Creative Nesting

I wonder if other writers experience this nesting phenomenon, much like before a baby is born, but instead it occurs at the brink of binge writing, or giving birth to a creative project.

I spent a good four hours nesting recently. I had this desire to know what I have, to love it or leave it, and to move things around or put them away.

There’s a kind of ‘shopping at home’ where you simply move things around until you find something that you just don’t like no matter where you put it.  I like to do this before replacing something or buying something new. A wall hanging that is unappealing in one area of the house might be perfect in another spot. I switched a couple large plants around too,  and thought them perfect again.

I went through my jewelry and my linens. I swapped out our gold chandelier that I never liked for a matte nickel one that is so much more aesthetically pleasing to me. I  have this feeling of fullness, of having everything I need, not feeling especially attached to any of it, but loving all of it. That’s the sweet spot with material things, I think- to love everything you have without being too attached to any of it.

20150828_215042At the end of my nesting, I ordered one large canvas art print and gave one old framed picture away. The look of the old one was cluttered and too country for my current taste. The new painting arrived, a splash of vibrant color across a lone branch. It looks both natural and modern to me, and I love it.

A chapter out of place, or no longer relevant, I move it or let it go. I feel the labor pains of writing: the blocks and the struggle, the fear and the pushing.

The bliss!

The fullness of it, when the words match my memory. The sentences, like thoughts on canvas, now visible. Fresh words, new perspective.

A labor of love, bursting forth to completion.

Create it, love it, let it go.

I have everything I need.


A few very simple eats:


Tomato with mozzarella cheese & olive oil


wouldn’t be complete without this fresh basil -in-a-jar from our daughter, owner of the Purple Canvas


A favorite of my husband’s, smoked salmon on a bagel with cream cheese, and tabouli


Snack in a jar: yogurt, chia seeds, blueberries and walnuts


Or put the snack through a blender


A dessert I found on Pinterest and just couldn’t resist making: lemon meringue pie in a jar

cre•a•tiv•i•ty : the ability to make new things or think of new ideas

The topic of creativity fascinates me. It is majestic and universal.  Everyone has an inner creative genius.  People who assert that they are not creative just need to broaden their view of what creativity is. We are all creating, all the time.  We create homes, families, businesses, our own lives.  We solve problems and build things and create software and movies and meals and thoughts.   And of course, there is painting and dancing, writing and making music.

In my favorite book on creativity, the War of Art, author Steven Pressfield writes about the importance of some routine and order when trying to create professionally.  I love what he has to say about the serious artist:  “He is on a mission. He will not tolerate disorder. He eliminates chaos from his world in order to banish it from his mind. He wants the carpet vacuumed and the threshold swept, so the Muse may enter and not soil her gown.”  So the Muse may enter and not soil her gown. I read through his book a second time just to get to that passage again. Creativity comes through the empty spaces, the open heart, the uncluttered mind and room.  It is in this space that we can get creatively messy.

Pressfield spends a good portion of his book describing the perils of resistance.  Whenever we intend to embark on something innovative or artistic, or even simply attempt to create a new and healthy habit, resistance can rear its ugly head. The author even goes as far as to say that yielding to resistance deforms the spirit.

Our options for distraction, or creative resistance, are nearly limitless and can slay our creativity before we ever have the chance to explore it.  Reaching for distraction can be a knee jerk reaction to any kind of discomfort, from boredom to depression. It numbs our fears and enables  us to procrastinate. But to not entertain our resistance, to dive into the stillness and poke around, is to invite the extraordinary. In the void, we stand a chance of churning out something new.  Maybe it won’t happen that moment or that day, but eventually it will burst through as an idea, a creative urge, the solution to a problem, fresh and stunning.