little wind back in my sails.
First, the friendship, support and inspiration of other creative people. My husband, Sam, and I spend a lot of brunches kicking around creative ideas about our respective artistic lives. Some of those ideas overlap, some don't, but it helps me remember that I exist as a creative individual. My writing friend, Suzanne, not only inspires me and holds me accountable every time we get together for coffee, but she recently gave a concert of songs she'd written and it was so freaking brave that I found myself challenging my own fears and disappointments around the submissions grind.
Next, feeding the soul. I didn't write much formally this summer, but I spent almost every day communing with nature, God and my soul through a dance between the beautiful outdoors and the written word. I read inspiring writers. I journaled - A LOT. And I recently took an 8-week class on Mindfulness in Education through Peace in the Schools. All of that work, and the habits of mind that it fed, has left me ready to dive in again. Sometimes, nurturing the spirit is the best thing you can do for your creative self.
And finally, stepping outside my comfort zone to stir things up. I signed on to be part of not one but two separate storytelling performances in the coming months, a process that will ask my writer/storytelling self and my performance self to join forces in brave and vulnerable ways. I decided to dive into self-publishing one of my novels (more on that when there's more to tell). And I attended an Open Mic poetry event through Portland Ars Poetica, where I read some of my poems, met a lot of new poeple (all poets of one sort or another, all ages, genders, styles), heard a wide range of work, and gave my words a life outside myself (which left me inspired to polish a few more pieces in preparation for the next open mic poetry event).
So, I've managed to give my dying creative spirit a serious IV infusion and now it's looking a lot healthier and recuperating from the batterings of life and rejection.
If you're finding yourself floundering, and wondering whether to keep on creating, but knowing in your heart you can't help yourself, and pondering the fate of your creative soul in this dilemma, try a few of these ideas:
- Connect with other creative souls.
- Take time to nurture your spirit and refill.
- Look for a ways to step outside your comfort zone and give your words an audience through a non-traditional avenue.