Vacation Guest Blogger: Schmutzie

I have always loved this lady’s photographs. And then she launched a little thing called Five Star Friday, which is kind of like Best Week Ever, but better, because it’s all about sharing love with links. THEN she got all crazy and started Grace In Small Things – and even though I am ALWAYS too lazy to remember to post any of my grace [if I have any, that is] – when I see the logo around the web, and read the posts – it gives me a little lift. A little joy. And little spring in my step. This small little lady knows how to start big cool things. So pay attention.


If You’re Creatively Constipated, Get Off the Pot
by Schmutzie

Until very recently, I was suffering some pretty serious creative constipation. At least, it was serious for me. Outwardly, I appeared to be humming along at my usual pace, writing weblog entries and crocheting dolls and shooting photographs, but some areas of my creativity just weren’t going anywhere. My ukulele sat in its case unplayed. The books I wanted to write remained unwritten. My sewing machine gathered a healthy collection of dust balls.

It was frustrating. It was so frustrating, in fact, that it moved me to tears. I felt like a failure.

And then I went on a camping trip.

water over stones

For three days, I camped next to a burbling creek, took hikes in the woods, and swallowed my fear of spiders in outhouses, and over those three days, my brain started to wake up from its fuzzy half-sleep.

What was facilitating my creative reawakening?

stump moss

I put my faltering projects aside. I changed location. I did something different.

Even though the extreme beauty by which I was surrounded was in and of itself inspiring, I think any change would have worked to loosen up the marbles in my head. Sitting in the same chair and staring at the same computer screen and listening to the same radio programs produced a malaise, a lethargy, that needed to be shaken up. It’s easy to fall into a creativeroutine that stifles.

Creativity is a wild and moving force that needs room to roam.

I think that I am going to have paint this simple rule on my wall or tattoo it onto my arm to keep myself from repeatedly forgetting it: WHEN YOUR CREATIVITY IS SUFFERING, STOP. GO SEE THE WORLD.

three on a cliff

I hereby pledge to go watch people in the park, visit museums and art galleries, and take walks in unfamiliar neighbourhoods. I will pretend the city bus is taking me on a tour, eat food I’ve never eaten, and explore gutters for hidden treasures. When I cannot write or learn the ukulele or design a needlecraft creature, I will stop forcing myself to write and play music and crochet. I will honour my creativity’s freedom and let it see the world.

I will lie out on a lawn and bust clouds with my mind. I will take up ballroom dancing. I will peek in the windows of abandoned houses. And my creative joy will meet me on the way home.

This article has 11 comments

  1. Kerri Anne

    Love this. It’s so very true for me, too, that whenever I roam about on the outside, my insides start speaking to me again.

  2. Erin Alberty

    Absolutely agree. A single outdoor adventure can cure my self-esteem issues, pessimism, bad moods, neuroses. It’s not that it’s all undone. It just stops mattering long enough to get back to healthy pathos.

  3. MPPs Mom

    Wonderful motivation! Truly.

    And thanks for guest posting for aimee today!!!

  4. Danielle

    Very inspiring. I often forget to step back when hit my creative wall. Thank you for the reminder.

  5. wordnerd

    “I will lie out on a lawn and bust clouds with my mind.”


  6. Headless Mom

    Oh Schmutzie. You are a wonder.

    Thanks, Amiee, for having her over!

  7. lynn @ human, being

    you are very wise for being younger than me.

    When I’m blocked I go for a long walk until I’m unblocked. Kind of like fiber for the creativity.


    Look! It’s two of my favorite bloggers in the same place! (Are you both thoroughly buttered up now?) Seriously. I love this post. It’s a great reminder!

  9. Cassandra Rae

    “Creativity is a wild and moving force that needs room to roam.”

    Simply beautiful! This is my first time to your blog (found you on networked blogs on FB because some of my FB friends follow you) and I have to admit I’m in love! What great words of creative wisdom.

  10. Tree

    I am in love with a new (to me) writer now. Thank you!

  11. monstergirlee

    Great post. Sometimes when I realize I haven’t taken a photo in over a week, I’ll round up the kids and go for a Momma Photo Walk. Knowing I haven’t an ounce of inspiration in me, but it so helps to burst that bubble.
    Thanks Aimee for having Schmutzie on your blog.

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