Post by Kerrie
In the latter part of the summer until early fall, I found it difficult to do any writing that wasn't related to Northern Colorado Writers. People would ask what I was writing and I would say, "website content and emails." No, they would say, YOUR writing. I'd pause and confess, "Nothing. I haven't written anything of my own."
As the director of a writing organization, this is a hard thing to admit. Here I am offering suggestions to other writers about their writing and how to organize their lives to fit it in and I can't even do it myself. My problem was all in my head--literally. Thoughts of work, ideas, family issues, finances, all whirled around in my head like a tornado spinning out of control and I couldn't figure out how to stop it.
At the end of the summer, I took two weeks off from work hoping that would help, but all that did was move the location of all the stress. I still had access to my computer, I still read emails everyday and the F4 twister in my head showed no signs of downgrading to anywhere near an F1.
So, when my friend, also one of my daughter's high school teacher's, asked if I would help chaperone a week long school fly-fishing adventure trip with 21 high-school students, I was hesitant. First off all, I don't know how to fly fish and second, how could I possibly leave with all that I felt I had going on? With some coaxing and my insistence on being in charge of the food and cooking, he convinced me to go. (you can read all about that trip here)
Being away from my computer, phone and anything else feeding the tornado,caused it to lose its momentum. Add the fresh air, hours by the river and beautiful scenery and clarity soon followed. I was soon able to "see" just how cluttered my creative space had become and it was no wonder I couldn't do any writing. I started reorganizing everything in my head and was able to clear out a small space to do a little journaling. (its all about baby steps)
Upon our return home, the twister started again, but with less "junk" in there it wasn't quite as strong as before, but it was still there, impeding on my creative space. The good news is I got enough clarity to see what I needed to do.
With the encouragement of some friends, I decreased the NCW studio hours by 2 hours a day and made a plan to take one day a week off in order to open up some time for me to write. Lastly, I needed to schedule times away from my computer (ideally outside). This is where the fly fishing comes back in. I finally went for the first time where I actually got to fish and I fell in love with it. I can absolutely see this being new favorite down time activity away from my computer. At the end of that day fishing, my mind was effectively cleared, allowing even more creative space to open up.
Because of all that, I have been able to start writing again. The last two mornings I got up around 5:45am to write in my journal. Both days I was able to crank out 8 pages and it felt great. Tomorrow I plan to do the same thing.
Then to top it all off, I am going fishing!
What is the condition of your
internal creative space?