After going through Hurricane Harvey this week, I wanted to talk about creativity in the storm. Here are some thoughts on how creativity works in hard times.
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A week ago I was in California speaking at Podcast Movement. The weather was 75 degrees. Sunny. Breezy. AMAZING. I started getting calls about the weather.
“Are you coming home?”
“You know we’re getting a hurricane, right?”
“You should really come home.”
Living in Houston, you get used to hurricanes. We weathered through Hurricane Ike when Sawyer (my oldest) was a few months old. It was a harrowing night with high winds making the giant oaks outside bend to the ground.
We made it, but lost power for a few weeks with trees downed all over town and some rising water. It was a mess. But you get used to the warnings.
Hurricane Harvey Was a Jerk
By now we’ve all heard how Harvey was beyond normal. I’ve heard it called the worst natural disaster in US history. Houston tends to flood anyway and getting trillions of gallons dumped on it in a weekend could not have ended well.
A few days later and we have sun again, shining down on all the piles of carpets and furniture by the curb. Some neighborhoods still have five or more feet of water. Up over the doors and windows.
Grocery stores actually have food on the shelves.
Roads are opening.
Helicopters are flying overhead.
Military convoys are parked at the football stadium.
Every other pickup truck has a boat in the back.
These are strange times.
Creating in the Time of Storms
Whether you are facing a literal storm or some other kind of hard time, creativity can flow…or get stuck.
For me, it’s therapy. In the worst moments of the storm, I felt peaceful. But since, I have woken up terrified that water was coming in my children’s rooms. I cried in the grocery store today to see food on the shelves.
I don’t always process in the here and now. Writing? Helps me process.
But it isn’t always that way. Sometimes you might get stuck instead. For now, I’m without childcare, so some of my creative things literally WILL be stuck. I have less than half the time to create. When I have the time, I want to write. I want to get back to the podcast and to connecting with my people.
Whether you thrive or get stuck in the storms, it’s okay!
YOU ARE NOT A SLAVE TO YOUR CREATIVE WORK.
Rather, it’s something that should bring a benefit to YOU. It should be life-giving.
That means No guilt if you don’t want to be creative for a bit. If you need a breather, it’s okay.
So whatever your storms this week, this month, this year, I HOPE that your creativity helps you flourish in it. But if it begins to feel burdensome instead, take some time off. Refresh. Then return when it feels more life-giving to you.