Wild Stomping Grounds

meadowgrassA friend of mine posted on Twitter that some people are so excited to pursue creativity that they forget to also make sure they have the skills and training to support it.

Hmmm. While I think it foolish to chase a notion that you have no idea what you’ll do with once you catch it, I also think that the biggest challenge is often just valuing creativity enough to make space for it in your life.

Spring has arrived. The tiny leaves of my Japanese maple, so pale they are almost white, are unfurling beside my window. The evenings are being won over to the light. My son has slept through the night three times in row. Tis a season of hope and possibilities.

It recently whacked me upside the head and deep in the heart that if I’m going to aspire to make art, devour books, enjoy dinner with friends, and deeply connect with my husband, I have the time to do this if I would just pour the hours I spend on television and movies into these interests.


A long string of exhausted, drained days in my recent past made the choice of screen-based entertainment an easy choice.

But I need the rich times of raking through the mulch, tilling the proverbial soil, and no caliber of movie or show can replace the feeling of sticky fingertips and racing heart when I’m in the middle of collaging. Nothing substitutes for holding my husband’s hand in quiet conversation.

I do not intend to make a value judgment on better and worse forms of entertainment. You can do your research and decide what works for you. I know this: Humanity existed without screen-based entertainment for generations, so I’m confident I can handle myself for a few weeks, to start with.

I’m throwing wide the door for the novels I’ve had so little time to read, the brain-freeing and enchanting exercises from The Trickster’s Hat, strengthening my marriage through a relationship workbook with my husband, baking new desserts, listening to NPR evening radio, sewing, and painting.

I’m calling these evenings the wild stomping grounds. I will hold all work done here loosely so that it does not become more checkboxes on my to-do list.

I will want to change my mind. I will crave passive entertainment. I will try to justify why I deserve it. I will also do my darnedest to hold out by surrounding myself with enticing alternatives.

I will protect the fertile soil for my creativity and give it a field in which to run free.

My creative roadblock happens to be screen-based entertainment. What’s yours? Want to try joining me by kicking your roadblock from your schedule for a few weeks?


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This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Oddly enough, my roadblock is puttering. Do I sound like a little old man or what?!? But I will fritter away entire evenings just puttering around the house doing light cleaning here, shelf straitening there and never actually commit to something that would fill me up. You’ve inspired me to identify that and cut the putter!

    1. Inspiration for the win! I love hearing news like this. Yes, if you stopped puttering, what would you do instead? Excellent! Thank you for sharing, Amy. 🙂

      1. Ah, what to do instead… Blog, read, bake. Yes, those things would be lovely

        1. Go, girl, go! I’m slowly building new pathways on my end. Exhaustion at the end of the day is not my friend when it comes to this new habit. Then again, learning to not overly exhaust myself is also a good thing to work toward. 🙂

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