Stepping Away to Get Closer

Cacao nibs,

Recently I was working on a project and my creativity felt like a jeep with it’s tires stuck in the mud.

No matter how many quality ideas surfaced, the mantra “what a dumb idea! what a dumb idea! what a dumb idea!” echoed through my head like a demented wind-up clown.

I called a friend for support. She calmly replied, “I think the best thing you can do in this situation is just be really kind to yourself.”

Ahhhh…deep exhale.

After hearing that prompt, my inner voice came through clear as a bell.

“Stop trying, Kitty. Today is just not the day. Working harder will only dig this hole deeper. Put the project down and step away.”

It’s common to get swept up in the fever of perpetual harvest.

But any artist will tell you that after days and days of working on the same painting, the art will actually suffer if you don’t take time away to freshen your perspective.

When you seek to live life as art, you’ve got to live it on art’s own terms. (click to tweet)

My friend Rochelle Schieck recently shared that lions in the wild will sleep 15 to 20 hours a day, and that rather than the expression “I’m a lion, hear me roar” it’s really more like, “I’m a lion, hear me snore!”

When it comes to creative energy, I find it to be more of a current than a well. When the current flows, it flows. When it’s not flowing, I know that my job is not to tell it to hurry up. My job is simply to remove whatever is blocking the flow, and do my best to patient as I wait for the river to rise again.

How do you flow with the wax and wane of your creative genius? Let’s compare notes in the comments.





  1. Great wisdom. Yes, you can’t force creativity without the results suffering. I try really hard to go with the ebb and flow of it all. It’s a struggle in business (busy-ness) when you feel you should be producing all the time.

  2. I had no idea lions slept that much! Definitely makes me feel better (I’m a Leo, after all). When I’m not producing I feel like I’m being lazy and unproductive, but you’re right. Sometimes it’s just better to step away and refresh.

  3. Yes, I love that Kitty. I do sometimes push; like I’m doing with the creation of my online business. I feel as if I’m in perpetual studying and learning mode. It does take some deeper investigation below the surface for me to remember and subsequently celebrate the growth and wisdom that has been created. I’m on the path and not quitting.

  4. Sometimes it is so easy to create something and sometimes it’s hard…especially when I have some plan, to do list and it need to be done….when I lost my creativity I like to come back to poetry, music, to all things that they can touch my senses and my feelings:)

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