Posted by: Corri van de Stege | July 30, 2008

Write on Wednesday – Coming alive


 Becca wonders what it takes to ‘come alive’, what it is that wakes you up and makes you feel vibrant, full of energy about what you want to do.  Today she is making us think about what makes us feel creative:

How about you? How do you cultivate creativity in your life?  Have you found the things that make you come alive? Are you doing them? Shouldn’t you be?
What an excellent challenge, especially in a week when I am near despair as far as my own creative processes are concerned.  After last week which seemed so pumped full of (work) activity, when I was lived, rather than having a say over what it was that I really want to do, I have been unable to find myself.  I am watching myself, this person that somehow or other is completely disconnected from what she was a couple of weeks ago, from what she wants to be doing.  And it makes me feel edgy and claustrophobic.  For the last two nights I have picked up my notebook again, and have started writing 50 or so words, on anything, which then suddenly increased to 100 or even two or three hundred and it made me feel better.  Nevertheless, only a month or so ago I seemed on a roll with my novel and it is as if it has suddenly dried up, I cannot find the space.
So last night I registered for the next (advanced) creative writing course which starts in October and I am simply hoping that this will focus me once more: if I cannot find the stimulus within myself, because I am too tired with thinking about strategic educational matters and writing reports, then these set exercises and expectations (and, HELP, critique delivered by fellow students and tutors) may just give me that sense of delight again, at finding a response within me. 
Writing, in particular writing well, gives me a huge sense of achievement, and yes, I want to nurture it.   Thanks Becca for making me think about this and yes, in the end it is up to ourselves to make the most of it and feed the creative processes, whatever form they take.  And so, I closed my work computer and sat down to write this up, because it’s up to me to make the space!
So, how do you make space for yourself and how do you nurture your own creativity? 


  1. Have you seen this?:


  2. It’s so hard to maintain that creative life when the demands of the world are so heavy. I’m glad to hear you’re taking steps back toward the thing that brings you alive, with your writing course and continuing on with your novel.

    Here’s to coming alive again!

  3. This is something I struggle with. I’m learning that my feast or famine approach is too frustrating. The great experience I had at the writing retreat I attended inspired me to seek out some books with writing prompts and exercises. Rather than setting a goal to achieve a certain word count on my novel in progress, I’m going to try just achieving some kind of creative writing every day, and if I can’t seem to work on the novel in progress, I’ll reach for a prompt. I have no idea how well it will work, but I’ll keep you posted 🙂

  4. I think it’s a really good idea to sign up for a course. Writing is so hard to slot into daily life, it’s helpful to have some absolute motivation for doing so. I’ve wanted to do one myself but have trouble finding a non-fiction course. I did find one, via WriteWords (or something similar, wish I could recall!) so perhaps I should consider it again.

    I need space to write – head space. If I have that then creativity comes quite naturally. Without it, I’m sunk.

  5. My reative spirit dies when I am stressed. So I know how that feels. Best of luck with the reative course.

  6. *Creative in both cases. My c sticks!


  7. I am really impressed by these responses and wonder how it is that we all ‘suffer’ from this creative drive that somehow or other does not get enough space in our daily lives.
    Becca: yes it is, it is, it is and that is what makes me despair. And yes, here’s to you as well – you are an inspiration!
    lisakenney: that is such good advice, I think I’m beginning to try and stick to someting similar, which is simply writing 50 words or so, on whatever – and then they grow into maybe 100 if you’re lucky.
    litlove: headspace – that is the right word, the one that explains exactly what is missing on a busy (work) day!
    gautami ripathy: thank you – and I’m not blaming you for the creative ‘c’ 🙂

  8. One of the best ways, and it’s only recent having found the WOW blogs, is to read what the rest of you are doing and your highs and lows and all your encouragement. And it allows me to look around at all the “stuff’ that’s sitting here, some of it waiting to be done, and say “forget it. I’m going to write.” It’s worked for me twice this week so the irony might be that I use time to read blogs, but those same blogs are like a club that says “You can do it, so go and do it now.”

    So, I hope you will go and do some writing, now. I mean, sometimes taking care of the world means taking care of ourselves.

    ANd if you’ve just finished a lot of writing time today, take some more time and go read…or just sit and enjoy.

  9. oh: I did, I did today and am finding some peace with myself again! Thank you for your lovely words and yes, you are right about reading and listening to other blogs, in particular the WOW ones… 🙂

  10. Cultivating creativity is something I have yet to master. I only know how to hold onto it for dear life when it comes and how to juice it for everything it can give. I do know some things that make me come alive, but coming alive is not exactly what makes my creativity spark, oddly enough. When it comes to writing at least, it’s actually being a little angry and let down by my surroundings works as fuel my creativity rather than being happy. My best blogs, none of which can be found on here unfortunately, were written over the three years that I was roaming life alone. During that time I was genuinely happy. But I was so much outside myself and involved with different people that I constantly encountered the worse of the worse and experienced parts of society that we were upsetting and saddening. My best blogs were then. I’m happy now, with someone, and nothing seems to move me the same way that slightly negative things did. Happiness had proven to be intellectually numbing to me. I don’t like it, the numbing part, but I really enjoy the happiness. But I miss my good writing. It’s weird. Oh, and fighting with him doesn’t work. Apparently I’m very morbid and need some really upsetting stuff to hit me so the creativity returns.

    Don’t get me wrong, I think I do ok when everything is fine, but I feel more satisfied with my writing and other forms of creativity-inspired expressions when I’m not at my best emotional or mental state. With that explained I don’t know if I should be pursuing the things that truly spark my creativity. This would mean pushing away someone who, despite me not always being most deserving, gives everything effortlessly to make me smile. I guess I could always find another way to write….

    What would you do?


  11. Hi, I have a handicapped son and a blog about books and writing from which I’ve been plucked at random by newspaper editors to write on books occasionally. FRIGHTENING, I tell ya. Creativity is about embracing fear, I think, about taking big jumps and seeing where you end up.

    The creative side of things still ebbs but flows more readily these days than it used to, now that I have other writers to talk to online and have become much more efficient at clearing my mind first before starting to watch, and then to write. Notebooks are fabulous – scribble something down before it flies away, come back to it later and you could surprise yourself. I know I have a few times, and I’m not easily surprised by my own stuff.
    Storing and processing your work is also important – I’m using a laptop to index my notes at present, and will go away later this year for four or five days to get some serious stuff up and happening, I hope.

    I have a BA of some standing (27 years old, it is – older than my eldest child!), and sometimes think I’ve read far too much – I can’t otherwise explain some of the blocks I face from time to time.

    Learning how to listen to yourself is terribly important, I think. That, and being mindful of small things, allowing them to develop quietly, even when you’re not writing.
    Also dedicate any money you can to buying some time and space for yourself – I’ve recently re-employed a cleaner so I can work and write – otherwise it’s impossible to get the time.

    There’s a British writer I respect enormously who has a writing coach business, Jacqui Lofthouse – her 30 day writing challenge is very good, very practical, and she runs online groups too.
    I think she is moving from this site soon, but don’t know when…there will be a link forward when she does though.

  12. What a lovely blog you have, Ms Seachanges. Delightful – sorry I forgot to thank you for the chance to hold forth there,


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