Time has swiftly passed leaving me empty handed and in a creative drought. After a long and relentless winter, my absence has been a result of feeling distracted and distant from writing. With my birthday rapidly approaching and in desperate need of a break, I saw an opportunity to clear my mind to find space to be creative again and booked myself a day at the spa and a night at the Shangri-la: a staycation in style, or in reality, an opportunity to unwind, clear my mind, and nurture my soul while cleansing and removing the cobwebs that have settled over the winter and created clutter. Clutter that has found itself quite comfortable in my mind. Clutter that needs some attention and spring cleaning – just like my closet this time of year.
I’ve been frustrated over the past weeks when I’ve sat down to write. I can feel ideas brewing deep down, fighting to find their way out; it’s as though I’m on the precipice of inspiration every time but every idea is fleeting – disappearing as quickly as it comes and I’m left empty handed. During this hiatus from writing, the inevitable question of “why bother” has continued to creep into my mind. It is so much work to put together one single post and yet I was on a roll doing it week after week. It brought me as much satisfaction as it did stress but somehow over time I’d learned how to manage the latter to let the former win. Writing is hard. Being creative is hard. Challenging yourself to get out of your comfort zone and sharing your thoughts, stories and emotions with the world, is hard. And yet I keep coming back for more.
But, why do I write at all? Why put myself through this agony week after week? Because being creative is necessary – an integral part of our existence and something that makes for a much more enriched life. Sound familiar? Then you’ve read Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic too. Who would have thought I would find a creative connection in writing? I grew up living creatively with my dedication to dance and music, but with becoming a young adult and subsequent professional and financial responsibilities came a shift in my creative compass. In an effort to find something to spark my curiosity, I accidentally fell into writing.
My aha moment came after becoming a discouraged fashion blogger who felt her efforts were worthless. I had run out of outfit photos and content to post and figured why not take a stab at something different – no one was reading my blog anyway, right? I wrote a quick note about how I was excitedly preparing for my favourite time of year: Christmas. To my surprise, people actually told me they read it! So I thought I’d take a shot at writing about being a dancer and people not only read it, they shared it too! All of the sudden I was onto something. Other people were relating, sharing, commenting, understanding, reacting to my words. But what was different about that blog than everything else I had written, was that I had written it for me.These blogs were inspired out of a good time or bad time; an opportunity to explore an event or emotion and to process it in the only way I knew how: writing.
I never know if there’s a method to my madness, or if writing serves any purpose at all in defining my path in life. But what I know for sure, is that writing helps me to process and learn which ultimately turns into growth and wisdom. It’s a mechanism that enables me to understand where I am and where I’m going. To make sense of events and experiences and to often see them in a new light. It keeps my eyes and ears open to the world around me and keeps my mind curious to exploration and adventure.
And even with all this inspiration surrounding me, it can be tough to get it out when you’re touched by an idea and the spirit moves you. When ideas come my way, I fight so hard to try and keep them there a little longer and to commit them to memory so I can write them down before I forget. But it doesn’t always work out and I’m reminded of another Big Magic concept: ideas are in the universe and sometimes they escape you, because they in fact weren’t meant to be yours. So, as I forgive myself for losing a little motivation and inspiration along the way, I’m reminded of what’s most important: being here, writing now, putting down the words and sharing them. Though each idea may not be sensational and each post far from perfect, showing up is all I need to do.
“Our only job is to allow people to see us learning. It’s not to be an expert.” – Glennon Doyle Melton
As I continue on this creative quest, I’m reminded of the power of creativity and its ability to mold and shape us into better human beings. It’s just like taking that ballet class; there was a part of me whose feet were on the ground but the spirit inside me was soaring above. It’s in those moments that we’re truly living and feel the replenishment of those buckets so we can go through our day feeling more fulfilled, passionate and accomplished. That’s why I write.
“Now that you don’t have to be perfect, you can be good.” – John Steinbeck
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