Saturday, December 5, 2009

Saturday, December 05, 2009 - 1 comment

Nurturing the Creative Life: Just Do It

I recently read a good article, Nurturing the Creative Life by Elisabeth Adams, and was challenged by the idea that, instead of waiting for the perfect combination of miraculous free time and lightning bolt inspiration, I need to get in the habit of sitting down and just writing. I have friends who regularly churn out these incredible, witty blog entries, and I think, "Man, I could do that, but it would take me hours!" A dozen times a day I am struck by an event or an image that causes me to think, "Hey, that would make a great story." But by the time the duties and interruptions of the day have come and gone, the moment has past and the time and energy to write about it has, too. So many good stories gone to waste!

It's true what they say: In order to be a writer, you have to write. Just do it. If I neglect the creative process on a daily basis, chances are I won't come up with anything amazingly impacting when I finally do sit down to compose something. And so, in response to this, I know the thing to do is to stop waiting for the time to write to present itself and to start making time, every day, to record the wonder and the heartache, the magnificent and the mundane, the LIFE that is going on all around me. When I first moved to Turkey and everything was fresh and foreign, I used to carry around a little notebook in my bag. Mostly I used it for writing down new vocab words, but many a "cultural anecdote in the making" found its way onto those pages as well. This would be a habit well worth taking up again.

So, this is me, sitting down and writing. We'll see what it turns into.

I woke up this morning to the most delicious sound - that of an intense rainstorm and some good, hearty thunder. The plan had been that if the weather was nice, we'd head out to the ruins at Perge to make use of the last month left on my roomate's Museum Discount Card. I'm always up for a good tramp through an ancient city, but I have to admit that when I awoke to the rain pelting my window, I was more than relieved. It's been a full week, and the idea of being able to snuggle in my bed a little longer and then have a day of true rest sounded amazing. What followed was a good heart-refueling, daydreaming with my roommate about what our "contextualized Christmas decorations" should look like this year, an amazingly hot shower (with much gratitude for the hot water switch upstairs that allows us to have hot showers even when it's not been sunny for days), making and indulging in a pot of curried pumpkin soup (Pumpkin freshly bought from my pumpkin guy at the pazar...yes, I have a "Pumpkin Guy" - isn't that great? He even chops it all up for you.), and now the act of sitting down and writing. All interspersed, of course with good coffee and conversation. Apart from a cookie baking date with one of my neighbours tonight (she is obsessed with my gingersnaps and wants to take some back to her university dorm when she leaves tomorrow), the only other thing on the agenda is some work (fun work, don't worry!) on photos from my Long Trip Home and some time curled up with a yet-to-be-determined novel.

Rest days for me are a determined act of the will - a conscious choice to set aside til tomorrow all the things pressing for my attention and to do things that are life-giving, all the while actively trusting that the One who carries all our burdens can handle all of mine if I stop to take a breather. My world will not stop spinning. In fact, it will very likely spin more smoothly. :)

Here's to deep breaths of life-giving air.


Love it! Glad to hear your creative voice again :)