"Press Pause" - When the Creative Cycle of Lull Stretches On...
In this third post about Lull, I’m moving beyond the usual definitions and occurrences of Pause in our creative lives. Because sometimes, procrastination and percolation are not the issue. Sometimes, the season of Lull stretches on.
I know because I’ve experienced this first hand.
I call this phase (and love believe me no one talks about this) Periodic Rest. It’s the long haul. The true fallow period. It’s the barren field we creatives fear above all else.
I’m writing this in November, “when yellow leaves, or none, or few do hang"—so this topic feels seasonally appropriate. And that sonnet of Shakespeare’s points to why we fear this season creatively—we’re afraid we’ll never get it back, our spark, our zing, our zest, our flair. We fear we’re done, kaput, dried up, all out, empty.
So what do we do, when the weeks go by? When the months stretch and we’re still not doing that thing we (used to) love doing?
Here is my advice: Lean. In.
Do. Something. Else.
Ask yourself, What does sound like fun, if that first love doesn’t? What would be interesting for you? What have you always wanted to try but never had the time?
During my years of periodic rest from poetry I became a certified Kaizen Muse Master Coach and Guiddess, a certified Qoya dance instructor, I founded Odonata Creative and built a business. I developed a website, facilitated workshops, classes, wrote curriculum, created a deck of creativity prompts, ran several challenges online. I made new friends, asked different questions, remembered a few things about myself I’d forgotten for too long.
And now? I’m beginning to come back to words again. Tenderly, hesitantly, and from this new ground.
When we define ourselves and our creativity too narrowly, it prevents our growth and development. And the reason we’re here, loves, is not (just) to write our books and paint our pictures. The reason we’re here is to become the most whole and healed version of ourselves we can be.
By relaxing into my own need for a long (years!) break away from poetry and words, I discovered that my life was going to be richer, fuller, and more surprising than I could have imagined.
I’m not saying it’s easy. I am saying it’s important.