It’s summer. For me, summer means creating things in mud. It means a lot of other things, too: More writing time. Late sunsets. Blackberry picking. Fireworks. Mosquitoes. Coffeeshop meetings with old friends in town to visit family. And so on. But with four jobs and family and all the crazy that entails, it is only in summer when my schedule opens enough for me to really concentrate on my pottery. Not just do special orders when I catch a Saturday free. I mean really play in the mud.
This summer I’ve been able to work enough in the studio that I’ve refined a new design for my coffee mugs. I’ve thrown mugs and brie bakers and bowls. Lots of them. Lots for me, anyway. One day I’ll have the time to throw hundreds of mugs and get fantabulously good at it, but right now I’ll take what I’ve got.
The real perk of all this creative clay time is what it does to my writing creativity. The pottery studio and the gym have become my best outlets for out-of-the-box thinking. I don’t think it’s any coincidence that my breakthrough with Memento Mori came about the time I got back into both the gym AND the pottery studio. The physical release of doing something so wholly unlike my usual routine opens up back doors and trap doors to my storytelling center, that would otherwise (I think) remain sealed.
So I guess this off-the-cuff post is really to say one thing: That every writer needs to indulge in other creative pursuits now and then — which is old wisdom, and said ten kijillion times before, mostly because it’s absolutely true. But it’s a different thing when you learn (or revisit) a truth experientially. And for me, that re-visitation comes every time I put my hands on clay.
What is YOUR creative outlet? Let me know in the comments!