“An artist must have downtime, time to do nothing. Defending our right to such time takes courage, conviction, and resiliency. Such time, space, and quiet will strike our family as a withdrawal from them. It is. An artist requires the upkeep of creative solitude. An artist requires the time of healing alone. Without this period of recharging, our artist becomes depleted…. We strive to be good, to be nice, to be helpful, to be unselfish. We want to be generous, of service, of the world. But what we really want is to be left alone. . . .”
Julia Cameron, from The Artist’s Way
How true I’ve found this to be in my own life! And what a struggle it is sometimes to maintain connections with people and be of service while still safeguarding the time I need to just be still and quiet. Sometimes, it’s just so important to simply be — without feeling pressure to do. As Julia says so well, creative solitude is needed if we are going to recharge and nourish our selves.
Just this weekend, I attended a full-day writing workshop. It was very valuable and I’m excited about applying what I’ve learned. At the same time, the amount of information conveyed was almost overwhelming and being in a room of 40 to 50 other writers for an entire day was very intense. When I came back, my head was spinning.
When my wonderful friend Linda suggested that I take a breather for a few days and let everything I learned just percolate, I knew that she was absolutely right. While I’m excited about the new tools I can being to my YA draft, I’m going to take a break before I begin to consciously work with what I’ve learned. How about you? Do you find that creative downtime is important in helping you recharge? I’d love to hear from you. Write on!