Seasons of Creativity

Lately, I’ve been feeling less-than-inspired to sit down and write. Though I start each day scribbling into a journal, the ideas haven’t been effortlessly evolving into ideas worthy of being shared. An old acquaintance made a series of poor choices and somehow qualified for state-funded assistance; I am infuriated. My work contract promised a raise after three months and it’s been over eight; I feel disappointed. I felt great on the paleo diet for the first four weeks and now feel terrible; I’m not sure of the next step.

And yet, I know, life is inherently a shift between the pants fitting comfortably and then slowly creeping up into unspeakable crevices. All we can do is adjust and try to be subtle about it.

I’ve always considered myself both highly analytical and deeply creative, and pride myself on aptly blending the two. I’ve not felt creative lately–at all. My journal entries resemble those of a child, simplistic and superficial in nature. I have multiple short story ideas sitting around on sticky notes, some sewing projects I haven’t gotten around to yet and a box of sketching supplies awaiting my attention. Being a creative person, I feel guilty for not actively being creative. Have I failed at being my authentic self? Have I failed at making time for my personal projects? Am I making excuses or prioritizing the wrong things?

Yet, through the vast forest of disappointment, I’ve caught a glimpse of light. Perhaps, creativity evolves across time, taking on different forms to meet our needs at any given stage of life.

Over the last five weeks, my doctors have pointed me down the opposite fork in the road. I’ve transitioned from a near-vegan diet to consuming 75 grams of animal protein per day. Believe it or not, it’s required a level of creativity to discover which meats are most palatable after years without, where to find the most humanely-raised animals and how to prepare dishes that I’ve never made before. As with any other art, my kitchen experiments have included some proud moments, major misses and plenty of lessons learned. Even this seemingly-endless artistic drought is its own season of creativity.

Here in Phoenix, the summer drought is slowly coming to an end as the monsoon storms roll in with their violent micro-bursts and flash floods. When the towering clouds make their retreat and the cooler air takes its place, life will continue on and I will adjust. With each new season, the environment may shift; instinctively, we pack and unpack our boots and our sweaters. Without giving it much thought, we do what we’ve always done–we do what we must to most forward.

Perhaps creativity works in a similar manner, ebbing and flowing in response to our changing environment and circumstances. Creativity may manifest differently in the midst of high-stress than when one is feeling particularly inspired. To be human is to be capable of changing your perspective, breaking routine and taking risks. Just as the local weather fluctuates from month-to-month and year-to-year, the nature of our creativity may also shift. Even in the periods of seemingly endless drought, you are still creating. You are still creative.

If you don’t mind me asking, what does your current season of creativity look like? Are you writing, drawing, baking or researching? Are you focused on self-reflection, schooling or learning how to be a better parent? What are you doing today that may incite a small glimmer of joy, pride or hope?

16 thoughts on “Seasons of Creativity

  1. I can totally understand and relate to your frustrations. Life, right?

    I have to say that I’ve been pretty motivated recently. Am I creative? I read a lot and write more often than I used to in the past few months, so I see it as progress. There definitely are seasonal changes there. You’re not the only one.

    Being outside (walking, biking, doing sports) has been of huge help to me and my energy levels.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks for your comment! It’s so reassuring to know I’m not alone, and I especially love that your mention being outdoors. My boyfriend and I aim for a 1-2 mile walk around the lake most nights and–depending on what we need–it’s a chance to relax, re-energize, notice beauty, make connection, or discuss big ideas. Perhaps, simply being alive is the ultimate act of creativity. ๐Ÿ™‚

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  2. Great post! Like floatinggold above, I find being out and about on my bike particularly liberating and Iโ€™ll find any excuse to spend time in the kitchen trying out new recipes and ideas for new ones.

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    1. I love that analogy and I think you’re absolutely right. Perhaps it’s during these quieter moments that we collect the supplies and inspiration necessary for our next project in life. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m attempting to take a break but not doing a very good job of it! I am reading alot more. I’m on my second book (novel) and picked out my third one to read. Fiction is becoming much more of an interest to me. I started my own novel which I’ve done before, but last time I changed as a person so I lost interest. This time seems different (different story line) and I love writing it. Peace.

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    1. How fun! Similarly, I’ve gone through phases of intense interest (followed by disinterest) in reading and writing fiction. Enjoy the fountain of creativity and keep going! ๐Ÿ™‚

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  4. I think I’m in the season most people would describe as late spring (though for me, late fall, as I hate summer and love winter). There’s this excitement at what’s coming next in my writing, but the days leading up to those next steps are painfully slow and somewhat out of my control. So that’s likely where I am. Though I guess there’s always the chance it’s the days leading up to spring break. Who knows lol

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Ooh, I love it and know exactly what you’re talking about (both the sense of being on the verge of something big, and the preference for winter). I’m excited to see what create! ๐Ÿ™‚


  5. I think that creativity can ebb and flow, and usually I think this is a good and natural thing. Sometimes the ebb is so you can absorb and fill up your tank for more output. After all, we can’t be all output all the time. But on the other hand, I have had my creativity disappear for extended periods of time. That was when I was very depressed, and while it may have been a natural symptom of depression, I don’t think it’s a natural part of the creative cycle.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s such a great point. I think creativity has it’s natural rhythm, but it’s also important to note when winter seems to be running particularly long because it may be a sign of something else at play. I’ve had some periods of depression and, for me, the three most telling signs are social isolation, lack of creative energy and apathy.

      I find it funny that my amount of free time has gone down with age, yet my ability to recognize and respond to both the natural and unnatural seasons of my life. Overall, I’m better equipped to adjust my sails, accept where I am, celebrate small slices of progress and continue moving forward. I hadn’t really considered that before now, but I hope the increasing sense of stability is something that most, if not all, people are able to experience and life continues on.

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  6. Our physical health definitely affects our creativity as do the seasons. (I just finished my own blog post on this topic!) My seasonal affective disorder causes sluggishness and depression in the winter, though I do write more because I’m inside. The change of season brings reflection and makes me take stock of my life as well as my writing and creative goals.

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  7. I can definitely connect with not always feeling creatively inspired. But what’s always fascinating to me is that after I come out of that time, I look back at things that I forced myself to do, and they are actually not as terrible as I thought they were at the time.
    It’s almost like for a while I stop seeing what I create in colour; it’s just black and white, lack lustre. But when I can see in colour again I see that I was creating well, I just couldn’t discern it.


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