what is creativity, after all?

Q: What is creativity?
A: The relationship between a human being and the mysteries of inspiration.

- Elizabeth Gilbert, Big Magic -

As a creative entrepreneur and a writer, my creative practice doesn't always happen in the meeting of the pen with the page.

Sometimes, it looks like hammocking in the sunshine on the shores of Skagit Bay. Or watching for shooting stars on a clear summer night. Or late night conversations in our tiny little cabin by the sea, healing wounds and making plans. Or sitting with Mary Oliver under the tall pine trees.

Or 11 days and nights without an internet connection in sight. 

If you’ve been looking for me online, I’ve been MIA, off immersing myself in some much-needed rejuvenation, connection, and self-care. It couldn’t have come at a more perfect time.

For 11 days...

I didn’t force myself to write every day or cull each conversation for creative fuel.

I didn’t look to the stars for stories to write or content to share.

I wrote when I wanted, scribbling soliloquies and bits of prose in the pages of my journal. I wrote where I wanted. Swinging on our hammock. Nestled in our breakfast nook. Curled up in the passenger seat of our car, parked on the ferry dock as it made its way across the Puget Sound. Cross-legged on the great big, beautiful stump that sat at the forest's edge. Not expecting it to all make sense. Not expecting it to become a blog post or an Instagram caption or an email. I didn’t know where the words would ultimately come to live, only that now they lived in me. 

And then, some days, I didn’t. Didn’t crack the spine of my well-worn journal, didn’t think for a single moment about what I would write or create that day. Instead, I simply sat in the moment. Evenings spent with great wine and even better conversation. Sunsets spent on the shore, watching the tide come up as the sun went down. Mornings spent drinking coffee together in the fresh Pacific Northwest chill. Days walking and talking and doing, well, not much of anything.

What might seem like “wasted” time has, instead, been the perfect opportunity for creative incubation.

In between the moments of writing furiously and booming business growth live bits of silence and solitude, connection and the percolation of ideas and inspiration. It's all part of the process. It's all important. Nothing wasted. Everything gained.

What is creativity, after all, other than the meeting of your deepest self and the mysteries of inspiration?

I was thinking:
so this is how you swim inward,
so this is how you flow outward,
so this is how you pray.
— Mary Oliver, "5 A.M. in the Pinewoods"