Towards the end of the year, it’s a struggle to keep the creative juices flowing, don’t you find?
One of the realities of creativity is that it is energy-consuming. We cannot always exist at a creative “high-tide” as I learned early this year, when I attended a fantastic workshop called Living with a Creative Mind.
Jeff and Julie Crabtree, the two excellent presenters of this workshop and authors of a book of the same name, used the metaphor of tides to describe the flow of creative energies – at high tide, we are full of energy, our boat is floating on a creative sea, we are going places, landing big fish, surging ahead. At low tide, our boat is stuck in the mud, listing to one side, and looking decidedly out of place.
But for every high tide, there must be a low one, the presenters pointed out, and in the real world, a boat owner will use the low tide to do many vital tasks – scrape off the barnacles, repaint the hull, fix the nets, relax in the afternoon sun.
It is easy for creative people to want to stay in high-tide mode all the time – that’s where the excitement is, after all. But those who do, the Crabtrees warn, will find themselves burning out, or trying to manufacture a high tide with substances of all sorts.
Accepting the highs and lows is an important part of living with a creative mind, and keeping that precious gift in good shape.
So if your creative juices are ebbing at this time of year, here are three activities for low-tide times.
1. Book yourself a sleep retreat
Last weekend, I enjoyed a sleep retreat. And it was free. I simply told anyone who cared that I needed to rest, and I spent the weekend at home in quiet, low-key activities, tidying up, resting, sleeping, cooking and eating. Of course, a nice idea might be to go away for a sleep retreat, but remember, all the booking venues, and driving and organising food can be exhausting.
2. Spend some of summer in the mountains
We are a nation that loves the beach, but I have found the mountains to be very restorative. The clean, clear and often very cool air is invigorating and makes it easy to walk or do other exercise that can replenish muscles made flaccid by too much time spent at a computer. The beach is full of bustling activity in the summer – cars and kids and sand and fish and chips. In the mountains there is space, the rustle of the glistening eucalyptus leaves in the sun, the crackle of twigs as you walk along under a canopy of trees.
3. Write about something new
Rest is not a subject I usually tackle on my content marketing site, but it’s stimulating to have a change and, surprisingly, it seems to be quite an appropriate topic after all. If you find yourself getting stale, write about what is uppermost in your mind, and you will usually find a connection to your topic of choice.