Rest, Reset, Renew: the creative self

Photograph of Killarney Lakes, Killarney National Park, County Kerry (c) Shauna Gilligan

Flannery O’Connor states in her wonderful essay “The Nature and Aim of Fiction”,

Fiction is about everything human and we are made out of dust, and if you scorn getting yourself dusty, then you shouldn’t try to write fiction. It’s not a grand enough job for you.

And it strikes me that the dust and muck still stick even after the drafts of fiction have been written. Perhaps it’s only by getting out into the air, feeling the cold, and the wind, and seeing all the mess and the beauty that surround us that we can begin to see, really see, what is there in our creative space.

Julia Cameron maintains that “art needs time to incubate, to sprawl a little, to be ungainly and misshapen and finally emerge as itself.” And incubation takes time, energy, and space. We need to rest, reset and renew ourselves and our energy so that our creative selves can be open enough to let our creations emerge. It is only then we can accept – and then fine tune – the manuscript that sits before us.

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