This winter and spring were rough for my depression. I lost all energy and passion with my creative side, which only made my depression worse.
A horrible cycle that just goes round and round.
Work has been stressful and we're in the midst of planning to build our dream house next spring, so to say I have a lot on my mind is an understatement.
But knowing all this never stops me from passing judgement on myself. Putting myself down for the lack of projects I have on the go or not opening my laptop to write.
I went onto Instagram and my anxiety went through the roof because I couldn't remember when I had posted last.
What do I post now? Do I need to explain myself? Do I just post something and hope no one questions it? What happens if something checks in to see if I'm all right?
The thought that I could lose all interest for creative things is terrifying. I know it's not a rational fear and know depression can steal a lot of joy from my life.
It's as if I put myself into this tiny box with such strict categories of what I should consider creativity, which ends up overshadowing all the wonderful things that I am doing creatively.
As an example, I finally took an idea I had since we were in Japan in 2019 and accomplished it. It was hours and hours of hard work, but it came out just as amazing as I hoped it would.
Here it is...
So why didn't I think this counted as being creative? My depression and anxiety had put blinders on me to only believe and focus on my novel. But my creative side made this website and idea happen. An idea that was thought of while waiting for our train and my husband and I brainstormed over for the rest of the trip.
As I've mentioned in other posts, we all need to take it easy on ourselves. The pressure we create and judgement we pass on ourselves is hurtful. I need to remind myself that if one of my friends were talking to themselves the way I do, would I allow them to continue?
I'd be the first to encourage them and point out all the wonderful things they're ignoring or unable to see.
What creative things have you been working on? Was there something you didn't think was creative, but now do? I'd love to hear about them!
I don't know about you, but I have a tough time keeping to one project. Whether it's sewing, writing, crafting, reading, podcasting, or learning new hobby, I'll hop and jump from one to another.
It's not because I get bored, but because I need to learn new things. It might be a way to challenge myself, push to see if I could do something successfully...
Perhaps it's just my self-sabotage to only procrastinate?
A couple of years ago I came across this adorable App called Forest.
If you are looking for an effortless way to help you focus on projects, or a way to keep yourself from checking your phone when you should be doing something else, this App just might do the trick.
I quickly fell in love with it, the more I used and more points I gained. I "bought" more and more trees and shrubs, adding flowers and fountains to my growing collection.
Sure, you can get into your phone, but you'll kill whatever plant you had decided to grow for a set time and now you have a brown, crispy skeleton of a plant in your lush garden.
When I have a writing date with girlfriends, I set my phone in the middle of the table, each one of us choosing a different plant or flower each 20 minutes we set to not talk, just write.
My podcast co-host has jumped on the app too and she'll send me screenshots, which helps get my butt in gear to sit down and focus on my projects.
It gives you a little boost of confidence and a pat on the back when you view your garden.
That's right. I grew a full moon tree, wisteria, and apparently one and a quarter watermelon this afternoon. Who knew I could grow a perfectly cut slice of watermelon, all ready to go.
Do you have any tricks to help you focus?
Have you ever heard about book soundtracks? Not the ones that are from the movie that had started off as a book.
Soundtracks that authors create.
As you all know, my writing transports you back into Canada's 1930s and 1940s. As a lindy hopper and vintage lover, the music of those eras always pulls me right in and they sometimes make an appearance in the story.
In the sequel to Hold On, one chapter in Let GO Kate and Ralph dance to Hey! Ba Ba Re Bop and only get off the dance floor when their feet can't take it anymore.
When a character sits down and watches a movie, picks up a book, or turns on the radio, are you the sort of reader who looks up the movie, title, or song? Will you now?
Here are my book soundtracks for you to enjoy. Perhaps you'll want to read Hold On and Let Go again while the soundtrack plays in the background.