For me, winter has often been an extremely creative time, as outward activities slow down and there is more time spent indoors. I have ideas coming thick and fast. This year, as the beautiful Indian summer we were gifted with dropped down into winter proper, and festivals and camps – of which there was a gorgeous abundance this year – wound down back into ‘normal life’, I found myself at the cusp of a new phase in my long-term Wild Motherhood project. I’d just completed a copywriting assignment for Ripe and Ready, writing 40 articles on a variety of mind-body topics from cacao ceremonies to qi gong to floatation tanks. I loved this project and it was so rewarding to be working with others (even if only virtually!) and writing about things that interest me (as opposed to, say, epilators or engagement rings which have been previous web copy assignments!) – but it did keep me from doing much work on my own book and website, though I kept plugging away gradually in the background.
The Wild Motherhood website is nearly good to go now, so will be launching it in the new year and it will have its own blog for which I’ve got over 20 topics already, from Introversion and the Wild Mother, to Cycles of Creativity, to How to Deal with your Body not Keeping up with your Mind. With the help of some wonderful feedback – if a little brutal at times and hard-to-hear, but hey, that’s what’s needed – from another writer mother, I worked through the third draft of my Wild Motherhood book. It’s gone through some fundamental changes and I’ve become clearer on what it’s all about. I now face, of course, the fourth edit, since it’s still not ready and I’m a bit of a perfectionist – but I can live with that and feel this one will go a lot quicker.
I’m still thinking about whether to go through the whole trying-to-get-it-published journey, which can take years – or to put it into the world much much sooner in the form of an independently published E-book. I’m pulled towards the latter – being a bit impatient by nature and also aware that my ‘tribe’ has some way to go to be built to the extent that an agent and publisher would be willing to take me on. I would like to have the book out there and interacting with the world – and to build on that with future books. As a writer it can be a lonely process plugging away at something for years (as I have with this project) and not being able to bounce that creativity off others. I feel ready for that now – and yes, it’s scary. Putting some of my innermost thoughts and some controversial ideas about motherhood out into the wider sphere feels pretty frightening indeed.
But creating a small (hopefully expanding) ‘Wild Motherhood’ group on Facebook where creative and spiritual mothers can come to re-fuel, moan, inspire and support each other has helped me to take a small step to bridge that chasm. I’ve also run a few Mothers Writing and discussion groups for Mothers Uncovered in Brighton, which has been inspiring both in terms of my book and also – by listening to mothers of mostly babies – remembering how limited my creative expression was earlier in my son’s life – and how much more it’s been able to expand now that he’s older. Also on the creative front, I’ve started writing poetry again, thanks to re-connecting with Natalie Goldberg‘s words of wisdom and getting back into a regular free writing practice after a long time doing only ‘productive’ writing like articles. I’m working on a poem about Lewes for a Lewes-themed poetry competition, and have written a couple of other new ones, one of which – being a female-themed poem – I will trial at the Brighton Red Tent community performance fundraising event this weekend. I will also read an old favourite, ‘Meeting at Samhain’, about women at a sweat lodge.
What are your creative rediscoveries or completions this winter so far? What is slowly germinating under the surface of what can appear a cold hard surface? Wishing you happy winter creative expressions, whatever form they take and however subtle and inward they are.
Image: Red Tent art by Valoru – www.themoonandthewomb.wordpress.com.