“Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.” ~ Harriet Tubman
Have you ever caught yourself sitting at your desk intensely thinking on a subject or trying to get words out that just aren’t coming? It starts to feel like forced work instead of something you are passionate about. We’ve imposed this idea that it has to get done right now, yet it’s taking you forever because you just aren’t feeling it. That my friend is a creative rut and we’ve all been there. Hopefully these ideas will help you get out of it:
1. Get Out in Nature: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” Genesis 1:1 Guess what! The story didn’t stop there! God created this glorious world for you and I to enjoy. And you can’t enjoy it stuck behind the computer.
2. What’s your favorite outdoor place to be? For me it’s near the water. I feel connected without even being in it. All I need is my moleskine, a good pen and a nice breeze and I could write for hours.
3. Meet Someone New: Head out to a coffee shop with a new friend. Instead of working on your story or idea listen to theirs. Then share, collaborate and envision. Great things can come out of new friendships. Get Moving: Walk, run, hopscotch, headstands or whatever, just get moving. Get your blood pumping and listen to what your heart tells you.
4. Read Something Different: I love taking my kids on outings to Barnes & Nobles or even incorporating it into date night. I peruse the titles of books, and check out the cover art. Books are inspiration at is finest. Design and the written word melded into one.
5. Take a Shower: Not one of those, “I have to hurry up and get ready” kind of showers. Instead make it a nice relaxing one. Most of my writing is conceived in the shower. While I’ve always attributed my love of water for that, there are studies that dig deeper into why showers help. It has to with a nice cocktail of dopamine and distraction. I’ll take two please!
Now I’ve given you a few things you can go do to jog that creative rut of yours but what good are they if you can’t capture those thoughts? Carry a notebook at all times. The iPhone doesn’t count. Stop jotting down notes in that thing! When an idea hits you, stop and write… and keep writing yourself right out of that rut.
I actually wrote this post months ago. Life has been distracting me big time from writing. I really needed this today so I thought I’d share it with you.
The other day I was driving along with my mom chauffeur hat on getting children from one activity to the next. This act takes up a big chunck of my week right now, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.
My oldest son and I ended up on the topic of driving. He will be 16 in 3 years and 3 months. Yes, I am dreading this growing older thing just a bit. Not for me but for them. There are so many lessons yet to be learned but I have to let them spread their wings and do that and just pray in the mean time that I am doing the best I can at guiding them.
When I realized just how soon my son could be driving the anxiety started weighing on my heart. The topic never bothered me before the accident. Now I am terrified of receiving another call like that. Two years ago today I landed in Miami after being in Haiti for a week. Of course the first thing you do when being out of touch with the rest of the world is turn on your phone. I checked Facebook and received a horrible message. My phone rang instantly from my husband to confirm. I was still waiting to get off the plane and things started to swirl as the tears tried to fight their way out. I wanted to scream as the plane walls felt like they were going to crush in on me. All I could think was “PEOPLE MOVE! MY DAUGHTER IS DEAD!”
My relationship with Bryanna is a long story. I met her when she was four and fell in love. I became her second mom. I dug deep into that roll and I was only nineteen years old. I loved her as if she were my own through and through. I had no idea what I was doing as a parent, but at the time I was the best parent she had. We spent a few years together and then more apart. It pained me to be a away from her. She was always a missing piece.
God placed Bryanna back in my life on her eighteenth birthday. It was the best gift ever. For the both of us. There were so many things to catch up on and we did just that. I flew her up twice that year so she could meet the family and we could figure out what comes next. My kids adored her and I was so impressed with the young lady she had grown to be. I lovingly tried to convince her Tennessee was a beautiful place to live. She was going to college in Florida on a scholarship so that had to wait. All I could be at that point is Mommy T and try to be a good influence on her from afar.
Back to the airplane… The news I had received was that Bryanna had been in a tragic car wreck the night before and had passed away. It felt like my heart had been ripped into a million pieces. Bryanna’s friend was the driver and she survived. The details of the crash don’t really matter now. But it was horrible and sometimes it replays in my mind as if I was there. I can only imagine what happened to my daughter’s body as it thrashed around. I hate that those images intrude my thoughts.
When I think about my children driving or riding with a friend it paralyzes me. The anxiety nearly crushes me. When the topic arose the other day the tears just came. I don’t know how to control it yet. I know I can’t let this hold my kids back when the time comes but it is real and I face it all the time. Sometimes just seeing a bunch of cars in a parking lot will make me breathe harder as if they are all out to get us. It feels so irrational at times but I can say it has gotten better. Time heals wounds.
Bryanna was 19 years and 1 month to the day when she passed. I was crushed to loose her and at the same time this glimmer of faith still shined through. God gave me one more glorious year with her. I would have been so heartbroken to hear this and to have never had that chance with her again. It’s a year I am so thankful for and I wouldn’t have traded for anything, I would have only made more of it.
Eventually my sons will drive and so will my daughter. I will be worried but I will not hover. As much as I want to keep them safe they are not mine to save. God is in control. I have one angel in heaven looking over us hopefully as a reminder for my children to take those extra precautions and always wear their seat belts. I pray that they will listen when I say I am always here, no matter the hour. They can call and I will pick them up.
The picture I posted above was one I found on my computer after she passed. A sweet gift. Goodbye’s seem so permanent but I know we’ll see you again one day.
We miss you sweet girl! Bryanna Nicole … 8/29/92 – 9/29/11
I can remember when my oldest son was almost 2, a storm rolled in and we were out in the sun room enjoying the breeze when the thunder boomed. It was so loud and caught me off guard that I let out a yelp. My sweet little boy looked at me with fear in his eyes. It was in that moment that I realized how much my actions as a parent would shape this little person. My happiness would become his happiness, my sorrow could be witnessed in his eyes and my fears would be his fears.
Storms do not scare me, in fact it’s the opposite. Some of my fondest memories of my grandmother are the both of us sitting on the front porch watching the rain. I am a storm watcher. Although storms can be destructive they are one of God’s mighty wonders. My yelp was a reaction to an unexpected occurrence. The thunder was loud and seemed to hover right over us. It simply caught me off guard.
My son didn’t cry but he watched for my reaction in anticipation of this obtrusive noise to occur again. Then it happened. BOOM! They were quite earth shattering booms, but this time I reacted with surprise and delight. I clapped and swung my little boy around with joy as if he in some way took part in the massive noise.
After that day he hardly flinches at the sound of thunder, like me he finds it a wonder. On occasion we will get one of those same unexpected booms and we both kind of jump and I again am remembered of this great duty I have as a parent and actions are often stronger than words.