Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Clearing out the Cobwebs in your Mind

Winter can often be a time of peace and reflection for writers who look to escape outside distractions in order to channel creative energies into new projects, or concentrate on polishing old ones. It’s a great time to hunker down with a cup of tea, without many distractions, and focus on writing.

But often times, as winter moves on, things start to shift. The atmosphere inside grows stagnant from a lack of fresh air, bulky clothes start piling up, salt and dirt are constantly tracked inside from the remnants of snow. Day in and day out, the world is painted in shades of gray, the barren trees less inspiring and more depressing than before. If you’re anything like me, the dreary cold starts to become a distraction that triggers a longing for the sun and warmth again.

At the first sign of spring, I become eager to clear out the old to make way for the new. I put away the last of the winter decorations and break out flowering spring wreaths and cheerful centerpieces. I replace earthy candles and soaps with lighter, citrus scents and start to gut my dressers and closets of clothes that are taking up too much space.  (I began this process last week, actually, when we were enjoying 50-60 degree weather in New England. Of course, I jumped the gun and totally jinxed the Eastern seaboard, and now we are in the midst of a Nor’easter.)

Regardless of the late-season snow, as my living areas got a (premature) spring makeover, I was hoping the de-cluttering would extend to my mind, freeing space to receive new inspiration. Over the course of winter, as heavy as the air in my house had become, so had my thoughts. Any levity or joy I usually find in the creative process seemed to have abandoned me. 

Regardless, I’m hopeful as new life outside grows, the seeds of creativity will start to bloom again and I will become excited about a new project, or maybe revising an old one. As Fiona stated in her previous post, sometimes new inspiration can come from picking through pieces of older work or borrowing from unfinished projects. If you’re experiencing cabin fever of the mind after a long winter, cleaning, dumping, or altering your surroundings might cause the shift in energy you need to start the creative process flowing again. And ... who knows what jewels lie beneath the clutter.

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