This has been a rough winter in my area—lots of snowstorms and unusually deep cold spells. So it’s not surprising that I have spring on my mind!
Spring is a time of renewal, and renewal is on my mind right now, too. I seem to be having something of a personal Renaissance. My Muse is coming out to play.
I’ve been lost in a creative desert for more than 4 years—ever since my daughter was born. When I say this, people look at me in surprise, because I have been turning out a lot of work during the past 4 years. Lots of words. But not much has been in creative fiction. Most has been blogging, working on a family non-fiction genealogy book, and revising of fiction works whose early drafts pre-dated my child. So a lot of words, but not a lot of new creative ideas.
Not only weren’t new ideas coming, I didn’t even FEEL creative. Nothing stirred in my brain or soul. I worried that I would never again feel the elation of a new idea, the exhilaration of writing in a flow state, the thrill of hearing a character talk to me. But then things started to change.
First, at the 2013 Philadelphia Writer’s Conference, I felt stirrings of creativity. Then, a short-lived but bright fire burst forth in August. But these spurts didn’t last, and I ended up feeling depressed all over again, as if they had been nothing more than mirages in my creative desert.
But over the past few cold, snowy, wintry weeks, I have experienced hints of a creative spring. For the first time in years, a character is speaking to me. For the first time in years, I reached a flow state while writing fiction. And for the first time in years, I woke up with a new novel idea in my head—half-formed, incomplete, but intriguing.
Unlike my earlier mirages, I think this Renaissance might stick. I’m not sure what has changed to revive my Muse. Perhaps because I am sleeping more regularly and reliably (although still not enough). Perhaps because I am getting a little more exercise. Perhaps because my child is in preschool for a few hours a day (barring snow days!) and I have more time to devote to writing. Perhaps it simply took 4 years to recover from the utter exhaustion that comes with a newborn.
Whatever the reason, this resurgence feels new. Different from the other stirrings. It’s almost too good to believe.
But I will believe, and hold on tight.
Because as a writer, it is in my nature to believe in miracles.
Have you ever experienced a personal Renaissance?