This week my family traveled up to Mystic, Connecticut. Even though we live in a 100 year old blue house in New Jersey, we rented a 100 year old blue house in Mystic. Our time away was much like our daily lives, focusing on small moments, together. It provided us incredible riches, like this:
The week was filled long conversations, slow walks, small explorations, and lots of food.
To take time away is to disrupt the routines that fill our lives. Creative habits tend to be something that come easily to me. I’m the kind of person who, once a routine is established to write every day, or play guitar every day, it is difficult to break. I find comfort in the rhythm of knowing what to expect each day, and within that structure, allowing myself total freedom in the creative process.
This past week I didn’t work out, didn’t write, didn’t play guitar, didn’t attend to so many things that I normally do. Instead I prioritized things on a different spectrum this week, the first being family time. Simply being together, uninterrupted.
In addition to that, every single morning I answered emails from my clients, spent time doing work for them, or keeping tabs on their progress. Each day, in the early hours of the morning before my family was awake, I considered the goals of these writers and creators.
Attending to my clients while away is something I enjoy doing because I believe in the work I do. How we create and share tends to feel more clear and meaningful when we do it together.
This is also why I love following creators on social media — to see how they share and collaborate with their followers. This week I saw the following post on Instagram from Rebecca Green, working on her next book:
It is entirely possible that she is talking to trusted friends and colleagues while she does this work, but my guess is that she does this stage of the book largely done alone.
But notice something about her Instagram post? It is being shared with her 250,000+ followers. She is bringing them into her creative process, and along the way validating the struggle that so many creators feel: that this work is difficult, perhaps even much harder than ever expected. That if she, with all of her experience and success, can have a difficult time finding the creative direction of a new book, perhaps it is not unusual that we do as well. This provides a wonderful sense of permission for herself and her followers.
As the work develops, she will likely share it with more and more people. Yes, her followers, but also her creative collaborators. In doing so, she is bringing more people into her creative process. This is what I love about not just how we create, but how we share. When we do it together, our writing and art can impact people’s lives in a myriad of ways.
On Instagram Skeme Richards shares his enthusiasm for the music he creates as a DJ, and the work that inspires him. When I look at his Instagram Stories I see he shared 33 times in the past 24 hours.
As he researches, creates, and mixes music, he brings us inside his creative process:
Skeme illustrates why I love the age we live in for creators: what he shares is filled with enthusiasm and generosity. I get to experience his creative process each day. Even though may do much of this alone in a room, somehow with the ways he shares it, it feels like it happens together with his fans.
This week I also saw Nicole Blades share an update on the progress of her next book:
Of course, this is incredibly inspiring, to celebrate a milestone in the writing process, and to be reminded that great work takes time. This is a book that people won’t read for awhile, yet she is engaging with her readers throughout the process.
I also saw this series of posts from Lori M. Lee, where she was discussing with her followers about the nature of sharing on social media as a writer, and her ethos for doing so:
How Lori shares this brings others not only into her creative process, but helps us navigate our own. Together just feels right sometimes.
I hear footsteps upstairs, my family is waking up. Time to get back to being together with them. Thank you for being here with me.