“What if we all lost power, and it didn’t come back, and we had to forage to survive…could we?”

“What if he fell asleep, and woke up in a different time?  Without his sight?”

“What if trees sent messages to other trees?  What if dogs used telepathy?”

This is what it’s like in my mind when creativity hits me.  A flow of ideas, questions, scenarios, characters, what-ifs and why-nots, ad infinitum.  I used to think it was a curse to have such a wild mind that often kept me up at night.  Imagining stories and conversations, scenery and sounds.  Until that day when I remembered: I am a writer.  I have notebooks and journals filled with ideas, right next to my bed.  I have notebooks in the car.  In my pocketbook.  You get the idea.  Some of these ideas will become stories…some may not.

Many creative folk will say that there is a fine line between being passionate and feeling crazy.  I am no expert, I am just me, but from experience I can say this: creative folks need balance, in order to maintain and make the finish line.  Endurance is key.  And for me, that finish line for each project is vital.  It represents culmination and opens a door to another idea, another project, or a new experience.

Problems arise when a passion becomes an obsession; to the exclusion of all else.  Health, harmony in our relationships, and other responsibilities shouldn’t be ignored in pursuit of a passion.  They should be valued, respected, and tended to along the creative path.  Without such balance?  We can lean toward feeling crazy; we can burn out.  We don’t want to burn out, we want to continue creating and sharing what’s in our hearts, right?

The Path to Balance for the Creative Free-Spirit:

1.      Nourish Your Body – it’s the only one that you have.  Drop the bad habits; you know by now what doesn’t serve you.  Nourish your body with healthy foods and drink plenty of water.

2.      Move Around – any physical movement from lifting weights, to power-walking, to yoga, to dancing, to cycling, to mowing the grass, to having sex…all increase endorphins, which are great for your mind.  A healthy body encourages a fierce mindset, which helps you in your creative goals.

3.      Find Your Peace – knowing what makes you come alive with passion is a wonderful thing.  But what slows you down?  What brings you peace?  Yoga, meditating, prayer, crochet, reading?  Find something to focus on that refills your energy, after it’s spent.  Something that replenishes and renews you.  For me, it’s the garden or a walk by the water.  Find your peace and make it a part of your routine.

4.      Say No – Learn to set boundaries.  Your time is precious.  Don’t spend your time on people or experiences that don’t make you feel good or push you toward your goals.

5.      Adapt to Living with a Schedule – it’s hard to tell a creative person to think inside the box…meaning to schedule out our creative time.  It’s like trying to stuff a tornado into a handbag.  We resist.  But for many of us, who also have other obligations and responsibilities, we must.  We don’t find time for the things we love, we make time.  Make a schedule and prioritize, it will change your life.

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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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