Weeknotes: Remembering the importance of rest for sanity and creativity

25-31 Oct

I want to remind myself:

  • Routine from outside of myself helps me. When I take breaks from it, it’s tough at first. But then I do figure out stuff.
  • I just need to give myself spaciousness and then creativity bubbles up in and out of me.
  • Taking breaks for long enough to start feeling a bit guilty about all of the inactivity I’m having

This week was great. I had a day of actively moving, one and a half days of chillaxing and starting to feel a bit guilty about that, three days of intense workshopping.

On Wednesday I walked around some public gardens, enjoyed nature and did loads of creating. I woke writing poetry, then went for a walk. Embraced nature, took photos, wrote, collected bits of autumn. When I got back I drew and painted. Really great.

On Thursday, early morning (7am), I journalled and resumed weeknotes after a long break. Yay!

Creating, writing, learning

In my last weeknotes (or monthnotes…), I wrote about how in September I was looking forward to weekly poetry courses with the WEA and protecting writing time for playful experiments, generating new work & editing.

One of the courses ended up being mostly non-fiction nature writing, which wasn’t what I wanted, but I really enjoyed my introduction to Matsuo Bashō in the first class.

I studied ecopoetry with Safiya Kamaria Kinshasa, and that was amazing. So generative and she introduced me to so many poets I hadn’t encountered before. Such an education.

I’m looking forward to continue reading more poetry in my new place.

I’ve been taking an art and nature course with Karen Davies too, last week is our last class. It’s been brilliant. Meditative, reflective, connecting, grounding, generative. This week we had a break from the weekly classes, which was exactly what I needed.

These two courses were the perfect combination for me.

It’s simultaneously true that taking a break from writing has been really important these last few weeks. I guess it’s a break from expectation and any kind of pressure, actually, rather than from writing. Since I have been writing when the mood takes me, and that’s been great.

I’m exciting to continue with that into November. I feel wary about taking such a long break from it, even though I know that it works for me. I guess I want more evidence of that. Well, by the end of the month that’s what I’ll have!

I’m looking forward to…

  • Rewilding Ecopoetry with Katrina Naomi, Poetry School (6.5 hours)
  • Practical Art and Wellbeing: Paint a Sunset with Joy Girvin, WEA (2 hours)
  • Practical Art and Wellbeing: Connect with Nature with Joy Girvin, WEA (2 hours)

I still want… but probably not until December or later

  • More week-long writing courses that include mentoring (like the Arvon course I did)
  • To give and get feedback on a regular basis, I have a list of places to start doing this with, but first I want to come up with a process for doing that, then tweak it as I try it out
  • More paid residencies, especially nature writing specifically – seek! find! apply! – another thing I want to come up with a process for…

Motivation & abundance

At the weekend I participated in The Octo Intensive: The 8 Keys to Self-Motivation, a 3-day workshop with Steve Pavlina. It was intense and full of so much good stuff. I’ll write more about it in my next weeknotes, probably, when I’ve done more more processing.

Nesting & working on my relationship with stuff

Media, some random highlights

Listening to this song, which is in German, and suddenly got excited about one day being able to understand German pop lyrics. 🥳

Started reading Thinking With Trees by Jason Allen-Paisant, which I love. But then I packed it, so I’ll continue with it when I’m at my new place.