Some of my drafts were inspired during morning walks; others arose during meditation or quiet time.
But many of my posts just popped into my head. Sometimes a family member of a resident who has Alzheimer’s disease will approach me and ask me a question. Other times, when I am visiting at the long-term care residence where my mother resided, a resident will say something that sparks an idea for a post. Often, my encounters with residents are touching and those posts practically write themselves. I know this because I know my encounters with the residents always come from the heart. (It is one of the reasons why I love to volunteer and work with the residents – they are truly honest and authentic, all of the time.)
And there was the time I was at a Tai Chi class when in the middle of wave hands at clouds, an image of my mother laughing as she waved her hands back and forth came to me, and later that day I was inspired to write about her in one of my posts.
Many of these draft posts are sitting in the back of my mind…my greenhouse…planted under the heat lights. And as the posts sit in this draft stage, I just ignore them when I go to the “Add New” section. The posts in the greenhouse need work. So I let them germinate.
I am content to allow myself to sit back and give those posts some time. After all, creativity needs a rich soil, a rich place to sit and grow. Our own creative juices expand when we read more, learn more, and yes, when we do nothing. Our body, mind and spirit needs enrichment so I believe that self-care is a necessary component for our ideas to grow. During this time of rest (or germination), a change in our routines might be in order: change our habits, enjoy a new hobby, take a course, visit friends, volunteer, go to the museum, read a book. When we are open to learning something new, we allow ourselves to stay curious. Curiosity is a big component of creativity. When we are curious about…well, everything in this world, then we learn and gather more information, and it is this information that helps us form new associations in our writing.
Or just do nothing. I am a big proponent of doing nothing. In fact, the art of doing nothing is integral to achieving a true balance in our busy, hectic lives.
The growth of ideas needs a lot of down-time. Whenever I read a book about the process of creativity, the author always espouses the importance of solitude, silence, quiet time, meditation, contemplation…that is, down time. We need to rest our minds and getting away is the perfect antidote. Go for a walk, sit in nature, kayak, jog, dance, turn off the electronics. Learn to go inward. When we focus on an activity that gives us pleasure, it leads to blocking out the world and the mind’s endless chatter. It takes a lot of focus to steer a kayak, or to dance. Everything else falls away.
We allow our right hemisphere of the brain to wake up. This is where our creativity and new ideas spring from, and it is the reason why often we get an inspiration in the middle of a walk along the river. One of my draft posts is all about the colour blue – the many shades of blue – because I am infatuated with water. Every day the water changes and I am obsessed by its changing shades. I read once that Monet was obsessed with water, also. I feel I am in good company.
In the act of doing something that is totally unrelated to our writing, something arises. An idea. The seeds are sprouting.
So my many draft posts sit in my mind’s greenhouse, doing nothing. And I am okay with that. Because in the act of doing nothing, I am really doing something. I am allowing for the germination time.