Why is the two week period right before Christmas the most stressful time of the year? Whoever decided finals should be during the holiday season, they’d better not come forward unless they want to tussle with this angry, small, emotionally-charged lit major. I’ve got two fists and they are ready, so come at me. What with all the papers and the projects and the applications, I haven’t given a minute’s thought to my own creative goals for months!
This holiday season, when you have a moment of rest before the new year, I give you one suggestion–instead of promising yourself all those new year’s resolutions, put that energy into bettering yourself starting from where you are right now.
Is your place of living constantly noisy, messy and unorganized? If you find yourself feeling discombobulated whenever you enter the space, don’t worry. It happens to the best of us. Organization in other aspects of life does not always mean the same for our home. Instead of telling you to de-clutter your space (because let’s be honest, not even I would follow my own advice on that one) I will suggest a manageable alternative: pick just one small corner of your dwelling place–be it a closet, laundry room, alcove or even a corner of a larger room–and make it your zen space. To make a distinct separation from the chaos that lies beyond, you could try hanging up a curtain or two so as to complete the cocoon like effect. With a colorful rug and a few fluffy pillow, your meditation room is almost complete. Decorate with dim lighting, candles and a speaker piping in a restorative yoga playlist and you’ve got a sane, quiet place to recharge.
FIND THE LEAKS
Like any other system, our creativity is fed by a source of energy. That source comes from within us, and is housed by our physical form. Whatever we put into our bodies determines how that energy will manifest. If we are being healthy and kind to our bodies, our energy will be clean, focused and long lasting. If we are in an unhealthy headspace and pick up bad habits, our energy will be sluggish, distracted and easily burnt-out. Our body is like a system of pipes delivering our energy to our brains to use–we must identify where the leaks are! I know it’s a lot to ask, but by eliminating our vices, we can purify our energy source. Procrastination, sleep deprivation, coffee and cigarettes–whatever is clouding your mind, take steps to rid yourself of negative influences on your creativity.
Once all the kinks are worked out, it’s time to rediscover what inspires you. Why did you becomes a writer in the first place? It’s all too easy to forget. While sitting in your zen space, drinking green tea instead of coffee and fending of your worries with a smile deep from within, harken back to your early days of writer hood. Remember how you felt, and what made you feel that way. You may not be able to recreate the circumstances exactly, but you can mimic them–if you first started writing in the desert of Arizona, make your zen place desert themed! If the night sky makes you want to write poetry about the stars, make your little room celestial themed and meditate on the cosmos.
While you’re at it, pick up a new book! Reading more reminds you how beautiful the writer’s trade really is. Figure out what kind of book you’d like to read, and write it yourself!
Finally, let me remind you again in case you forgot…be kind to yourself. Forgive yourself for writer’s block. Forgive yourself for just not feeling like it. You must forgive yourself for the days where no ink flows from your pen–it will flow again, just give it time.