When you want to work but can’t. How creativity speaks in times of exhaustion

For those of you who’ve been on road trips or have traveled extensively anywhere for long periods of time know that there is a certain energy and zest about these trips: it’s about the site seeing, the ingesting of inspiration through our senses, it’s about the travel.

The creative ideas come, and if we can trap them in our notepads and write (draw, etc.) in our spare time, then we may have the seedlings of some project that we can return to when we’re not on the move.

We were on such a trip for almost 9 months. With a kid that demands my attention most of the time, my alone-time, my creative time collapsed into the negative digits, and I began to get extremely sad and reproachful of myself: “You’ve not executed what you wanted to. You’ve not done what you said you’d do.”

To negate my inner critic and to begin to develop a peaceful practice amidst the turmoil, I prayed for an answer to this lack of space for creative outlet, and within a few days I stumbled upon something absurd, a solution I never would have thought would be helpful.

Enter “SimCity BuildIt”, a mobile, light-weight version of the classic city-building game I played as a kid in grade school on those old gray macs that looked like tall toasters.

It begins slowly, making some boring buildings with metal and wood, then it gets more and more beautiful, then you’re putting up police stations, beach areas and landmarks, and soon, you have a city with a quarter million people!

I didn’t even realize my capacity to build, structure and redesign my city (aptly named Lilyville) until recently, until recently, until I could look up and honor that I’ve been completely exhausted, creatively physically and mentally, during our long trip. And that while nursing my kid to sleep, my phone-city, one with beautiful Parisian neighborhoods, tall skyscrapers, parks, beaches and mountain chalets, served as the happy place I could come back to and admire my work. Lilyville became my creative escape from the fact that little was being done on any other creative front aside from collecting ideas.

Try not to judge how you deal with stuff when exhausted.

It’s a precious waste of your precious time.

And If I’ve learned anything in these months of transition, it’s that your body and soul know what you need better than your head does, and in the light of pursuing what truly makes you feel good – as a litmus for your correct direction in life – allow the small joys that fill your day to be that.

Enjoy.

Rest and recover so that you can do your art, in any form it may take.

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