rest is vital to the creative process

Everyone needs a rest from their creativity now and again.

Even God rested after creating the world! I’ve followed his example and set aside every seventh day (Saturday) to rest.

Rest is necessary if you don’t want to burn out. I’ve found that if I wait until I feel I need rest, then it’s already too late. Plus, if I haven’t scheduled it in, when rest becomes necessary I’m too busy to actually allow myself to slow down!

Set aside time to rest during this month of writing poetry.

It may seem odd to think about resting from something you've hardly begun, especially when it’s something creative and fun, but now is the perfect time to consider the importance of rest and decide how you want to integrate routine rest into your creative process.

Every seven days of the 31-day series I will share an exercise that I consider restful. You will need to decide what rest means for you, though.

Often, I still write on my day of rest, but I keep the process relaxed by not writing for my blog, not working on my books, and not tracking my word count. Not doing those things gives me the freedom to write things I don’t usually allow time for, like writing letters, rambling on for pages in my journal, or writing personal poetry that's too intimate to share beyond a few close friends (if that).

{today’s exercise}

What does rest mean to you? Take some time today to slow down and consider the question. Maybe you journal about it. Maybe you write a poem on the topic of rest. Maybe you pick up a poetry book and get lost in reading for a while.

Do something today that gives you some breathing room, and consider what you will do in the future to build a habit of rest.

{my process & my poem}

I wrote this poem in the middle of my work week as I considered how I would spend my next day of rest.

I need a break,
some time to be
without the push of social life
and pull of responsibility.

I need a break,
some space to breathe
between the suffocating moments
of work and play.

I can’t find time —
it’s all taken up by something or someone.
Space doesn’t appear —
for nature abhors a vacuum and fills it.

So I’ll make
the time
to be
here and now.

And I’ll take
the space
to breathe
in and out.