As I write this, it’s still 90+ degrees outside, but there is hope for a cold front soon. With the cooler temps and the promise of things like turning cypress leaves, pumpkin patches and pies, a part of me is starting to feel a little less heavy and overwhelmed and a little more willing to create.
Since I can remember, I’ve always needed permission to create. I sometimes wonder if I got my degree in English and Creative Writing solely because I wanted someone to give me permission to write, and even more so, to be able to call myself a writer. Every moment since college, I’ve struggled to let myself create freely. At first, I thought it was just the lack of time and devotion to the craft. Other times, I told myself it’s because I was healing from harsh critiques. While both of those hold some truth, I’m beginning to realize that my quiet ways tend to mean that I want permission to do things. I’m not that fire-brand personality that blazes my own path. I’m more of the (somewhat mindless) wanderer that stumbles down the path less traveled (because it looks beautiful and mysterious) and is grateful for any guidance along the way.
Each year, I promise myself I’m going to give myself permission. Because why the hell not? Then, I make myself some tea, write a few words, call it trash and go to bed. I promise, I wasn’t always this way.
In fact, as a kid, I was the polar opposite. I was entirely in my own happy, little world. I played and wore costumes and imagined at least one story a day. I wrote poems and newspapers and everything was good. Somewhere along the lines of growing up, I lost that magic. I think in some ways, many of us work really hard to get that magic back, but we end up making it FAR more complicated than it really is.
Thus, here I am with the promise of autumn on the horizon. I believe there’s a correlation of what I loved as a kid and the magic of leading a creative life. With the expectation of northerly breezes and pulling out cozy sweaters, I’m making a list of all the things to dig myself out of this hole of infinite expectations. Summer is almost over, and the season of rest almost here.
These aren’t unreasonable promises, in fact, they have a strong resemblance to an autumn bucket list. But, sometimes, we just need to promise ourselves to do what we love and let go of everything else that weighs us down.
- To write just for fun – for no other reason than because it’s enjoyable. This means writing from prompts or writing poems or limericks. Seriously, just put some words out into the universe – no strings attached.
- To participate in National Novel Writing Month again… it’s been too long and I love the community. It helps keep me passionate and on track with my goals.
- To take on one craft project for the month – whether it’s macrame, basket weaving, etc. Time to make all those pin-worthy craft dreams come true.
- To visit a pumpkin patch (bonus if puppy Lily can go with us)
- To make all the soups and pies – cooking/baking is the most rewarding form of creating and community-building I know.
- To have s’mores + stories + stars – I LOVE getting around the campfire and eating sticky marshmallows off a stick, telling stories and watching for shooting stars. Waking up smelling like campfire…
- To read fairytales and one spooky story. This time of year holds a special kind of magic – and curling up with a retelling of a fairytale is one of my favorite things. This year, I’m also going to finally read “Frankenstein” by Mary Shelley (thought it would be fun to follow it up with the new Mary Shelley movie starring Elle Fanning).
I’ve been blogging for seven years now, and a struggle that never seems to go away is that my creativity ebbs and flows with the seasons of my life. The best thing I’ve learned is to pause and be gentle with myself. To keep honoring the things that bring true joy, no matter how silly or small they may seem. It’s never been about the big things, it’s always been those little moments, the blissful pauses in between. The world can so easily drown out what really matters, and it’s just knowing when to re-center again.