I’ve said for years there are few things I trust more than the creative process. The sun rises, the sun sets, the tides go in and out, and the creative process ebbs and flows…and ebbs and flows again.
I share this now, at the dawn of spring, because it can be tempting to take a snapshot of the creative process rather than seeing it as a continuum. When we are deep in winter here in Colorado, I take solace knowing that the Earth inevitably turns, and winter will soon be followed by spring. And conversely, when I am deep in the luxury of summer, I try to remember that it, too, will not last.
It can be helpful, if you plan to have a long, creative life, to view your process like this. To roll with the changing seasons of our art. Periods of furious creation are followed by a slowing down as we recuperate. And those fallow periods are followed by new sparks and new creative discoveries…if we remain patient and trust the process. The key in any season is to embrace that cycles come and go. When we are in the creative mania stages, it can be hard to remember winter is coming. And when we are fallow, we may not recognize the new seeds germinating.
The more times you go through this process, the more you will start to trust that every season will retreat…and eventually return.
This cyclical nature is especially important when you are feeling creative FOMO (fear of missing out) or artistic jealousy. Your creativity is turning, always, but so is everyone else’s…on different cycles. Someone might be doing a lot of publishing outwardly, but behind the scenes they’re fallow. Someone else may feel insecure that they haven’t published lately, but they’re writing a masterpiece behind the scenes.
Bottom line: It’s counterproductive to compare July to January. Instead, wherever you are in your creative process, remember you are turning and spinning, facing and retreating from the sun over and over.
If you wait long enough, it will always be summer.
To your beautiful, flowering creativity,
P.S. Speaking of seasons…are you ready for a flash fiction retreat in Iceland’s darkness? Early access to registration opens tomorrow!