As a writer, I find it’s important to get away from the keyboard and live life. I am blessed with being a speed typist and someone who doesn’t suffer writer’s block, so when I come to the keyboard to write, that is precisely what I do.
Having two daughters born twenty-two months apart meant I learnt to effectively manage what precious little time I had to myself. My girls are 19 and 17 now, and I’ve had years to develop the skills in how to work well and productively. I have a workaholic nature, but in recent years began to give myself some slack and go and play. I’ve come to recognise it’s not only okay to head off for a swim, meet a friend for lunch, take a two-hour walk by the river, or read a novel in the sunshine ~ but it’s vital for my growth, well-being and productivity.
Playtime, as with self-care, is essential for keeping inspiration alive. I love to cook, and although it’s a requirement to put meals on the table, it’s generally a pleasure, too. Many ideas for writing come to me as I’m slicing up a vegetable or stirring in the seasonings. I can’t begin to tell you how many sexy men I’ve conjured up by breathing in the earthy scent of cumin.
I’m a highly sensual woman, and am always guided by how I feel, see, smell, sense, hear and taste the world around me. My primary source of creative inspiration is Nature. Whether it is the waxing Moon sliding across the sky or a red squirrel scampering atop a 300-year-old moss-covered stone wall or being woken at 3.40am by birdsong, I am filled and nourished and sustained by the gifts all around me.
The level of abundance that fills my soul is not connected to a bank balance. I love, and am loved. There is no price that can be put on such things.
It’s an important part of my writing day to step into the garden and ‘talk to my plants’. I tell my baby plug plants that they’re beautiful, and how damn proud I am of them for surviving the torrential downpour the night before. My starflowers thrive, and I am grateful that I chose them as the symbol/name of my publishing business (Starflower Press). Starflower means courage.
I breathe in the scent of lavender, and admire the fennel leaves. I gasp with delight when discovering the radishes are ready to harvest. I pluck a mangetout and savour the crispy sweetness of each bite. Sometimes, I just need to sit in the sunshine, my feet bare on the grass, the birdsong all around me, and breathe in the gloriousness of life. How does this help my writing? It connects me. It grounds me. Gratitude for this wonderful Earth that we live on is vital to me, as a person and as a conveyor of messages, and being one with Mother Nature plugs me back into my true being faster than anything else can.
Barefoot, I walk from one end of our garden to the other, taking in all the goodness around me. It’s easy to think of creativity as something we ‘do’, but it’s also something we receive. For me, being in Nature is a gift that I constantly take into my whole being. How could I possibly know how to create if I am not one with the Great Creator? The Breathmaker didn’t just breathe life into human form, but into every living thing/creature. Closing our eyes and remembering our interconnectedness with all of life is a beautiful way to reclaim our sacred self and our creative heart.
My home is filled with the love of friends and their creative acts. I have such beautiful hand-made items that instantly take me to a good place in my heart whenever I see them. Being surrounded by creativity, and supporting other people’s creativity, is as vital as anything we produce ourselves. There is room in this world for everyone’s dreams!
I spend a portion of each day exercising, whether it’s taking a long walk by the river, using weight-resistance machines in the gym, aquafit or swimming, I find these times allow me to go inward and explore my rich inner terrain. Exercise, at first glance, doesn’t seem like a creative act, but we bring as much pleasure and leisure to it as we choose. Astrologically, leisure is found in the same ‘house’ as creativity (and children). It is what makes us feel alive. Exercise is only a chore when we don’t enjoy it. My favourite ways to exercise are walking and swimming/aquafit, and that’s where I put my focus. And in turn, they give me the opportunity to let my body rather than brain take the focus for a while. It’s the yin and yang of the writer’s life: in and out, cold and hot, slow and fast, body and brain, feminine and masculine.
Life is such a beautiful dance, and it is such a privilege and honour to have sensed my calling in life at such a young age, and to have followed that dream.
If the idea of creativity seems alien to you, I can’t recommend The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron highly enough. Our art comes in so many forms, and is expressed in as many ways as there are living creatures. Is a bird’s nest less creative than the beautiful artwork Sara Simon creates for my books?
Is Sara’s art less creative than the Grand Canyon?
You see, it isn’t about bigger or better, or less or more; it is about what moves us. It’s what causes us to release a part of ourselves into the world. It might be the way you decorate your house so it becomes a home, or the way you make your bed and how you plump the cushions or tend to your pot plants. Perhaps creativity is the felt doll you made this morning, or the soup bubbling on the stove. Maybe it is the flower essences you’re crafting. Own your creative soul.
Humanity can heal from its pain with one creative act at a time. Let’s unite. Let’s share the love in our heart through our varied ways of expressing the soul.
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