It is my opinion that creativity is vital to living well. However, I have not written a poem since 2011 (poem below) and have not felt especially creative for a long time.
The medication I take dampens my vibrant imagination. Initially, what I failed to realize is that being stable will allow me to finish longer projects.
My ambitious goal is to write and publish a novel. However, my achievable goal is to write a short story and submit it to Asimov’s Science Fiction magazine.
The suggestions below are how I try to stimulate creativity.
1. Review Your Old Work
Take a look at what you have written in the past, or what you have created in the past. If it is a problem that you solved, try to remember the creative process that you took to solve that problem. What worked? What did not work?
Truly begin to appreciate your younger self.
Try to imagine how you would create your old work today or solve that problem today. Thank yourself for leaving this breadcrumb back to who you were and how that produced the person you are today.
2. Get out in Nature
Time in nature allows you to quiet the mind by taking in visual beauty. The beauty of nature can spur you to contemplate god, the universe, and the mysteries of our complex creation.
Contemplative rest will help you return to your project awash with a larger perspective.
3. Chat up People You Admire
Spending time with other artists or people who solve problems can help boost your mood. This, in turn, boosts your own creativity.
Take in the perspectives of other people and consider how they create or solve problems.
4. Explore Different Art
Forget your historic aesthetic sensibilities.
For instance, I hated Dwight Yoakam’s music when I was a teenager. As an adult, I think Dwight is pretty friggin’ amazing! He is definitely on my creative playlist, especially “Purple Rain” and “Ain’t That Lonely Yet.”
Meditation can help you solve problems, and I meditate when I feel overwhelmed.
It is through relaxation that I discover the solution to my problems. Also, meditation has helped me to forgive past hurts and to mourn the loss of my sister.
My favorite app is called Insight Timer; it has tons of free guided meditations.
My Last Poem:
Luciano, A Funeral Dirge
- You passed me by in gardens of stone
- Placed roses beside my feet
- Said prayers as you danced away
- With ones who wore diamonds on their toes
- Until fate intervened
- And your face melted
- In a fire of chaos
- Lying in bed
- Your flesh falling from the bone
- I placed it back
- And read you my songs
- Each day
- You awakened more
- Until you no longer saw my granite
- Until I became a gem you’d sworn you’d seen before
- Though had never quite known.
- Love was born
- Two faces who had weathered life worn
- A light into our beings
- Infused as though we were one
- I left a foreign land
- For your native home
- And so-I tended your vines
- Centuries long yours
- I pressed your grapes tenderly
- Just as I reattached your flesh to your bones
- I nursed your child
- As I nursed you in charity and in poverty
- Our garden was a splendid spread
- There were no servants-only family
- No hierarchy
- Only loved ones
- We were intimately secluded
- But touched the world with our wine stained hands
- Until a traveler you thought might interest me entered our lives
- A native from my own
- Introductions awkward
- And undesired
- An omen of impending doom
- I ignored all of the signs
- And lived in your garden
- In your vineyard
- In your castle
- Until an enemy of your father
- Struck you down
- As metal flew into every inch of your body
- I was blanketed by the native to whom you introduced me
- I escaped from beneath him
- Crushed the grapes that lay beside you
- That mingled with your blood
- The native watched
- I wouldn’t let him touch you
- I buried you
- And went home
- To our castle
- And in the hours of grief
- I died
- Staring out upon our garden
- Bereft of your beauty and my timeless form.
~by Carolina Maine (2011)