Today I’m happy to share a guest post from Elora Nicole – a passionate author, artist, and story coach. Make sure you check out The Storytellers, where Elora curates a community for writers and creatives.
There are days spent wallowing in the dried up soil of my creativity.
Whether it be for an email or blog post or curriculum or novel, suddenly the ideas I had are gone. Most importantly, the inspiration I had for encouragement and articulating the processes of artistic living disappear.
These are the days when I consider as I’m falling asleep: what happened? What did I get done? What did I actually digest?
And far too often, it’s screen time. Conversations within Facebook pages. Scrolling through my Twitter feed. Attempting to tackle my inbox and forgetting about that one thing I need to check off my list which means posting on this one page and then —
two hours later I’m still where I was at before, no email processed, no words written, exhausted and unfocused and trying to figure out what I was needing to do in the first place.
We cannot live life as creatives without the intention of noticing what we’re breathing in every single day.A few weeks ago, I was reading a book on imagination and connections were firing off within me and I stopped — often — to jot down notes for future blog posts and 101 curriculum. But I was reading and breathing and refusing to check my phone for notifications.Notifications
has become my own personal four-letter word.
Connection is important. All too often we can feel demoralized and alone and needing that swift, encouraging kick in the pants to remind us of what we’re able to accomplish.
But too much connection? Too much connection feels like drinking from a fire hydrant. If you’re not careful, you can drown in it.
In Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451
, society lives off connection. Written in 1953, there was no way for Bradbury to know the implications of his parlor walls (television screens that fill an entire wall of a house) and sea shells (essentially, in-ear headphones) and families living out their lives for all to see (reality tv).In one scene, Montag moves through the subway with an ad forcing its way into his presence with staccato like precision. He tries to fight it, whispering quotes from the contraband book he holds in his hands, but it doesn’t work.Denham’s Dentrifice
echoes and demands attention and interrupts and Montag loses it, standing up and demanding the voice to SHUT-UP and gathering the attention of the fellow passengers, all of them tapping their feet to the rhythm of the ads and not even realizing what they are doing.
Bradbury continues —
The train door whistled open. Montag stood. The door gasped, started shut. Only then did he leap past the other passengers, screaming in his mind, plunge through the tunnels, ignoring the escalators, because he wanted to feel his feet move, arms swing, lungs clench, unclench, feel his throat go raw with air. A voice drifted after him, “Denham’s Denham’s Denham’s,” the train hissed like a snake. The train vanished in its hole (80).
I wonder what would happen if we looked for connections in the world around us. Those tangible spaces, ripe with opportunity and touch, are just waiting for us to look up and notice. I wonder what would happen with our words if we allowed our hands to carry the pen instead of relying on the pounding of keys. I wonder if we could put the camera down — just for a second, a moment — because being present and soaking in the world around us is (for that moment) more important than capturing it.
Creative energy has a source. Without it, we wither.
What are you plugged into today?
Elora Nicole is the founder of Awake the Bones and author of the Shattered Things series. Over the past two years, She’s coached over 300 women in finding language to tell their own story well and facilitates an online writing community that’s more sisterhood than anything else. Intuition and hustle get her through the day, as well as her dog-toddler vizsla who barks at squirrels outside her Austin Tree House and her chef-husband Russ who always greets her with a kiss. You can follow her on Twitter or Instagram.