Creative Time



Today I drove myself crazy thinking about all the writing and creative projects I wanted to do. When will there be time? How much time do I really have? I know some projects can go on and on and take a lot of time.

When great ideas come I am so excited. Then that wonderful other half of my mind will tear into me. “There’s not enough time in your life to do it so why bother?” It pulls me out of the clouds and tells me to just forget it. That can send me into a tail spin because then I start to think about the limits of time, energy, and age. I believe it all. And what about my other interests like hiking in the woods, spending time with grandkids, going out to dinner. It makes me frantic. It makes me want to hurry through everything.

Yes, I am doomed to failure. THERE WILL NEVER BE ENOUGH TIME!


Then I remind myself that as long as I choose to spend my time in creative activities and activities I enjoy, I will be fine. There will be time. I have always been creative and I always will. Not one day goes by without writing or creating something.

If a project takes longer or I do not get it done when I think it will get done, I need to remember that it is the actual writing/ creating in the moment that brings me pleasure. The final product is a bonus. Because I will then move on to the next great thing. As long as I am spending those moments doing what I love, I am fine.

I look back and see that I have been living a creative life all along. It’s not what doesn’t get done that matters. It’s about enjoying myself in the moment, creating and discovering my life moment by moment.

As I started to feel better, I serendipitously stumbled across these words of wisdom by the Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu:

Nature does not hurry
Everything is accomplished


Writing is Always Worth It


When leading a class on Creating a Writing Habit recently, I was once again reminded about how when you are writing, the creative imagination may not always be there when you want it, but that in the end, by keeping at it (writing), it will always be worth it,

Even during our driest days, writing is always worth it. Because if you stick to it, if you are persistent, inspiration peeks its shy face out and gives you the best beaming smile you could ever imagine.

It reminds me of Brenda Ueland’s classic book, If You Want to Write. In it she writes, “Everybody is talented, original and has something important to say.” Her words are just as encouraging to any writer today as they were when she wrote them in 1938.

Those words are what I try to tell writers in my class.

So in that same writing class, a woman shared her own words about our class. — the atmosphere, the people and the community that formed in just a brief six weeks.

She graciously agreed to let me share her words here.

Thanks Mellany for capturing the mood of what a writers workshop does for all of us as we strive to continue to write and to develop a writer’s habit.

And thank you class for a wonderful experience!

What really made that night special was that they understood.

Writing is worth it.


My Writing Class

by Mellany Zepelak

It could almost begin like a joke: a Rabbi, a Kenyan, and a Christian walked into a writing class… Yet it’s not a joke. It’s fact. Add to that a lady from Argentina, a lady who is a professional class taker, a pilot, an artist, a lady who’s taken this class before, and an open, encouraging instructor; and that sums up the remnant of class since the first day.
This has been a blessed experience. I’ve found extensive creativity – What is ever going to happen to that guy at the bar? Discovery – knowing where we’re from and reflecting on those we won’t see in this life again. Raw honesty – how hurtful people can be. There has been mystery – Who took the candy bars? And fear – X marks the spot. There’s also been humor along the way.

All the while each for their own vision and purpose seeking to create and sustain a habit of writing. Where will these writings go? What will become of their practiced habits? Who will the writers themselves become as a result of their writing? Future time and the consistency (or lack thereof) of the habit will answer these questions.
In the midst of it all I’ve learned the beauty of listening to and encouraging others in what is important to them.

I’ve learned about the Shivah and the beauty of grief and reflection. I’ve learned about Kenya and how it can still be home to an American. I’ve learned about bravery from a lady writing in her second language. I’ve learned about word play, repetition, and fun. I’ve learned the great gift of doing something for myself in a season when most of my day consists of doing something for others. I’ve learned writing is an adventure, a gift, an opportunity, and a responsibility.
I’ve learned that gathering in a room with many different than me in age, talent, preferences and more, can teach me, humble me, and bring forth growth within me. I’ve learned that God has a time for everything and the time to grow in writing is now. And I’ve learned that He’ll use many around me to hone the craft. Like perhaps a Rabbi, an American Kenyan, a lady from Argentina, a professional class taker, a pilot, an artist, a lady with an established habit who has taken the class before, and an encouraging instructor.