Monday 10 October 2022

Rekindling One's Creativity


Rekindling One's Creativity

By Jayne Kingsley

So, it's been a year. Quite a few, really, but let's not delve down that rabbit hole. I agreed to write this blog months ago; fresh into a new year for which I had grand romance writing and kick ass life plans. January rolled into February, and I started a new career path by returning to university, naively thinking I could handle full time study, kids, a house, being an awesome wife, and writing romance.
I have a confession. I haven't written a word of romance since February. In fact, I haven't read a romance novel in over two months and quite frankly feel like my creative skills have packed up, dusted their brain space a little and trotted off to Bora Bora to soak in the sunshine and sip mimosas all day long. And I'd like them to come home now, please!

 But how does one switch from writing carefully crafted and extensively researched academic reports and essays back into the wonderful world of creative writing? My brain is full to the brim with behaviour management skills, literacy blocks, and mathematically rich lesson plan sequences, (I'm retraining as a teacher btw, so yes, I really DO need my creativity back to keep up with my future students) but creatively I feel ... almost numb.
I miss writing romance. I miss reading romance, the type that draws you in and shakes your very core. I miss my tribe.
Regrettably, the university year still has a few months before I'm freed from its clutches for this year, but I decided to hunt for a few tips on adding a little more balance to my days, hoping that by doing so my creativity will naturally follow the golden path back to where it belongs (one can only hope; Bora Bora and mimosas are a pretty temptation to leave).

Tip 1:Mindfulness

I'm sure you've heard of it. It's the practice of being present in the moment, being aware of our thoughts and just taking a beat. My daughter, Miss 7, does mindfulness at school, and asked me to install the app Smiling Minds. It's free (no, this isn't some weird third-party promo I promise!) but I gave it a go and well, I'm a bit of a fan. Finding just five minutes a day to sit and soak in my thoughts, listen to the world and be present can only be described as a delicious treat amongst the hectic schedule that is my life. I highly recommend this one.

Tip 2: Colouring

I guess this is linked to mindfulness, since adult colouring books are still a huge trend, but I'm putting it separately as I feel they deserve their own time allotment. I love drawing, and it's another activity that I need to find more time for. It's peaceful, and ever so rewarding to see colour bloom across a once blank page. I even have a few colouring apps on my phone now. Not as blissful, I'll admit, but they do hit some of the criteria.
Buy here

Tip 3: Daydreaming

This is perhaps the one that I am lacking the most. I used to lie in my head, characters nattering to be written, ideas appearing thick and fast for yet another story I wanted to write. Now I daydream about having already handed in an assignment and receiving a distinction on my last maths exam. Sad, but true. I used to have a lot more time alone, where I could go for a walk and let my mind wander. These days, not so much, but it's a good goal that's certainly going on my list.

Tip 4: Dancing

Dance like no one is watching, and if they are, tell them to come shake their booty too! I love to dance, and I make it a habit to try and fit in at least one danceathon with my kids each week. It's fun, it makes you smile, and it is good exercise to boot. All things that can help one's inner creativity find its way back to the surface.

I'm sure there are loads more tips for bringing a spark of creativity back, but these are the four that I plan to start incorporating into my life. I'd love to hear if you have any suggestions?

I love to love... watching kids movies with my girls during school holidays (Let It Go rendition anyone?)
I love to laugh... at my terrible attempts to learn the floss dance move.
I love to learn... how bees make honey. We've just bought a beehive so bring on more learning! (Okay, I may be my own worst enemy).