Welcome to IWSG Day. The goal of this blog hop is to share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a haven for insecure writers of all kinds. IWSG is the brainchild of the amazing and generous Alex Cavanaugh. To find links to other monthly contributors, click here. Thank you to November co-hosts: Diedre Knight, Douglas Thomas Greening, Nick Wilford, and Diane Burton!
The writing hasn’t been kind to me lately. Back in the day when I felt stuck, I took an artist’s date which I learned to do while completing the lessons in The Artist's Way, by Julia Cameron. The writer suggests taking regular time-outs from your "art" to pursue an activity that might spur creativity. For me, that usually involved going on a walk with a camera. I’d click images of scenes around the area I love so much, then go home and write about something I'd photographed. Once I wrote a vignette about a house blurred by fog and it ended up inspiring my third novel.
But because of life (and cell phones), I haven’t taken a walk with my actual camera in a long time. When I took it out of the cupboard recently, the last photo on the memory card was from 2019.
A few days later, I took a ride down to the harbor with the camera in the passenger seat, just to see how it felt. In truth, it felt weird. Who uses an actual camera now, anyway? But really the issue was something bigger. I didn’t grow up near the ocean. After almost 40 years of living by the sea, I’m still in awe of my surroundings but as in every other realm of my life these days, there's something missing.
Before two years ago, my walking habit was to keep my eyes open and frame picture after picture trying to capture the essence of what made me feel so joyful. These days though, what used to feel fun is hard work. Nevertheless, as flat as I felt that afternoon at the harbor, I was there. The egrets were, too. My heart wasn't in it much, but it gave me a little peace when I got home and downloaded the pictures to find my eyes still work.
That's a stunning shot.
Maybe it's time to find a new creative outlet, one that will feel fresh and exciting.
Interesting perspective on regenerating creative energies. Sometimes we get so caught up in life, we forget to live it just a little. And I miss my camera...
The photograph IS absolutely beautiful. Thank you for sharing.
Yes...a beautifully caught moment of the egret. I sometimes wonder if animals ever have "off" days (or weeks, months) like we humans do.
Sometimes showing up is all we can do. And when that happens, it has to be enough.
That's a beautiful image. Take it slow, and I'm sure that inspiration will find you again.
Regardless of whether or not your heart was in it, you soul knew what to look for.
I've been a long time away from writing, and only within the last month have I been playing around with dribbles, 50 word stories. I don't make myself write one ever day. I have a long list of words and prompts to peruse that has been very kind and helpful in coxing my long suffering muse out from her cave.
Excellent pic. I think everyone and everything is a bit out of sorts these days. I understand. Don't be too hard on yourself. The art is still in your soul. (Wish I lived closer and we could go take a walk and talk...or not)
I love the picture. I was never super into taking photos, but I take even less since my husband died. I wonder if maybe that's just something harder for you to enjoy since your husband died.
Yes, our spirit can take a dive and it seems to take longer to recover than it used to. I'm trying to take Pema Chodron's advice and start where I am. I'm writing from my dispirited place and being gentle with what arises. I'm trying to show up for my writing but truthfully it is my art that I'm enjoying. Maybe because I'm not a "real" artist so I can hang out in immanence indefinitely. But something always pulls me back to my writing. Have faith that your writing will be there like an old (and somewhat irritating) friend.
Oh! This is a lovely picture :)
Hi Liza - sometimes a good walk, or a change of topic ... or just leaving off for a while - it'll come back. Wonderful image - perhaps a short story about being out and about and wondering where the egret had recently been .. but I like Bish's idea of dribbles - actually I think they're drabbles (not dribbling dribbles!) ... and now I'm nearly inspired - cheers Hilary
Your eyes work great, Liza. Bravo! I, too, use the old fashion camera rather than the phone when I can. However, my eye is not as good as yours. Only sometimes do I come away with a great photo.
I agree with getting away from our writing "work" and trying to see our surroundings in a new light. I, too, go for walks. I enjoy the woods--especially in fall. Have a beautiful weekend!
Your photo is gorgeous.
Oh, and I use a "real" camera too and recently got it out and dusted it off. My photos were terrible (I'm a lot rusty), but it was fun getting out again, looking for photo subjects.
What a gorgeous picture! I have The Artist's Way, but haven't started it yet. I like the idea of taking a writer date. I hope it starts to work for you again. (Also, I still use a real camera!)
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