by Kristin Nador/@KristinNador
Some people complain that responses to bad things happening in the world today have dissolved into a #hashtag for people to post in social media and make themselves feel like they’ve done something. Continue reading
by Kristin Nador/@KristinNador
Walking and I have been having an epic struggle lately.
I enjoy walks outside. A stroll around the neighborhood, a paced walk around a track for some intentional sweating, or a gentle hike in the woods all suit me fine.
My foot and ankle haven’t agreed with that assessment at all. They protest in pain, refusing to participate in the simplest activities. Foot and Ankle were forced into an intervention with a podiatrist, and now after some painful injections and custom orthotics, foot is about 85% better. Ankle is still questionable, with MRI results pending, but much better than before.
I’ve gotten to the point where I can take very short walks without aggravating the healing process. We have nice sidewalks in our apartment complex, but once you’ve walked around a building a few times, it’s time for more interesting views. I found the perfect spot for gentle walking just a few minutes drive away, and discovered it helped coax some gentle writing out of me as well. Continue reading
Have you ever dealt with it?
Some writers talk about writer’s block like it’s a virus you catch, and with all the right ‘home remedies’ (everyone has one) you’ll get well and writer’s block will disappear.
Other writers give writer’s block the name of Resistance, as if naming this shadowy criminal makes it easier to conquer. Some say Resistance is actually a natural obstacle to creating art. If you’re getting Resistance in your writing, you’re doing something right, so blow up the block like you’re freaking John McClane.
Still others say writer’s block doesn’t exist, it’s just another excuse to avoid writing.
I’ve had a series of set backs lately. It’s not your average ‘I had a bad day’ but almost its own novel, when things go bad, and you don’t think anything can get worse, it does. Repeatedly. There’s physical pain and emotional pain. It’s a well-planned attack of Resistance.
And it’s more.
It’s a spiritual attack.
I believe we have all been given gifts to fulfill our destiny, and our gifts give others the strength and wisdom to fulfill their destiny. These gifts flow through the spirit. Our spirits can be attacked to the point that our souls are sapped of creative strength if we are caught unaware.
What do you do when life is painful? Do you find solace in your writing or run from it?
My tendency is retreat. I retreat into myself, rehearse all that is going wrong, wallow in the negative, and then there’s no time or energy for writing. Sometimes I can’t transition from that depressive state and focus on a creative project. So the pen lays stagnant.
I intellectually acknowledge that a step towards writing will help me throw off this state of mind, but the inertia that goes with the feelings keeps me from acting. Waves of guilt, especially as I read blogs and social media statuses of writers completing Herculean acts of productivity, try to wash me away and drag me out to sea.
When this curtain of spiritual Resistance descends on me, I try to fight my way out with prayer. I take a walk. I write in a journal, although I have the beginnings of dozens of journals. I make a list of positive things. I talk to someone. I channel the emotions into a character in my writing if I’m feeling particularly brave.
I wish I could say these are my ‘home remedies’ and they always work, but they don’t.
The truth is that sometimes I’m stuck.
Sometimes I’m not ‘Super-Writer’ leaping tall plots and intricate character arcs in a single bound. I know when this happens, it’s just a season, the feelings will pass, but in the midst of the messiness it’s hard to see.
The weekly Friday feature of Write Anywhere venues here on kristin nador writes anywhere has been a personal challenge as well as a challenge to my readers that we can discover the fuel for creativity anywhere. Whether you are a writer, a painter, a photographer, a musician, a seamstress, a crafter, a poet, a performer, or a creative of any type, you can energize your skills, abilities and inspirations by taking yourself out of the regular routine of life. Allow yourself to hear what’s going on deep in your brain cells and your spirit so it can be expressed through your creative pursuits. The beginning of a new year can be one of the best times to take stock of your creative goals and I found a very unusual place to seek my muse.
The sun warmed the crisp winter air as I climbed up a small hill to The Labyrinth in Hunter Park. What’s a labyrinth you might ask? You mean that weird movie with David Bowie? No, labyrinths have been around since ancient times. They are intricate mazes or paths of different shapes that seems chaotic but have a distinct thread that will take you from the outside of the path to the inside. They have existed in many cultures with accompanying symbolic meanings, but there has been a resurgence of interest in labyrinths for spiritual meditation and stress-reduction in recent years. There is even a Labyrinth society where you can search for labyrinths in your local area.
This labyrinth is at the high point of the park where a basketball court once stood. The circular maze is painted on the concrete in bright city-curb yellow. The area was deserted; park visitors congregated at the more active areas of the park like the playground and the dog park below. Not as awe-inspiring as the one at the cathedral of Chartres, but inviting nonetheless. I felt a little silly as I started to follow the path, but I was determined to make this a productive experience.
I took slow measured steps, let the air fill my lungs and tried to empty my mind of all the usual clutter that vies for my attention. I felt a little disconcerted at having no media to consume: no breaking news, no Twitter feed, no email, no phone calls. That’s the signal that tells me I am in need of unplugging so I can concentrate on more important matters.
I thought a little, prayed a little, thought a little more. I can’t say I had some earth-shattering spiritual experience or got a thunderbolt of an idea for my writing, but it refreshed my body and my thought processes. When I sat at a nearby bench to write, the words flowed. Thoughts were expressed. Coincidentally (or not) it brought to mind a passage I had recently read:
Where did you write this week?