I have been dipping in and out of novel writing since I put the Ana paperback out. And for a while, I had writer's guilt: I would punish myself for not writing. Get back in your cave, write more! Write harder, write better!
However, something epic that I learned this summer, via my garden, was embracing slow. Nourish. Nurture. Balance. Refresh. Allow. Patience. Love. I've also incorporated this mindset into my creative life. I refuse to force myself into...anything. I've learned to let myself and others...be. For the most part. I still struggle with challenges and say stupid things all the time. We're allowed. No perfection here.
So while I have notebooks full of novel ideas, I really enjoyed embarking on a food writing challenge this summer. I have an affinity for sustainable dining, and dining out in general, so I was happy to eat out and take photos and comment on my meals and environment. I love it, it was the perfect project. You can read about my eating and writing through the North Shore of Long Island here.
It was during this project that I realized how important the sustainable, slow movement is to me. From gardening to dining, I want to know where my food comes from. Was this animal pastured? Where? Under what conditions? Where do your crops come from, were pesticides used on them? How are the farm workers treated? If these ideas interest you, take a look at Slow Food. It's the right thing...I feel. Balance and sustainability. Whether you're vegan, carnivore, or omnivore...this is something that just makes sense.
All of this is inspiring the sustainable dining - LI guide that I'm working on.
And while all of this went on...in the background...my senses paid attention. I was absorbing, learning, expanding, all the time. New ideas, new perspectives, and a new story to tell. Now, when I have free time I "get" to dive back in and work on the current novel I am focusing on. Yes, I've narrowed it down to one. (Yay for me! This is a big deal.)
So...what I can say is, don't force creativity. Allow it. If it starts to feel like a chore...step away, do something else. See something else. Allow inspiration to return. Some can lock themselves up and live inside their minds...and just write. I must interact with the physical world to round out my writing and to add more dimensions to it. I need to feel my stories, smell them, touch them, not just write them.
Care for your creative gifts, nurture them, protect them. Don't torture them. Let them rest, when they need to. And when you're ready...they will be sitting up, hollering for your attention. Allow your process, whatever it is. To create is divine, give yourself what you need. xoxo