A Few Of My Favorite Creative Things

This pandemic year has been like no other.  It so many ways, it has brought out the best, the worst, and everything in between.  In the midst of all those ups and downs, I did not manage to get much "work" accomplished.  Who am I kidding?  Honestly, I feel like in many ways, I accomplished little or no work at all.  BUT, in looking back over the year, I realize that my lack of accomplishment actually allowed me to accomplish something that's pretty important for a children's author.  Something that often gets pushed aside in our busy lives - Activities and past-times that cultivate creativity. 

Many of the hours I usually spend doing my "work" were spent doing things that I love, but things I often don't make time for in my usual, busy life.  Things that spark my creativity.  Things that inspire me.  Here are several of my favorites:  

Painting - This is something I've never really done in the past, and something I am not particularly good at, but I completed two holiday inspired paintings.

Reading more - As a writer, of course, I always read, but reading is something that easily gets squeezed out of my schedule when I'm in the midst of drafts and deadlines and general manuscript frustrations.

Watching The Crown - Getting engrossed in a series like The Crown is a pleasure I don't often allow myself when I have too much to do.

Crocheting - I find it such a satisfyingly methodic thing to do while listening to music or watching television.

Sewing - I often forget how much I love to sew until I take the time to get out my sewing machine and begin a new project.

All these things use my mind in such a different way than writing does and this almost always sparks something creative in me.  I found painting to be relaxing and almost felt it took me to a different place the way reading a good novel does.  Reading of course always inspires me because I find myself admiring the writing of other authors or getting ideas of my own from the stories I read.  Watching a series like The Crown reminds me how powerful it is when characters are written so well they become real.  And things like crocheting and sewing, as they set my mind in motion in such a unique way, seem to uncover new ideas in my imagination, almost like digging up buried treasure. 

Now that I have taken stock in my lack of accomplishment this past year, I have realized, overall, this has been quite a creative time for me.  It has made me thankful for all that "work" I didn't do.  It's likely that the hole in life left by the missing work, which I filled with a few of my favorite creative things, is more valuable than the work I normally might have accomplished.  

Happy Reading, Sewing, Crocheting, Painting, or Whatever Creative Thing You Like to Do,

Nancy J. Cavanaugh



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