Is Your Creativity on Tortoise Time?

Dear Creativity,

I have a confession…

I cannot contain the ideas. Okay, you already knew that since we have been in partnership since I was a child. Let’s see, there were god’s eyes, hand-made books, hand-sewn plushies, Halloween costumes, cooking experiments, room makeovers, digital stories, memory books, photo challenges, digital design business, tech coaching, creativity for educators business, mixology during the pandemic, podcasting, watercolor painting, offerings for wannabe creatives, and let’s not forget the desire to build a hydroponic herb garden. The list is long and this is just the tip of the iceberg. I have ideas, but the need to pause is strong and necessary. Since my ideas are in constant generation, I am led to wonder…

How do you honor and nurture all the ideas, when your creativity feels like it is moving at a tortoise’s speed? How do I win the race?

Thank you again for reminding me that it is about the journey, not the destination. I can partner with you, Creativity, in many beautiful ways, on my trip to make these ideas take flight. Ultimately, I might be pleasantly surprised by what magic greets me on the other side of the finish line.

Carious turtle scupltures in a race
Image Story: A fraction of Dr. Abigal’s turtle collection racing towards a finishing line (paper towel tube and ribbon). A little play was necessary to accompany this letter.

Image Story: A fraction of Dr. Abigal’s turtle collection racing towards a finishing line (paper towel tube and ribbon). A little play was necessary to accompany this letter.

Currently, with the need to pause, I feel like I am on the journey of a tiny tortoise. Like a hatchling making its way to the sea, sometimes our creative ideas start small and vulnerable. Each step forward, no matter how minute, is a triumph. This tiny tortoise reminds us that even the smallest progress is significant in our creative evolution. I may have to pause from moment to moment, but I am making progress toward breathing life into my ideas.

As time moves forward perhaps I will grow some long tortoise legs. Imagine a tortoise with unusually long legs, able to take larger strides. This represents those moments when our creativity surprises us, moving faster than we expected. It’s a reminder that sometimes our ideas can gain momentum and carry us further than we anticipated. Those tiny tortoise steps at some point grow stronger and longer and I will have to take the courage to leap for the big gains to happen

Currently, the group of tortoises on the creative journey is what keeps me moving forward. Picture a group of tortoises, each moving at their own pace but all headed in the same direction. This symbolizes the community of creatives, each on their unique path but sharing a common goal. It reminds us that we’re not alone in our creative struggles and triumphs. This is why I focus on building community, whether that is the current configuration I support on Facebook in the Innovation Sanctuary: Move From Burnout to Creativity and Joy group. Or between you and me, Creativity, the membership community that I am going to launch soon. A space that will provide wannabe creatives like myself, a place to start and finish projects, sustain a joyful creative practice, and embark on a journey to let their ideas take flight. Creativity is something we were not meant to do alone.

Regardless if I am one of these tortoises or a combination of them all as I embark on my creative journeys they teach us that creativity has many faces. Sometimes it’s slow and steady, other times it surprises us with its speed, and often it’s a shared experience. Embracing all these aspects can help us navigate our creative journey with more patience and understanding.

Creativity, you have taught me that with community, a bit of accountability, and plenty of ideas there is an abundance of big magic to unfold when the time is just right.

Innovatively yours,
Dr. Abigail