• Lydia Thomas


I've been struggling to recover my creative practice.

I stopped practicing altogether about three months ago. I was in a position where I felt obligated to prioritize what other people decided was best for me over those things I wanted and had been working towards for myself.

I thought it would be easy to pick it up again once I was free from that obligation, but that hasn't been the case.

Every time I sit down to work, I end up frustrated with everything I produce.

Maybe I'm expecting too much, too soon.

Or maybe I need to try a different approach.

After all, when I started prioritizing creativity in the summer of 2019, it was frustrating, too. I had to show up day in and day out and just do the work.

But that wasn't all I did.

At the time, I was reading The Gift of Wonder by Christine Aroney-Sine, in which readers are equipped with practices to slow down and observe what is bringing them joy. I began taking notice of what I was noticing and considering why I was noticing it.

I noticed the little things - the details - that made up whole things.

I noticed abandoned things that must have meant something to someone at some point in time, even if their meanings had been long since forgotten.

I noticed the way light interacted with things.

I noticed repetitive things, as if they were trying to wake me up and make me notice them.

I noticed I didn't want to see and capture things from the same angle anyone else could.

And all of the things I noticed about the world around me - and about myself - began to fuel my creative work.

Maybe that's what I need to do now, too.

Go for a walk. In nature or a flea market or a thrift shop. See what I see. Pay attention to those things that make me want to press in for closer examination. Ask why. Then return to the proverbial drawing board.

What about you? Have you taken the time to notice what you notice and why? If so, what kinds of things catch your eye and capture your imagination?

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