Rest and a 7-Eleven Slushie

White Sands, New Mexico

Trekking the Dessert

The act of creation takes a lot of energy. Whether it’s a story, a song, a painting or some other project, creating anything requires a great deal of effort (not to mention blood, sweat and tears). All that can be dehydrating for an artist. But so many of us have that undying passion, that zeal for creation, that we don’t want to take a breather in between projects. Instead, we trek onward, malnourished, onto the next project (aka desert expanse) without a moment of rest at the lush oasis in between.

All Work and No Play

I was raised in a family of go-getters. Work, work, work and no rest until the work’s all done. I have a hard time sitting still, both literally and figuratively. I’m usually itching to start the next creative project before the current one is even complete. Which means that I have a bad habit of not allowing time to rest. It’s when I either get totally burnt out or life brings me to my knees that I’m forced to take a step back. Too late, I realize I should have taken a pit stop and grabbed a drink at the last filling station.

Nourishing the Inner Artist

Not only is rest healthy and hydrating for an artist, but I believe it helps productivity later on. When I write, it takes a lot out of me, mentally and creatively. But when I step away from my projects, taking the time to be a reader, it’s my turn to receive. Allowing myself the luxury of reading someone else’s novel might seem like frivolity, but it’s my way of drinking in nourishment for my inner artist. And creative nourishment is something we all need.

I believe the mind needs passive time (thinking time) as well as active time (working time) to grow and develop. Breaking my arm last week was a good reminder for me to let myself take a breather. So for now, I’ve set certain projects aside and am letting myself enjoy a good book or two while my body gets busy healing.

What are some ways that you take time off from directly working on your craft? What nourishes your inner Creative?

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  1. #1 by Courtney Cantrell on February 22, 2011 - 12:55 pm

    Becca, I take off my cutest hat to you for blogging even with a broken arm! You are simply amazing. This feat is inspiring in and of itself!

    I, too, have experienced the drive to keep going going going even though my creative reserves are low. Or on “E.” My two mentors in this have been Julia Cameron and Stephen King. They both talk about replenishing the creative well on a regular basis — not only so that we can function creatively, but also so that we can function in life at all!

    My two mainstays in filling up the creative well are reading great novels and being outside in God’s creation.

    Reading immerses me in different worlds, and that alone inspires me and gives me energy. The freshness of it, the newness! Guaranteed to infuse me with the energy I need for the next new project.

    And experiencing the wonders of nature helps me reconnect with God as my ultimate creative power source. There’s this bottomless ocean of creative energy I believe God wants us to tap into. The best way for me to do that is to revel in the beauty he has created everywhere.

    • #2 by Becca J. Campbell on February 22, 2011 - 5:09 pm

      Too true. I find nature to be very inspiring also. And I always feel closest to God when I’m surrounded by his creations.

      As always, you’re my kindred cute-hat-wearing spirit. 🙂

      • #3 by Courtney Cantrell on February 23, 2011 - 10:59 pm

        Kindred cute-hat-wearers unite!!! 😀

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