If you are the artistic type, what do you do when you find yourself in a rut? I’m talking a really big rut.
Recently, I found myself stuck. Life threw some pretty heavy stuff at me and where I once possessed boundless energy and stamina writing in notebooks and banging away on my laptop for days on end, suddenly I couldn’t even bring myself to look at my laptop. It sat on my desk untouched for months, buried beneath junk mail.
Sure, some people can solider on. Just force yourself. Will yourself to write through your pain.
How I wish I were one of those people.
In my virtual book club, From Left to Write, I was drawn to this month’s novel, Carry Yourself Back to Me because the protagonist, Annie, finds her creative energy zapped. A successful singer-songwriter, she finds herself abruptly unable to sing or create music after her longtime boyfriend leaves her for another woman. Compounding to her heartbreak, one day her brother is thrown in jail for murder.
I won't give away if or how Annie gets her groove back (or any other details of the plot). But I will share something that helped give my artistic side a nudge.
Animals, especially horses.
My friend has a bunch of them. Horses bring a smile to my face and riding again (I grew up around horses) has energized and inspired me.
(Not to mention, horseback riding is excellent for your core.)
I love the whinny that reverberates throughout the air when Diesel, one of my friend’s horses, greets us. Or the way he bangs his head up alongside me, (apparently he always does this after a ride). I could sit on a horse for hours doing nothing other than gazing out into the amber hills of New Almaden, drinking in the musky smell from the mixture of leather and alfalfa.
Oh, I just love the smell of horses.
Riding clears my mind, enlivens my senses. I feel more alive. Free.
And suddenly I want to write.
What helps you break out of a rut?
Deborah Reed's debut novel Carry Yourself Back to M