I’ve been writing this blog regularly for six months. For six months the ideas have been flowing – like turning on a tap and finding water. It’s been eerily effortless. I’ve felt confidently creative. Pleasantly productive. I’ve been taking it for granted.
I had a crazy, busy weekend, full of celebration and story, but when I thought about writing Monday’s blog, my mind drew a blank. My faucet sputtered and gulped. Obstructed by air in the pipes, I confronted manic bursts of feeling, but no free flowing, inspirational thoughts or words.
So I paused.
In the past I might have panicked.
In the past I have retreated, sometimes for years at a time. I have become a bear, addicted to hibernating my ideas, restricting them from light, killing them off with dreary dampness. I came to rely on the dangerous safety of defining myself as ‘creatively blocked’. It felt so much more manageable than rousing my soul and tentatively crawling out into the open air. I was possibility adverse. A quiet sulk always seemed a better option.
But when the water didn’t flow this week, I simply gave myself a break. I didn’t write. I slept a bit longer. I tried to ignore the vitriolic voice within – the nasty naysayer who was filing her horribly long nails and muttering, “Don’t flatter yourself. You’re most likely boring everyone silly. They’ll be relieved to not get another tedious email from you.”
And then I heard from a friend late last night, “I noticed you didn’t post anything today – Monday being your day…I always look forward to it.”
It was straightforward. Honest. Resonant. I paid attention. I took my finger off the PAUSE button and I pressed PLAY instead.
I’m grateful to my friend for nudging me. I’m grateful that I’ve learned to reflect and respond rather than only reacting and running. It’s all too easy to imagine ourselves irrelevant when we encounter the slightest hurdle. This happens in every area of our lives. We adopt a position of defence. For me that position was clinging to a musty blanket in the corner of my cave.
If you’re hovering in a creative netherworld I hope that these posts can provide a chink of light. It has taken me three times longer than usual to write this! But I’ve become stubborn. I’m not going to return to my default position. I’m resisting the pull.
There’s a comfortable log just outside the entrance of my cave. It’s under a tall Robinia tree with kindly spreading branches and delicate lime green leaves. I’m sitting there for now. I’m listening to my breath. I’m lulling words from thin air.
Come and say hello?
Choices: Write for ten minutes using the word ‘cave’ as a springboard or share a story of struggling with a creative obstacle. It feels good to share experiences. I’m listening….