Tag Archives: Expression

Notes from a Writer on Retreat! 1.

If you’ve been following along, you’ll know that I am taking a few days out of my work schedule to continue writing my novel. I’m ‘on retreat’ in my own home, and although the days I set aside for this are Monday to Wednesday, this Sunday evening I have been settling down to re-read the most recent portion of my book and to reengage with it.

This is my first novel, and it comes from the deepest part of me. I am also writing a light-hearted piece of fiction, but that is really just an imaginative journey with fictional characters, whereas the novel that has been birthed in me through painful experiences, hurt, perseverance, faith and hope is what is most important to me out of anything I am writing.

Coming from this place, my notes to you (Hello world! 🙂 It’s nice to not have to be a complete recluse on retreat and still have some semblance of contact and connection with the outside world) are that writing is more than creating sentences from finely chosen words to create meaning and story. It is SO much more. For me it is an expression of my soul, a cathartic journey, a making sense of traumatic experience through allegory and story, a process of growth through gaining insights into the human condition, mind, psychology and heart, and an expression of praise and worship to my Creator, and a hopeful offering that something of my soul’s journey will touch and help someone else someday. 

There is depth to such writing, when we write from our hearts, that goes beyond prose on a page or a screen. I have felt so reengaged with what I have written, and also quite emotionally touched by it too. This is perhaps why we ‘creative types’ need time, space and solitude to assimilate and allow what is within us to take shape and find an expression to share with the world. Part of writing is sharing an intimate glimpse of your soul, and even though nobody is reading my novel except myself, there is still power in this process. 

It is hard to grasp the wonder and necessity of creativity in our lives, especially in a fast paced world that does not allow us the time for lessons to simmer within us and for us to more fully process, be changed by, overcome and experience growth through our life’s experiences. And yet there is power in authentic creativity. I know you have something unique to share with the world, even if it takes time, many that have gone before us spent their lives crafting something that would only be completed, acknowledged or understood after their time on earth. Yet, isn’t our human experience so much more than fast paced ‘clicks’, ‘views’ and ‘likes’? Take time to develop your craft, and to share that unique part of yourself with the world in a way that allows you the opportunity to authentically experience the lesson for yourself, and then in some small part share a glimmer of that deep humanity with the world. 

brown paper envelope on table
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Waiting for inspiration? …

black and white blackboard business chalkboard
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

How creative are you? My guess is that if you are a blogger, you’re probably fairly high in the creative stakes. And yet, creativity ebbs and flows, and can take on various different dimensions and expressions throughout life, and can be approached very uniquely from individual to individual.

Creative thinking is not necessarily confined to artistic pursuits, such as writing, drawing, design, travel, sculpture, dance, photography, cookery, painting, literature, crafts, and so on and on with the endless possibilities of engaging with life in this world on this amazingly fascinating planet. Creative thinking can also find its expression in business, research, science, teaching, entrepreneurial pursuits and more analytical fields.

If you’re like me then you’re both highly creative and analytical in certain areas of your life. In other areas or fields of learning you may have to apply more grit and determination to learning something that doesn’t necessarily ‘spark the fire’ in you quite as easily.

So in the ebb and flow of creativity, of being human, sometimes inspiration can seem to run dry. You know you have an idea in you somewhere, and yet you can’t quite articulate it even to yourself. You stare at that blank piece of paper or computer screen, wondering what to write, draw or plan. You hold the fabric in your hands and can’t quite engage your ideas and your heart as passionately as you once did and end up tossing it aside for when you’re feeling more ‘in the zone’.

So what do you do? Realise that even when you aren’t necessarily producing grand designs, ideas, plans or making anything, there is still a process going on within you and perhaps it is somewhat of a ‘sifting’ of ideas, emotions and experiences that will find their expression in due course.

Ease yourself from the self imposed pressure of having to ‘show’ something or produce something. Inspiration is a lot to do with authenticity. Authentically living in, feeling, experiencing that particular moment, that ‘something’ real in life, that your soul connects to and desires to express and find expression in.

Engage with yourself again, your five senses. Take time to be present, grounded, and still. Become aware of the beauty, depth, simplicity and profundity of the things you can touch, taste, hear, see, and smell right now. Drawing inspiration from others is a beautiful thing, and yet connecting with your own experience of life in the moment is perhaps more powerful.

Don’t confine creativity and inspiration to the realm of producing great works. First *experience* it. Your expression may be in a rhythm, a phrase, some notes jotted on a crumpled piece of paper, the enjoyment of the rustle of leaves in your hand or underfoot, the appreciation of the slow movement of clouds across the sky, a word, a thought, a scribble, an unwritten, unshared song that you give life to in the moment, the click of a camera, a combination of colours, the unravelling of a piece of string.

The first mark on that piece of paper. That first word typed on your computer screen.

Alive.

Perhaps you can start there. Alive. And maybe what your soul gives expression to can one day be shared.

Take your time. Live it first. Life is the inspiration you’ve been waiting for…