Creative Outlets

I try to be a creative person. I feel better on days that I’ve done something creative. Mostly, that consists of writing, sometimes photography, sometimes it’s drawing or painting- though I’m not very good- but sometimes, it’s just daydreaming. I like to think that daydreaming is creative. I mean, it’s creating a story in your own head, why wouldn’t it be?

Weird enough, I get stuck in ruts of not being able to bring myself to be creative, even though I know I’ll feel calmer and more clear-headed after I do. I can’t seem to figure out what it is that stops me from creating. I’ll have Word open, or I’ll have my camera right next to me, I just can’t bring myself to create. It’s not a creative-block, though sometimes it is, mostly it’s just the fear of once I create this, it’ll exist and what if it’s bad? What if it’s not what I meant for it to be?

I’m scared to start over. I feel as though it’ll lose authenticity if I start from scratch again, or it’ll come out wrong, give off the wrong idea. People tell me it’s okay to create bad art because it’s still art whether it’s good or not and I can improve on it even though the thought is daunting. While I’m sure this is true, the idea of throwing away a piece of art feels as though I’m throwing away a piece of me. I know I need to work on this, as all artists sometimes have to alter their work, I just wanted to put it out there in case there are others who feel the same way.

On days where I cannot create because of this fear, I turn to daydreaming. That’s something I’ve never been afraid to alter if it begins to go down a path I don’t particularly like. In daydreams, anything can happen, it’s like writing a story, but it happens much faster and I don’t have to worry about proper spelling, grammar, or how compelling it is. It’s therapeutic in a way. No one else can see my daydreams and I find peace in that. I don’t have to worry about what other people think of it and maybe, if I like the daydream enough, I can turn it into a story. I can share it, but only if I want to.

The best part of daydreaming is that it can happen so fast or so slow, I can skip over boring parts or rewrite a line one person says if they don’t say it perfectly. It’s a perfect way to kill some time while still being creative. All daydreaming is boiled down to is another potential story to create, without actually having to write the story. Many of my ideas for stories or poems I’ve had have come from daydreams. It’s a beautiful thing.

I want to hear from you guys! What are your favorite creative outlets? What ways do you get your creative wheels turning?

Let the flowers grow

Let flowers grow inside you

in places you once thought 

could never see life again.

Let the emptiness inside your chest

be the soil that nourishes new life.

Let the earth take over 

fill sadness with hopefulness.

Bury your feet in the dirt

and know you’ll be fine.

Just because you feel alone

doesn’t mean you are.

They left you hollow and lost

but just because you’re empty now

doesn’t mean new life can’t grow.

LaurenWritesToo blog and life update

Hey, everyone! I’ve never made a real ~blog post~ here, and since this is technically a blog, I figured I’d start doing that every now and then.

I’ve been focusing a lot of my free time on writing, and with my job I don’t have a ton of free time. Plus, I’ll be going back to college starting in May, which gives me even less free time. I’ve also been dedicating a big block of my time to writing a book! I’ll get more into that later in this update, but it’s taking up a big portion of my time, so I thought my schedule needed some tweaking.

So, I’ve had this blog for about two months now, and I’ve been thinking a lot about where I want to go with it moving forward. I’ve been writing poems and short stories twice a week, and I’m thinking I want to change that up a little bit. Though I love the short stories, they take a while to make and I find it difficult with my job, school starting soon, and writing my book to make quality short stories on a weekly basis. So, I’ve decided to switch it to poems on Saturdays, a blog post on Wednesdays and whenever they’re ready, a short story on Wednesdays to replace the blog post.

So, my book:

I started writing it in January and the synopsis is a 21 year old girl who’s been baking her whole life, finally gets a job at a real bakery. It’s a slice-of-life story of her getting a crush on her coworker while also trying to rise to the rank of Head Baker. There’s ups and downs but ultimately it all comes down to one summer’s night. It is set on Cape Cod, Massachusetts, where I’ve lived my whole life.

I’ll post snippets from it from time to time, not necessarily straight from the story; sometimes it’ll just be writing exercises so I can further understand the characters.

If this story sounds interesting to you, let me know!

Summer mornings.

Hot dewy air,

fresh cut lawns,

birds chirping,

hopeful breezes,

unsure what today will bring

but it rained over night

and the humidity finally broke,

so maybe it’ll be a good one.

 

Sipping coffee outside,

groggily making plans.

Trees green and lush,

flowing in the gentle breeze.

Taking in the moment,

remember this feeling.

 

Winter is soon,

these trees will be white,

the breeze brutal.

No more sitting outside in the morning,

waking up and feeling whole,

so remember how good it feels.

The Grand Canyon (Part 2)

Our friend came out to us last night,

in an emotional speech surrounded by loved ones.

We were still on the road,

now in Nebraska.

She FaceTimed us and told us she was trans.

She had her friends over,

the moment felt right.

I wished I could’ve hugged her.

You and I talked about gender and sexuality for a while

well after the call ended.

I learned you once contemplated not being cis.

I did too, back in high school.

I told you I loved that we were still learning about each other.

You smiled and agreed.

We were on the road,

on a street we’d never seen,

in a car you only bought a month ago,

but I couldn’t have felt more at home.

Spring Sadness

It was the middle of spring,

Birds were singing, flowers in bloom.

I should’ve been happy,

Why wasn’t I happy?

Everything lush with color,

Everyone chipper and chatty.

Why couldn’t that be me?

What was holding me back

From enjoying spring to the fullest?

Could it be I’m just not over my depression?

Or is there something getting me down?

Winter seemed to breeze by,

I was sure I was over being depressed.

But now that the sun is shining,

And the air is warm,

I can’t help but wish I was someone else.

I daydream of running away,

Starting a new life with a new mentality.

It feels like I’m in so deep,

There’s no escape but to restart.

 

You’d think I’d know by now,

Running away only causes more problems.

Starting over only gets me so far

Because all my problems follow

And soon enough I’ll be in the same position

In a different location,

Daydreaming about running away again.

Grand Canyon (Part 1) a road trip we’d never forget

I didn’t eat breakfast.

You tell me, climbing into my car.

Don’t worry,

I respond,

We can stop at Dunkin’.

You smile.

It’s still early,

The sun hasn’t yet risen.

We’re early, too,

We could stop at the beach,

And watch the sunrise.

First, you need breakfast.

I pull into the drive-thru,

I order you a sandwich,

You don’t have to tell me what you want,

I know what you always get.

I order us both coffees, too.

We’re going to need it today.

 

We’ve got a long day ahead of us,

First you have the dentist,

Then I have therapy.

Then, we’re driving across the country.

We’ve saved money,

Calculated the hours it’ll take-

37, with no traffic.

We packed our bags,

Got the time off work,

Found a place to stay.

We’re staying with my friend,

He lives a half hour from the Grand Canyon,

And we’ve always wanted to visit.

He moved to Arizona two years ago,

We’ve hardly seen him since,

Never to visit him,

He’s only come back up to the northeast.

He introduced us to each other,

So we owe him this trip.

 

I’ve known him since high school,

You two met through mutual friends.

I was surprised we had never met,

We frequented a lot of the same places.

When he introduced me to you,

I knew right then.

 

We met a week before our friend moved away.

For a while that was all we talked about.

That grew into how we met our friend,

Which grew into discussions of high school and college,

Which turned into stories of high school and college,

Which turned into our hobbies,

Of which we had many in common,

Which turned into me showing you my favorite show,

Then you showed me yours,

And two years later,

We’re on a road trip to celebrate our anniversary.

 

I paid for our breakfast,

And drove us to the beach.

I made sure to go to one that faces the sunrise.

I’ve made that mistake before.

We ate our breakfast

while our favorite songs played through the speakers.

I was reminded of past dates,

Sitting in this exact spot,

Eating take-out and laughing at each other’s jokes.

I smiled blissfully at the thought,

knowing fully there were more of those moments to come.

The Never-Ending Race

I don’t know where to go from here,

It feels like I’m running a never-ending race.

Every time I think I’m at the finish line,

The road turns and shows another five miles.

There’s always obstacles,

There will always be.

I’m not surprised.

That’s how life is and I’m not complaining.

I just wish I could take a break.

I have these dips in my mood

Every couple weeks,

Where life becomes too much

I get overwhelmed

And I wish I could pause time.

Derek Westerly (Part 1)

I’ve never been one to care about mundane tasks. I always just hired someone for that. Cleaning my house? Hire a maid. Mowing the lawn? The neighbor’s kid could use an extra $20. I bought two cars in one year just because I wanted to. I was living my best life. But then my job went under. It all happened so quick; one minute we were on top of the world, the next we were bankrupt. 

I suppose I can blame it on the fact that we were a group of stupid 20-somethings who hadn’t run a business before, but no one could be prepared for what we went through. Everything was going so well, then there was the fire. Our whole building went up in flames in the night. Luckily, no one was hurt, but we never recovered. We got insurance money, and we thought for a while it was a blessing in disguise because we found this greatnew building in what seemed like a perfect location. There wasn’t a store like it for miles, and we quickly found out there was a reason for that: no one wanted it.

I try not to dwell on the past, but if I had been there the night of the fire… if I made sure the stove was off… if I moved the paper towels a foot to the left….There had to have been a reason for it. I’ve been racking my brain for a reason but come up empty every time. It’s taking a toll on my mental health. 

I’ve been applying for jobs elsewhere, but no one wants to hire some washed up, used-to-be rich kid whose whole business went under because of a bad location. My wife is still with me, bless her. I can tell it’s getting to her, too. She’s been picking up extra shifts at the hospital. I’m always home alone with the dogs, at least they’re happy. 

My wife tells me to look on the bright side, she’s always so positive. I love her for it, but honey, what could possibly come from this? It’s almost been two months and I haven’t had a single paycheck. I’m done with dead-end jobs, too, I need at least management. I can’t afford to live off minimum wage. The weather is starting to get better. The sun stays out later and it’s been warm enough for just a light jacket. That helps, at least a little. I’ve been taking the two pups for walks daily. Some days, if I’m feeling extra down, we’ll go for two. Or one long one. 

I’ve gotten friendly with the neighbors. We started just waving at each other when I passed them on my walks, but lately I’ve been stopping to chat. Last week, I had a cup of coffee with this nice elderly lady who lives at the end of the street. She has a tiny Chihuahua. He sat on my lap while we chatted. My two chunky, yellow Labrador Retrievers were unsettled at first, but they were given treats and they were satisfied.

She was very sweet. Her name is Nancy and her husband died a year ago, leaving her with a fortune, but she chose to live comfortably in the house they spent most of their lives in. She gave a lot of money away to charities and local businesses, but also invested a lot for herself. I asked her for advice. It wasn’t like me to talk to strangers so openly, but I hadn’t talked to another person besides my wife in two months and I was missing having friendships. All my coworkers from my old job moved back home with their parents, so I was left with nearly no one. Don’t get me wrong, I love my wife more than anything, I just was used to having platonic friends, too. 

Nancy told me to apply to every job I find, even if it’s less than what I want. She pointed out that I could probably move up in the career, I was a CEO after all. A CEO that failed, but a CEO nonetheless. Whenever I began talking down on myself, she stopped me. She made me say one good thing about what happened. 

At first, the only positive thing I could say was that the fire was warm. It melted the snow around us. I chuckled sourly. The insurance money was more than enough. If we did our research…. It was a learning experience. Her words, not mine. I agreed resentfully. There’s nowhere to go but up. That one I came up with. She smiled warmly, offering me another cup of coffee. I declined politely, I had to finish up this walk. We parted ways and I’ve stopped to chat with her for a few minutes every day since. Never that in depth, just her asking how the job hunt has gone and our dogs investigating each other. 

I did apply to a few places. Nothing major, just two sales jobs and a manager at the local coffee shop. The last thing I wanted was to work at a coffee shop in any sense, but I thought about what Nancy had said. It was better than no paycheck. 

One of the sales jobs called me in for an interview tomorrow morning. I planned on calling the coffee shop tomorrow after the interview. I didn’t want the coffee shop job, but I’d rather a manager than a sales person. 

I practiced the interview with my dogs. I smiled politely and shook their paws, chuckling slightly at the absurdity of it. I introduced myself and professionally went over my resumé. They tried to lick my face. 

“Sir, this is extremely unprofessional.” I laughed, patting their heads. I guess I could find joy in the little things, so I wasn’t totally hopeless. And now I have potential jobs in the works, even if the crushing weight of my past still hung over me. 

Nancy asked me last week if I wanted to start again with the business, but in a better location. I told her no, and I had thought about it a lot. It was in the past now, and even if I wanted to, all my partners moved away, I’d need a whole new crew. Not to mention, I lost all my money when we went under, I’d have to take out a loan and my credit has been decreasing rapidly. 

As depressed as I was, I’d never been one to dwell for too long. I pick myself back up after a grieving period and I get myself back out there. Yeah, I was bummed about the company dying, but it could’ve happened to anyone. We were young, just out of college, what else could you expect?

Maybe someday I’ll start a new business. I’ll figure out what the town is in need of and I’ll make some new friends who want to be involved, we’ll save up some money, and we’ll start over. This time, we’ll be thorough. We won’t be hasty for the sake of opening sooner. We had the money to hold us over a few months, we could’ve spent more time planning…. I digress.