Mornin’, y’all. Happy to see you at the Back Fence where we are now officially in Spring, thanks to Daylight Saving Time. Our actual weather is another story, but I am grateful for more sunny days. That means even though the temperature is still COLD, warmer temps aren’t too far behind. Usually. According to the local weather forecast. Which is subject to change. Probably. Sigh.
If you’ve ever struggled with Seasonal Affective Disorder, I have a story to share today. Did y’all know that SAD is often called winter blues or winter depression? I reckon it could affect people in the summer too, but most of the time it’s caused by lack of sunshine during the winter. It’s also one of the reasons many residents from the northern states (snowbirds) spend winters in the South. There’s nothing depressing about warm, sunny days to this transplanted Texan. However, not everyone leaves the dreariness of the North when the first leaf drops in the Fall. The people who stay, especially those of us born and raised under the Texas sun, have a tough time getting through the long, gray winter days, not to mention the freezing temps. In case you didn’t notice, this gal’s not lovin’ winter. At all.
Fortunately, I have a terrific family who understands my deep blue funk. They don’t like it, but they understand. I’m also blessed with an awesome bunch of BFFs who happen to be my support group as well as my writing critique group. Unfortunately, they can’t do anything about the weather, but I know they always have my back.
After witnessing my ongoing stress for several months as I hit a brick wall after brick wall with my book’s plot, my family sent me on a cruise to the Bahamas with orders to take advantage of the Me Time to reclaim my creativity again. Actually, what they said was, “Mom, you really need to get out of here.”
Tempted by the thought of being pampered by the ship’s staff and having no decisions to make except the awesome choices on the dinner menu and whether I wanted my drink shaken or stirred (in this case, with or without umbrellas) I agreed. Somewhat uneasy about leaving certain situations at home behind, I set off with my daughter-in-law, two adult granddaughters, their friend and my niece for a big girls get-away.
Sunshine? Oh, I got my dose the first day at sea. Food, drinks, no problems. I took advantage of occasional quiet time to write scenes that came to me in light-bulb moments. I rearranged scenes, moved characters into a different part of story and even had a visit by an unexpected character who insisted on joining the story. I had arguments with my inner editor and learned to turn it off. Did I want this scene to happen here or there? Should this clue be given now or later? Did I want my drink shaken or stirred? Right or wrong, the choices were mine to make, so I did.
Know what I discovered on this odyssey to find my creativity again? Freedom . . . to open my mind and let the creative juices flow wherever they wanted . . . to stop trying to force its direction and just once, go with the flow . . . to take chances with whatever idea popped into my head, especially the ones that push the edge, and know that I have freedom to change any part that doesn’t work. Garbage in, garbage out. Simple.
Freedom . . . to sit on the beach in a clamshell, frosty drink nearby, pull out ordinary paper and pencil and write down my daydreams . . . to watch the others frolic in the ocean and soak up their daily dose of sun while I absorbed the absolute beauty of the private island, Half Moon Cay . . . to discover my creativity well hadn’t run dry, after all. It had simply been waiting for me to decide if I wanted it shaken or stirred. So I decided. And like any good writer, I won’t reveal the spoiler. But I’m writing again.
So I ask you this. Would you go on such an odyssey? What would you hope to find? After you ponder on this a while, leave a comment and share your thoughts.
See y’all next time here Across the Back Fence. Y’all come back, ya’ hear?