Returning home after traveling the world has been a challenge (and a blessing) for me in a lot of different ways. Trying to settle into normal, everyday life again while achieving my goals and practicing lessons that I’ve learned during my time abroad has been hard. Battling restlessness after a life of never ending quests and adventures has been difficult. Finding enough time for Dan, family, friends, work, and myself has been an interesting balancing act. But honestly, one of the most painful aspects of coming back home, has been my loss of inspiration for this blog.
As I typed in paintingmyspiritgold.com into the search bar tonight, I felt a pang of nervousness. I was anxious to see how long it had been since I last posted something because I knew it had almost been a whole month. A WHOLE MONTH?! I haven’t not posted something in this blog for over a month since its inception over a year ago. It almost felt like I was creeping back slowly to an old friend that I had lost contact with; and was clearly my fault. I felt guilty and disappointed in myself.
I started to write some lame post about being back in Chicago and realized I had already written something similar to what I was writing about; twice. In the past two months. Frustrated and 30 minutes later, I closed the computer and thought hard about what the hell was going on with me?
While Dan and I were traveling and in the past few months since returning home, I really enjoyed writing. It has given me such an open window to be creative and have a record of everything that’s been going on in my crazy brain. So, the interest is still there. I have made plenty of time to finish 2 books in the past couple of weeks, start our trip video, take a trip to Minnesota with my family, make plans with Dan and friends, hang out with coworkers, get a tarot reading and of course cuddle with my cats. So, I can make time to do it. There has been a million changes, transitions, and feelings flying around lately that I’ve been thinking about. So, I have content. What’s missing?
After closing my computer and thinking, I laid down in bed next to Dan and explained to him how I’m lacking inspiration for Painting My Spirit Gold. Somehow in the past month, I haven’t felt inspired to write AT ALL. I still love and care about my blog and want to keep writing, but it has felt so forced lately.
Instead of overanalyzing why I have been feeling uninspired (which is what I was about to do), Dan said something really genius. While we were in Italy, I read a book by Elizabeth Gilbert called Big Magic and have been on Dan’s case for the past few months to read it. It is a book centered around living a creative life and is written in a very easy and readable way. I loved the book and so did Dan (after he finally caved and read it recently). Anyways, he reminded me of something Elizabeth said in this book:
“I wrote every day throughout my twenties. For a while, I had a boyfriend who was a musician, and he practiced every day. He played scales; I wrote small fictional scenes. It was the same idea – to keep your hand in your craft, to stay close to it. On bad days, when I felt no inspiration at all, I would set the kitchen timer for thirty minutes and make myself sit there and scribble something, anything. I had read an interview with John Updike where he said that some of the best novels you’ve ever read were written in an hour a day; I figured I could always carve out at least thirty minutes somewhere to dedicate myself to my work, no matter what else was going on or how badly I believed the work was going.”
Basically, no matter how much it sucked or how uninspired she felt, she wrote anyways. She continued because that’s what she does and what she loves. Although writing isn’t my craft or passion but my hobby, I’m going to keep my hand in it even if it doesn’t turn out that great. I’m not even remotely trying to write the world’s greatest novel or “30 year old female returns from travel” blog post for that matter. I keep this blog for me and sometimes, my posts are probably going to be lame and not very inspirational. And that’s alright, I’ll write anyways.
Here goes nothing!
*Side note: I chose this picture of Venice for the cover photo because I figured gazing at its beautiful, colored canals helped inspire history’s famous writers and other artists. Right?!