On Writing

Over the past year, I’ve done a lot of writing just for the sake of writing. I’ve blogged, I’ve journaled, I’ve crafted ads. I’ve written my wife and kids cards for big events, mini events, and non-events. When I write a note by hand, I rarely use cursive. When I write a note, I print, mainly to make it legible for the reader. I save cursive for my own private journals. In the past, writing felt like work; now I write for enjoyment, for creativity, for reflection, and much more.

And the title of this post is a nod to my favorite author.

When Inspiration Needs a Rain Shower: Embracing the Creative Percolation Process

Have you ever stared at a blank page, your mind a swirling fog of “almost there” ideas? Or maybe you’re grappling with a creative project, the vision stubbornly refusing to come into focus. Fear not, fellow creators! This frustrating feeling – often called brain fog – doesn’t have to spell creative doom. In fact, it might just be a sign your brilliant idea is simmering, waiting for the perfect moment to bubble up.

Just like this past week for me. I was wrestling with the creative direction for a project. Every concept felt forced, a pale imitation of the spark I knew was missing. Days bled into one another, each attempt at brainstorming leaving me more discouraged than the last. Then, this morning, something magical happened.

On my usual walk, I found myself captivated by the sight of a gentle rain. Each drop, a tiny percussionist, pattered a rhythm on the surface of the pond. And as I watched, a calmness washed over me, mirroring the quiet serenity of the scene. In that moment, the creative dam within me broke. The missing piece, the elusive spark, materialized with surprising clarity.

This experience taught me a valuable lesson: sometimes, the most potent ideas need time to percolate. We, as creators, often become fixated on forcing inspiration to strike. We push ourselves to the brink of frustration, convinced that a relentless pursuit is the only path to success. But what if the key is to let go, to trust the process?

Here’s the truth: stepping away, allowing your mind to wander, can be the most productive thing you can do. Go for a walk in nature, listen to music, engage in a completely unrelated activity. Let your brain take a break from the conscious effort, and allow the subconscious to work its magic.

The next time you find yourself drowning in brain fog, remember the rain shower. Embrace the pause, the quiet simmering, and trust that the perfect idea is brewing just beneath the surface. It might arrive in a flash of insight, or it might reveal itself gradually, like the slow blossoming of a flower. The important thing is to be patient, to create space for the creative process to unfold naturally.

So, the next time you feel creatively stuck, don’t despair. Take a deep breath, step away from the project, and allow your mind to wander. You might just be surprised by the brilliance waiting to emerge from the gentle rain of inspiration.

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