November 13 2017

How to Get Back into your Creative Life After a Break

Life Happens

We all have things that happen to us that slow our creativity down, or that put a halt to our creativity. I fell behind in my journaling, planning, and overall creative “things,” back in July when my Dad was diagnosed with Stage 4 aggressive cancer (chemo wouldn’t help and surgery wasn’t an option–so it was just a matter of quality of life during the time he had left), and Mr. Rockstar was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease. I tried to stay creative. I tried to journal. To Plan. To finish out #onebookjuly2017 and #campnanowrimo. But my emotions, thoughts…my mental state was all over the place. Insert Anxiety, Depression, and ADHD, along with the roller coaster of emotions that come with finding out your Dad has inoperable and non-treatable stage 4 cancer, and your husband has a disease that isn’t curable either–I was a wreck!

Still, I tried to maintain some sort of routine, some sort of balance. I tried to be creative. And someday’s I managed to journal, plan, write, art… Other days–I barely seemed to function. The worse my Dad got the worse my emotional state became. My emotions were all over the place. I started grieving well before my Dad died on October 5th. But his death, and my Mom’s subsequent hospitalization (she was admitted into the very same ICU ward as my Dad–within an hour or so of his death she was up there a few rooms down from where he was (he was still in the room, they were kind enough to allow my Mom to say goodbye, for all of us to say goodbye). The doctor’s and nurses all knew who I was–first time they’d had that happen, and they were absolutely wonderful to us.

Fast forward a week, my Mom was in the hospital 8 nights and 9 days. So I was at the hospital for approximately 10 days, because I’d been there the night before when my Dad was helicoptered from their local hospital to the one in Charleston to ICU. By the time my Mom was released I’d already taken care of my Dad’s cremation, and a lot of paperwork for things like insurance, etc. I was on the ball in regards to taking care of my Mom. I was not, however, doing very well in the taking time to grieve for my Dad, taking care of myself (not really), much less housework, planning, journaling, filming videos for Patreon or YouTube, etc. I did manage to do a few loads of laundry somewhere in there so I had some clean clothes to wear when I went back to the hospital (my husband convinced me to go home with him to take a shower and get some sleep–I hadn’t slept but about 3 hours in about 3 days). (I’m sure I was in definite need of a shower by then.)

 

Falling Behind  

Grief is not like many make it out to be. It comes in waves. It’s very much like riding a rollercoaster ride, maybe like that one at Sea World that splashes you with water when you least likely expect it, so not only are you on the ride, but you have added elements of surprise. I took a short break, but I knew for my own mental health I needed to focus on positive things, on things that brought me joy, and let the grief happen organically. So I got back to work… I filmed videos. I even wrote a blog post. I tried to journal but I was having issues… I felt blocked. I wasn’t sure of what it was exactly, but the journal felt wrong, what I was doing felt off, what I wanted to do felt off–I was off kilter so everything was off.

I watched a few YouTube videos, specifically one by Documented Journey, and then a Patreon video by Courtney Diaz (LittleRavenInk), and I managed to create a few pages. I knew I needed to make a change. I wasn’t sure of what change to make, or if the change would even by much more than perhaps a new journal, but I knew I needed to change things up. I’d changed. What had happened was traumatic, and it had changed me, so everything felt off–I felt off. My routine was off. My psyche was off. My anxiety was high. I was fighting depression. My focus was all off so my ADHD was in rare form. I wanted so badly to jump back into my “creative life,” to create art, to write, to journal, to do something… anything–but I couldn’t.

And then something special, quite a bit of synchronicity, happened.

 

Picking Up the Pieces

Picking up the pieces after something like the death of a loved one, the hospitalization of a loved one, especially both happening at the same time, would be difficult for almost anyone, but for me it felt like my whole world had been turned upside down. Trying to explain how close a call it was with my mom, or how hard it was to try to remain positive for my Mom, about my Mom, while my Dad had just died a few door down in ICU, or how hard it was to watch my Mom suffer in pain, delirium, and not know exactly what was wrong… There are no words. No words at all, but I found solace in the words my Dad had spoken to me… “she’s going to need you… you’re stronger than you know… I believe in you….” Those words kept me strong, gave me courage. After my Mom went home there were/are still obstacles to overcome: physical therapy, outpatient surgery, etc, but my Mom is one hell of a strong person. I knew I had to get back to life, to my own life, to living life. I couldn’t wallow–my Dad would not want me to do that, nor did my Mom.

I came home to find happy mail, more than once…

I was overwhelmed by all the love and support… I couldn’t help myself from crying happy tears over all the thoughtfulness, the compassion and generosity that was given to me.

I am finding my way…Some days are harder than others. Some days the waves of grief knock me down and take my breath, other days I let the ebb and flow of the grief wash through me–it’s not easy, But I’m working through things one day at a time.  Synchronicity is something I haven’t talked about a whole lot until lately… but it was hitting me from every direction–like the Universe was speaking directly to me and I needed to listen. I’m listening… I don’t have any sage advice. What has worked for me may or may not work for you. But the best way to get back into doing something is to start doing it. To make time to do it, even if it’s just in small doses to start with. Or to change things up so that you can get your feet wet again before diving straight in. For me it took forcing myself to jump back in, but then I was blocked again. Then I changed things up to fit with how I’d changed. The “synchronicity” helped me do that. Creativity is a great way to help with the grieving process. It doesn’t lessen your grief. Nor does it take the pain away, but it does give you an outlet to pour your feelings, doubts, and thoughts into. It gives you a positive way to work through your grief. It’s also helped me find a little balance, which is helping me find my way back to a routine. I really need to get back on a routine, but I know that I have to make changes because things have changed, I’ve changed. For the better, I think.

If you’ve used creativity, whether it’s art, writing, music, or some other creative outlet to work through your grief I’d appreciate it you’d comment below and tell me about it. 😀

April 9 2017

Why did I need to update my art and journal supply tote?

Overall #backtobasicsapril items

On Friday I posted a “What’s in my bags?” video because for the month of April I’m getting #backtobasics. To be honest, when I was first thinking about all of this back in March all I knew for sure was that I wasn’t really using my journals or planner(s). And if I’m not journalling then there is something seriously wrong. One of the things that has really worked for me in the past is #onebookjuly. I remember the first time I heard Rhomany of Rhomany’s Realm talk about #onebookjuly–getting back to the basics of planning. If the system you’re using for planning isn’t working it doesn’t matter what notebook you use… And since then I’ve been working on my actual planning system.

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December 5 2016

If we were having coffee… Planning for 2017 Part 1

Snoopy having coffee... Picture from Christmas Card...
Snoopy having coffee… Picture from Christmas Card…

If we were having coffee… I’d tell you that this month feels so much more positive than the past two months. That’s in part thanks to my wonderful husband, Mr. Rockstar (David), my family, and my friends (my tribe). Not only have I managed to feel more confident, positive, and grateful, but I’ve also realized I’d let my attitude become one of “what’s going to go wrong next,” of looking at the glass half empty–of negativity.

I can’t help but think that the negative feelings were contributing to things going wrong, breaking… I decided that I wasn’t going to allow the negativity from the past couple of months to spread into December. Nope, not happening. So I started the month out with a positive attitude. I changed a few things up. Started planning out my Spirit(ual) Omni Journal, worked on December’s layout and set up in my (regular) Omni Journal… and I set up things for December in my 2017 Hobonichi (which is for my personal, business, and Patreon planning/use). I wanted positive reinforcement. Needed it. And the best way to do that is to start out with an affirmation, a way to hold myself accountable (got on FB, YT, etc) and stated… No more negativity, it’s a whole new month, a new beginning… I’m going to be positive…I’m going to get things done, going to be happy, and I’m so grateful for the good things that did happen over the past few months… it wasn’t all negative.

Changing my attitude, talking about how it was a whole new month, a new beginning spread… other’s did the same… Happiness, positivity, kindness… those are contagious.

SO let’s talk about what I’ve got going on, what I’m planning (not only for December, but for 2017), and some of my goals. (This is going to be a 2 part post (and video), maybe even a 3 part. 😀

What I accomplished in 2016 so far:

  • With the help of 3 wonderful women, I opened a FB group for women called Destination Me: Adventures at the Round Table. A place where we are safe to talk about and share things like our creative projects, our goals, our ideas and thoughts about creativity, spirituality, and life. A way to hold ourselves accountable. The four of us (Debbie, Jen, Karen, and myself) all contribute to the DM group… we are similar enough, but different enough, that we each contribute something to the group, and those wonderful women in the group also contribute. It’s become our home away from home. A safe haven to share and converse.
  • With the support and encouragement of several people, I finished NaNoWriMo.
  • With the support and encouragement from several women in my tribe, I opened up a FB group called Omni Journaling with Burgess.
  • With the support and encouragement of several people, I joined Patreon and now have several Patrons.
  • I reached 1000 subscribers on YouTube…
  • I was the beneficiary of several happy mail items… Y’all… that was so wonderful. 😀 And much needed and appreciated.
  • And, I renewed the Hosting for this website and have been blogging much more… I still need to work on blogging more often…
  • Last but not least, I checked several things off my “bucket list” this year.

Goals for 2017:

  • 2000 subscribers on YT
  • To blog every day, at the least every other day.
  • To grow my Patreon page
  • To make enough of a passive income that I am supporting my creative life myself (supplies like notebooks, pens, camera, lighting, watercolors, washi tape, etc.; Website Hosting, increasing the internet speed so I don’t have “weak connection” anymore, books, tarot cards,  a tablet selfie stick, etc…).
  • To make enough income from my creative life that I do not have to work outside the home.
  • To clean and organize the attic, my craft and art supplies, and the kitchen cabinets.
  • To paint our bedroom wall and draw/paint a mural on the wall.
  • To follow my path spiritually… to learn and grow spiritually.
  • To finish the Witchy Business Novel and the Broken novel, and to have at least the first round of edits done.
  • To write every day, at least 500-1000 words per day.
  • To draw/paint every day.
  • To be more organized and have more focus.
  • To practice kindness, positivity, and courage on a daily basis.
  • To have a regular schedule: bed by midnight, up by 8AM.
  • To be healthier (which includes 10+K steps per day, eat healthier, etc)

 

My list goes on…

And I’ve started implementing things this month to help me accomplish things in the new year. I’ve created a Spirit Omni Journal, which is a Stalogy 365 A5 Notebook. I’ve started setting up my new Omni Journal for next year, which is an Enigma from Taroko Design.

Here is the video where I talk about this:

 

 

 

September 19 2016

Week 3 of Finding Water: A Sense of Support

finding-water-julia-cameron-960x288Uncovering a Sense of Support
Critical to any creative journey is sense of creative support. You must practice discernment, weeding out that which does not serve and watering the shoots you want to foster.  This week’s tasks invite you to consciously interact with those who are positive on your behalf. Reaching out to others for their belief, you will also reach within and steady your personal confidence. If you had the faith what might you try” This week’s explorations will lead you into knowing your own mind.

When I first saw this chapter (my first attempt at Finding Water), I wasn’t thrilled about it–this time, however, things have changed. Cameron talks about having a network of friends and family there to be supportive. She calls these supportive people in your life Believing Mirrors. Accordingly, they reflect back to you the beautiful being that you are when you aren’t able to see it yourself. And through their own beauty they inspire you and speak the words you were thinking, but hadn’t formed yet or the words that you’re afraid to say. In turn, you will reflect the amazing creative beings that they are and that you are yourself–without having to actually work hard at it, which is what we do when we’re doing it alone. In a group setting, this multiplies. Cameron states that “creativity occurs in clusters,” and I agree with her. Over the past month I’ve found this to be true myself.

This week has been chaotic, especially the weekend. I’ve been busy with family, as well as personal and creative projects. I missed doing Morning/Evening pages more than once this week. I had to split my Artist Date into two different things because of time and obligations, but I ended up having much more fun than I might have had I just done what I had originally planned for my Artist Date. For more about what I did for my walk and my Artist Date I’ve included the video for this week.

Truth is, with each passing week I’ve realized that 1. I need to prepare for my Artist Date better. 2. I need to make the time for my Morning/Evening pages. 3. I need to ask for help more. I know that things are getting better, I can feel it inside and out, but it’s slow going and I’m not the most patient of people–What? Me? Nope, I’m not. It’s one of my flaws.

I prefer to do things on my own, I don’t like asking for help, nor do I like feeling like I’m not able to do things myself… so asking for help is difficult, but not impossible. Over the past few years, I’ve had to ask for help from family and friends much more than I wanted but it helped me, and made me feel good–I have people I can ask for help. Over the past month, I’ve realized (thanks to our group, Destination Me) that I am not out here alone, and it’s alright to ask for help. 😀

Overall, this was a much better week, and a much better experience, than I thought it would be. Now, I’m off to address thank you cards.

August 24 2014

Friends and Family

writers friends

Some of our biggest supporters in life are usually our friends and family. I ran into a friend the other day when I was out running errands. We were both busy but we spoke and she asked me about my writing. She was so positive and upbeat about it, that after briefly talking to her I immediately felt inspired to hurry home and start writing.

 

On the other hand, I’ve had others make negative, snide, or judgmental comments about my writing.

doubt

What do you do when others make those types of comments?

I never expected such  varied responses from people about my writing. Nor did I expect some of the comments to include things like:

  • What do you do all day?
  • Why don’t you have a real job?
  • Do you seriously think you have what it takes to get a book published?
  • You should get a real job…
  • Are you sure you’re qualified to write a book?
  • Some of us have to live in the real world…
  • I thought that was just your hobby…
  • Are you crazy?

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