Senior year of high school I wrote about myself as “Yellow Girl.” I wanted to drink paint and coffee until I smelled like acrylic plastic and thought exclusively in caffeine-fueled monologues. My favorite creator memories are staged over my dining room table, glue in one hand and an Exacto-knife in the other. I wore sports bras and put my hair in a pixie-pony to minimize the sensory distractions around me. I was determined. I poured clear varnish over a chalk pastel drawing and markered out “Work Ethic” on top.
I am struggling to find that momentum again. I told my creative writing professor, after realizing I had started both of my semesters this year with essays on exhaustion, that my portfolio theme would be tiredness.
In the two weeks before break, I’ve made it a goal to write two-hundred words of non-academic writing a day. I’m on day four. I missed day three. It’s going to look awkward in my bullet journal.
Growth is awkward.
Growth looks like reusing a leaking Starbucks coffee bottle to bring water to work instead of more caffeine. It looks like peeling my body out of bed early to reread homework articles. It looks like writing under hot ugly lights and reading with headphones stained pink.
Over break my goal is to maintain writerly practices.
I’m going to write three hundred words a day and make time to read.
It might look awkward, but it might also look lovely. When I start my writing routine at home I make matcha tea in my favorite mug shaped like an owl. I light a candle or start a diffuser. I make sure I’m wearing warm clothes, so I don’t get cold sitting still. Then, I start to write. Piece by piece I make something lovely, just like I did when I worked on collages.
If I can’t focus in my home, filled with happy loud folks, I go to my library. I gather inspiration from the book stacks and the local cryptid, a real-life mummy kept in one of the library rooms. I sit by other writers on the shelves and buckle into warm production.
I hope my peers, as tired and stressed as they may be from midterms, take time to make beautiful things as well. Pick one small piece to start, and build off it. Find time to visit your local library or museum to inspire you. Rest, and then make a nest for creative sparks to burn in.