May is one of my favorite months ever, and here in Portland it is starting out as a glorious month! As new life bursts forth all around us, so, too does our
creativity. It is time to welcome the return of good weather in all its glory.
Sometimes in order to do this, we need to clear out the dregs of the old
in order to make room for all the new.
You'll notice that many of my suggestions have very little to do with writing. That's because sometimes the best thing you can do for your creativity is to engage in an activity that energizes or relaxes you, and then return to the computer. I know I'm guilty of spending way too much time in my office, convincing myself I don't have time for other things. But once I allow myself the freedom to enjoy other activities, I return to my writing refreshed and renewed.
Accordingly, here are some ideas for how to clear out the old and welcome
1. Organize Your Office—This seems always to be an ongoing project for me. And, I find that it's worth it to keep up with the constant flow of papers. I'm happier when my office and desk are clean, period. And contrary to the popular idea of writers as fueled by angst, a happy Charlotte is a productive Charlotte.
2. Sort Through Books—Yes, I know, it is hard to let go
of our beloved books. I used to
never, ever be able to get rid of a book.
But then I realized that I was simply releasing them into the universe
for others to enjoy. And then, of
course, I have a great excuse to buy more….
3. Buy Something New—I recently took an excursion to
Ikea, to look for new office furniture.
While there, I bought blue velvet drapes, the most gorgeous things
you've ever seen, for my family room.
And that led to buying a media center to put the TV in, and suddenly I'm
in love with my family room all over again.
4. Try Something New—Earlier this week, I took the day off and with the help of my daughter, nephew, and 17-month-old grandson, planted raised beds full of vegetables on the driveway. I used to garden all the time, but I've been a gardening slacker the last few years so it felt like a whole new lease on life, especially because usually I grow flowers, not vegies.
5. Start a New Project—Never written non-fiction
before? Why not try a memoir? Or maybe you've always wanted to write
poetry, or complete a screenplay.
Go for it! You can dabble
and have fun in as little as 15 minutes a day. Or why not try something completely different, like painting, or salsa dancing, or knitting, or hang gliding. No, that last one makes me nervous. But you'll find something, I'm sure.
6. Get a Pedicure—They aren't just for women—c'mon guys,
you know you want to try it.
Taking time for a little self-care can be wonderfully rejuvenating. And that leg massage feels so good!
7. Buy a New Journal—And then write in it. Write down all the dreams and goals
that this season is inspiring, or use it to start that new project in. I've heard people say that journaling doesn't really count as writing, but it most certainly does. Writing in a journal regularly will help you establish an ease with putting words on the page, and it can be the breeding ground for many ideas.
8. Do Something for Yourself—Last Saturday, I got my hair cut. Yeah, I know, normal people do this all the time. Usually, I do, too. But for the last few months I've been dithering over whether to keep my hair long or cut it short again. Finally, I made an appointment and put myself in my hairdresser's hands. (We chose a middle ground.) I've been amazed at wonderful it feels.
9. Take a Walk—It is so simple and so energizing on a
fabulous spring day. The sun on
your face, the flowers in bloom….ahhh. Here in Portland, it seems nearly everyone has a garden to admire!
10. Invite People Over—Share your joy in the season with
others. Entertaining doesn't have
to be fancy. Ask someone over for
Happy Hour, or dessert, thus saving the stress of cooking dinner. Or order a pizza! The point is to enjoy the company of
others. My nephew was a recent house guest for a few days and it was so much fun having him around–you get the chance to see life through other people's eyes.
If these ideas don't appeal to you, invent your own! Just find a way to celebrate this
glorious season. Because, being
present and celebrating where we find ourselves is the absolute best way to be
grateful for the lives we've been given. And being grateful for the lives we've been given is absolutely inspiring to the creative process.
How do you celebrate spring? How do you energize your creativity?
Photo by levi_sz (my attempts to share a photo of my raised beds failed when my phone refused to send it).