So.  Let’s just throw it all out there.  The muse and I… have been quarreling lately.  For nearly a year, through 2015, I was able to blissfully sit and the words would pour out.  It was incredible; it was magic.  I didn’t have to seek inspiration out, it just found me, effortlessly.  And I was grateful for it, everyday.  But recent weeks have proven to be…trying.

I would sit in front of the screen, and my mind would scream at me to focus on other things.  There were some mundane tasks to finish.  There were bigger questions that I didn’t see answers too.  And it got deeper and deeper.  To-dos, what-abouts, what-ifs, and what-does-it-mean?

So, I promised myself some down-time.  A nice, easy afternoon with my best friend, some light errands, some lunch… not much excitement, passion, or drama.  Not a big night out.  Not mingling and making new friends.  Not laying under the stars and contemplating the universe and all-that-is.  Just a light, easy day and a quiet evening.  It wasn’t dazzling or loud or hilarious or impactful…it was just…simple.  And it was just what the doctor ordered, so to speak.

And what happened for me, in this quiet, simple day…was something I’ve been searching and searching for, and perhaps had been fighting, unconsciously.  Focus.

In the peaceful rhythm, I was able to get my to-dos out of my head and into neat lists.  I took all the big ideas and dreams and goals, and put them down on paper.  Soon, tasks followed, in their own flow – there was a natural order, a common sense to it.  Before long, the clutter in my mind was out.  It was now living in a notebook, organized and neat, with a road map to follow.  A path of its own – I simply had to follow the breadcrumbs.  I divided the ideas and questions into categories: Self, Home/Family, Work/Creativity, and Future/Goals.  As a librarian, being able to organize my thoughts the way I do books, was liberating.  And oddly soothing.

And so I breathed.  Relaxed.  And then…in the slightest moments, in the whispers of the wind outside my window, in the calm space between my less-cluttered thoughts…inspiration returned.  A seed of an idea, an image in my mind’s eye.  A breath of passion.  A momentum began to build.  A new character began to blend itself together and wanted to tell me something, show me something.  So, I am delighted to share that I’ve started a new story, another journey, of renaissance and beauty and romance and light mystery.  And it will take as long as it takes, and it will lead me where it will, but I am so grateful to feel that magic again; the desire, the need, to create.
The lesson:  Sometimes, we just need to slow down.

If we become overridden with thoughts, demands, and trying to solve the unsolvable…we lose that sublime connection to creativity.  We drown; we become lost in a circus of nonsense, of judgments, of analysis.  Let it go.  When we feel that weight, that burden, of trying to figure things out and we spend too much energy there, unproductively – it’s a great indication that we need to slow things down.  Just as we need to organize our office, for optimal work output, we should do the same within our own minds.

Clear out the junk, the clutter, the minefield of thoughts that hold us back.  Write them down; let them out.  Let them breathe, and we too, will breathe.  Clear out a space, and the magic…the flow…will return.  It always does, if we allow it, and get out of the way.


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Stacie Hammond loves serving her community as a public librarian, which she’s done faithfully for the past ten years. But her passion lies in writing. A long-time intermittent blogger, Ana J. Awakens is her first published book.

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