Polly Answers Your Questions #12

Polly Answers Your Questions #12

Polly Answers your questions

How do you get out of or stay out of a creative slump?

I think creativity is a permission, a lifestyle, a process in a context. Creativity is in the doing of it, and it certainly helps to just start and launch in, even if you you don’t know where it will go.

To answer this question, we can look at some of the things that inhibit creativity, so we know what to avoid, and things that nurture creativity, to know what to add to our regular lives to provide good soil in which creativity can thrive.

Don’t be judgmental. You know when idea generating in a group, there is a “blue sky” method, where people throw out whatever suggestions regardless how ridiculous, but none are to be shot down, or else the range of ideas immediately constricts?  Judgement and limitation are definite buzz killers for creativity. If you are experiencing a slump, my guess is you have too many set preconceptions of what something needs to look like, and your judgment of your efforts is harsh or at least critical. Own that at least you are getting the juices flowing, that at least you are in there giving it a go. Make that an automatic win. The fact that you’ll like some things you do better than others is to be expected. Let it be about the doing of it and not the results.

And the best way to have a life where creativity flows easily, is to diversify and work all sides off the middle. Journal. Listen to music. Take walks in nature. Have hobbies where the results really don’t matter and you are just doing it for fun. Connect with the divine and realize what is bigger than you is actually doing the doing through you. Express gratitude. Write a poem. Sing. Be aware and notice things. Look at art, and ask yourself why you like it. Be mediative about daily chores. Change things up, use a different medium, work in a different place, get out of your comfort zone. Travel and see new things. Spend enough time alone. Allow yourself time to get bored. Have enough margin in your life where creativity can grow. All these things are part of my creative practice, even if it just looks like I’m just chopping carrots. Doing all this makes being creative as natural as breathing. In fact creativity then becomes a burning need, an impulse, a response, a normal outcome.

What advice would you give to someone going off to college for the first time?

I actually have a blog where I share what I told our daughter at that time. You can read it here.

How do you make your homemade camping fire starters?

Yes, these are great! It is interesting that you remember them. I have a blog on this too. You can read it here.

How can I find all the poems you’ve posted by a certain person?

Type their name in the search box!

You’ll find the search box on the Home page on both the computer and the phone, and there is also a little magnifying glass at the top right on the menu bar on every page of the computer version.

I use the search box all the time, to refer to past blogs, to find recipes, to send people pertinent inspiration. Any word will do: asparagus, solstice, self care, Rumi, whatever.

What would be the top 3-5 poems you’ve read about “Death of a mother” or “loss of a parent” ?

It was upon getting this question that prompted our daughter sharing the “loss” poem she wrote for her undergrad poetry class (see here).

I think Thích Nhất Hạnh’s insight on losing his mother is particularly helpful (see here).

Since my mother kept a garden I love this poem (see here)

Here is a poem I wrote about what I learned from my mother (see here)

And while not a poem, (see here) for a blog post of mine about grief.

Can I have you read anything I’ve written?  If so how ?

Being rather busy, I can’t promise to read “anything you’ve written.” However, if you are wanting to share something short that you consider is in line with this blog, you can email it to me and give it a try. I get zillions of cold call type pitches to be on this blog which I ignore, but I very much do want to be responsive to my blog readers and love hearing from you. If you are interested in building a real relationship, I’m interested too. If you are looking for a free editor, or just trying to get published, I’m not. If you are looking for a mentor, you can sign up here (left hand side scroll down) for my paid mentorship program  and we can take it from there.

What state do you live in?

I’ve lived in Connecticut for the last 33 years.

Any questions for me?

Send them in here.

I work to amplify good wherever I find it. I love color, texture, beauty, great ideas, nature, metaphor, deliciousness, genuine spirituality, and exploring new territory. I encourage authenticity, nurture creativity, champion sustainability, promote peace, and hope to foster a new renaissance where we all are free to be our most fulfilled, multifaceted, and terrific selves. Read more here.


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