Back in January, I started something. I erased everything on my white board in my office and wrote down every month for 2016.
I was curious what would happen if I tracked my own creativity.
So instead of writing down goals for each month, I just catalogued what I actually did.
Eight books read.
5,000 words written.
Ten smoothies consumed.
I knew it had to be a holistic effort. I couldn't just track words written. I needed to make sure I was actively chasing what fuels me rather than expecting words to create themselves.
Since January, I've written close to 50,000 words. But most of these words were in February. My past few months have looked pretty barren.
I'm learning to be okay with this.
I came into this year certain of one thing: I had to learn how to take better care of myself and the story I'm meant to tell. And so I've been listening. Lunch with my coworkers instead of pushing myself to get another email or blog post written? Done. Time with Russ in the evening instead of sitting at the table with my headphones on? Yes, please. Reading a book that makes my spirit skip a few steps because of it's quality? Amen.
With the slowness has come an ultra-bright clarity.
If we are ever going to change the indie publishing industry, we must first cultivate the light within our own creativity.
By looking within, we enable ourselves to know our why with more fullness. We gain the freedom to write what we want, stay true to our soul, and follow our intuition with gumption.
This is the kind of creativity I want to live.
It's not a sprint to the finish line — that's what this year has taught me. There are no quantifiable steps to get someone from point A to point B. It just happens. The story is there, or it isn't, or it's percolating for a spell.
But you can't rush creativity. It thrives under the slow burn.
Thoughts to consider:
1. How are you rushing your creativity during this season? What are ways you can slow down, allowing your words to fully develop?
2. Take a good, long look at everything on your plate. What are you involved in or what have you agreed to that simply doesn't serve you and this season? Where do you need to say no so you can say yes to things that make you feel awake?
3. Breathe deeply — three full breaths in and out. For each breath, whisper I am creative and I have a story. What thoughts surface?