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November 21, 2010

Refilling the creativity well

View over my vegetable garden in Spring
While every writer is different, I believe that for many of us, inspiration flows from somewhere among the rich tapestry of threads which make up our lives. So to bring our best writerly selves (and fresh ideas) to the table/computer/notebook, we need to make sure that the other parts of our bodies and souls are 'full'. Fulfilled, regularly recharged, however you want to view it. For some people, that means a regular walk around the neighbourhood where they're free to wander and think. For others, it means getting into the kitchen and creating something.

A luxurious bath with essential oils. A shopping trip where you can be all alone. Time with family. Time with friends. Time to read. Travel.

However you prefer to 'recharge', doing so is essential, or over time, your ideas and words will become flat and stale. I'm sure we've all experienced this!


Here's one of the things which brightens my day and refills my 'living' creativity well.

Pumpkin "Wee Be Little" ready for planting out
Italian eggplant (aubergine) seedlings

 Yep, growing things really does make me happy. Harvesting my own vegetables in a couple of months will make me happier still! I like to plant unusual or heirloom varieties; purple beans, miniature pumpkins...things you can't buy in the shops. And to think, only a year ago, I was a brown-thumbed gardener with good intentions and not much follow through. I confess, to my shame, that last year I didn't get any vegetables planted until late January. (For you northern hemisphere folk, that's like waiting until, oh, late July to do planting which should have happened in Spring.)

But this year I discovered these super cute little peat pots which start off like this...


...just add water, and they end up like this!


And you can plant the whole little pot in the ground complete with growing seedling. Nifty huh? I'm a changed gardener. It's probably not surprising that heirloom vegetables and herbs made their way into my current novel. It's one of the things I enjoy, so I enjoy weaving that into my writing too.

What do you do to recharge? And do those 'other' important non-writing activities which make up a full life find their way back into your writing?

17 comments:

The Sisterhood said...

This was the first year I attempted anything garden-like, and to my surprise I grew fifteen foot long pumpkin vines and tomato plants that grew taller than me. I was happy and pleasantly surprised.

What do I do to recharge? I listen to music and sing. I also love watching a good dramatic movie. Sometimes those indie ones really get the wheels in my head turning.

Lovely post and good luck with your planting!

♥ Mary Mary

erica and christy said...

Hmmm...recharging. THIS is what I need! (In response to your comment on our blog...I think I was scolding myself today more than anybody else! I haven't written in a week! A WEEK!!!) best to you! christy

The Weed said...

I just got back from a nice long November run in the cold crisp air. It was very rejuvenating. Thanks for the thoughtful post--recharging really is essential.

kangaroobee said...

I love scrapbooking, but haven't had much time to indulge it recently. I did go to my favourite place today though our local park, it is truly beautiful and I love watching the kids run all over. There are two bridges a nice view over Lake Erie, lots of trees and flowers and winding paths. I hope your gardening skills insipre me to get gardening a bit more next year I am hopeless. In NZ I grew quite a lot but here in Canada we got rid of the veges and now it's just grass. Maybe when the kids are older.. yes that old chestnut.

Rachael Harrie said...

Recharging...nothing beats a read of a great book with no kids interrupting! :)

Love the pikkies of your garden. I managed to kill a cactus once, so I'll probably be pushing it to try plants/veges that require a bit more TLC (*grins*)

Rach

Adina West said...

@Mary Mary: LOL. You do the opposite of me. I'm such a lazy gardener I plant miniature varieties even of things like pumpkins - ones which grow in bushes not vines - and bush tomatoes which don't require staking...
@Christy: I know your pain. Hope the drought breaks soon!
@Josh Weed: No crisp cool air here in Sydney right now but it sounds lovely.
@Kangaroobee: I'm jealous of your lake views!
@Rach: I hear you. Nothing like the occasional child-free moment to relax for us parents. And if you ever do try the gardening thing again, go with the little peat pots. They're MAGIC, even for us brown thumbs.

Joanna St. James said...

A luxurious bath with essential oils. A shopping trip where you can be all alone. Time with family. Time with friends. Time to read. Travel

this paragraph describes my perfect week and is made of epic win

Quinn said...

Recharging ... I'll go with Rachael and say a good book. Also, just sitting quietly with a coffee. Or a trip to a book store.

Deidra said...

These are good ideas, although I have a bad tendency to get caught "recharging" and somehow take a...rather extended break. Oops. Back to work.

Adina West said...

@Joanna: LOL. Me too!
@Quinn: I can happily lose myself for hours in a book shop. A definite winner.
@Deidra: ;-) Ok, you got me. I have fallen into that category too on occasion...

Hart Johnson said...

exercise and bath... The exercise works for clearing out the stuff that is bothering me--allowing the story strands to bang around together in there and find each other in some different way...

and the bath is actually similar but more... mellow... lets the story seep... the first sort of needs existing stuff and is about combining. The second is more organic...

Adina West said...

I like that Hart! We writers never really turn off the creative side, so while we are 'recharging' those ideas keep right on percolating away...

Len said...

I've only learned gardening this year! And I've learned a lot from this post, thanks so much! :)

This post is a very good reminder to see the good things that are right in front of us...appreciating the small things that make us happy and what brings the best in us :) Thanks for sharing! :)

Grandpa said...

To recharge I go to botanical gardens or nurseries, even to the jungle to look for new species of plants I haven't yet grown on The Farm. They will keep me occupied and somehow re energized me, while adding to my collection.
Great to see you've turned green fingers! Tomatoes would be good in pots too

L'Aussie said...

To recharge I like to be alone. So long since I had a luxurious bath. Must have one tonight. Usually I take a break by commenting on a few blogs between scenes of my WIP.

I put up a spin on my thankfulness for a Thanksgiving blogfest. You might like to drop in.

Happy tapping!

Adina West said...

@Len: It's the small things which can be so important sometimes, and really bring us joy.
@Grandpa: Luckily it sounds like you've got space for your burgeoning collection! And as for tomatoes - I don't need to plant them, they come up all by themselves wherever I've had compost sprinkled. :-)
@L'Aussie: I've been to visit - enjoyed your post!

Kittie Howard said...

Thankss for a lovely post and good luck with your planting! I can taste those vine-ripened tomatoes now, yum! As for recharging (which is essential), I either go for a walk or snuggle onto the couch with a good read. Either way, it's nice to get out of my skin and have a fresh look around.

(I've had great luck with parsley in semi-shaded areas in a flower bed.)

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