Droughts are stressful, both outside in the world, and inside the spirit. I've been having a creative drought lately. I've tried a lot of different things to fix it:
- Forcing myself to write.
- Not forcing myself to write.
- Using writing prompts.
- Setting appointments for writing.
- Rewarding myself for writing.
None of these proved effective. I'm having a dry spell. I haven't been able to determine if I'm depressed because I'm not writing, or if I'm not writing because I am depressed. Admitting this feels like defeat. Depression always feels like defeat, like I did something wrong and now I deserve to feel shriveled up. Depression lies.
Depression forms a dark mist around me. I was depressed before Paula died. I am even more depressed now. I feel as if someone took a massive garden hose and sprayed all the color out of my world. I flip between feeling profoundly sad and intensely angry and back again. Once a murder was an exciting way to begin a story. Then I felt Paula's mother Gina's trembling embrace. Then I felt her tears mix with mine on my cheek.
This is Joy Benchmarks. Joy is happy, dammit! Joy Benchmarks is place where I search for joy in the smallest of things and share my discoveries with you. Right now joy is hard to find. Grief is not fun to talk about, but it is part of being human. Please bear with me as I sort through all this.
Illinois is having a serious drought. I feel like I am having a serious drought as well. Perhaps I need to be less hard on myself. Perhaps I need to recognize that seasons have a flow, and dry is one of those seasons. I want to feel a rush of creativity. I want to be wide awake and full of life. I want to have trouble sleeping because I want to write. Now I sleep too much and write too little.
I can't give up. I have to believe I will create again. I need to believe that creative flow will come, just like I trust rain will replenish my favorite lake. Creativity will replenish my spirit. All I have to do is wait.