Writer’s Journal: Nurturing Creativity in Difficult Times

Welcome back to Austen Promises and the Writer’s Journal!

This is a difficult time of the year for many people, myself included. I made it past the anniversary of my mom’s death on December 7th and did well for a couple weeks, but the reality of Christmas then hit. I won’t go into the whys of it; the reasons don’t much matter, and I’m not certain they would make sense to anyone but me, anyway. 🙂

Difficult times like this often take a toll on creativity. You sit down at your computer or design table or sewing machine or what have you, and then freeze. You don’t know what to write/draw/sew/design. You try, but your efforts are half-hearted at best. The quality might still be there, but it’s a struggle to produce the little you manage. Neither your mind nor your heart is in it, and it frustrates you, because you know what you’re capable of, and it’s far more than you’re currently producing. Sound familiar to anyone?

In the past, before I was a full-time writer/author/entrepreneur, I would have just let the writing go for a few days. I suppose I have at this point, as well, but this time it’s only for a weekend. 😉

In a previous post about self-care, I shared my plans for the end of 2017 and the first eight months of 2018. Some of the things I intended to institute did, in fact, become a regular reality in my life. Some I’m still working toward making permanent, and some just flat out never got accomplished. At least, not yet. I get my God time now, though it still does get put aside if I have to go outside of my home on any given day. I often get exercise, though not as regularly as I need to. Sometimes I meet that writing goal of 1,700 words a day and other times I don’t.

I have added to this list in the last two or three weeks. It’s now winter, of course, with its accompanying short days and limited sunlight. We’re in our second or third snowfall of the season and I, for one, am thankful they weren’t worse than they were! With limited sunlight comes seasonal depression, and to combat it, I have added large amounts of Vitamin D to my diet. Surprisingly enough, it helped right away. This vitamin is fat soluble, so I have to be careful to eat enough fats while I take it. My friend told me “healthy” fats, but I figure fat is fat, right? 😉 Seriously, though, I am trying to eat good fats and not bad ones. I just had to tease. 🙂 

I have also begun teaching myself to type while on the treadmill. This will give me the exercise I need, both for general good health and muscle tone, and for uplifting my spirits and boosting my creativity. The slowest my treadmill will go is one mile per hour, but in five minutes, I was able to write 150 words. I was shocked about that! I hadn’t expected nearly so many. It’s my understanding that I can type on a book manuscript from within Google Drive, so I’m going to keep the tablet and tablet keyboard charged up and type on that. I’d use the laptop, but the R key doesn’t work anymore. Not sure why.

My final addition, at least so far, to my routine is the use of essential oils and a diffuser. I researched which oils help ease depression and boost creativity, and bought those. I haven’t tried them all yet, but I can tell you I love the scent of jasmine! <3

I am taking a weekend off. As I write this, it is Christmas Eve Day. I plan to finish this, schedule the post and the Thursday’s 300 one, and then pop The Nativity Story into the DVD player. (I’d normally watch in the living room, but I can’t see the dogs leaving me alone to watch down there, so I’ll probably watch it on the laptop. I’m hoping next year the baby will have settled down enough that we can all sit together on the couch without it being a big production. 😉 ) I’ll watch the movie, then read the story as told in Luke 2 and prep the turkey for the crockpot. Tomorrow, I’ll probably read a bit and then eat and surf the net for a while. I might do some work—work like this that’s not so creativity-intensive. Tuesday morning, I’m going to be back at work and giving it another go. 🙂 

I guess what I’ve tried to say with all this is that if you are struggling with being creative this month, know you’re not alone. Take it easy on yourself. Give some of my ideas a try, if you like. Just know that it’s not permanent, and soon you’ll wake up one day and churn out words like the world was going to end if you didn’t. 🙂

Come back next Wednesday for another peek into my journal! <3

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