January has been a slog. My #JanNoWriStart began with gusto, but has petered out towards the end of the month. Rebooting this weekend on daily word count goals. But it is more than that. The simplest tasks take five extra steps. Layers of clothing weigh my steps down. My hair is flat, my mascara runs, and my knees ache. My attention span is limited (mildly put), and I have yet to finish a knitting project or book in this new year. I can cope with all of this, but this is the time of year when winter feels interminable.
So I indulge in creativity boosters. As I suspect I am not alone in singing the winter blues, I thought I would share some resources that help me.
1. The BBC Front Row Daily Podcast. Interviews with writers, actors, artists, directors, musicians and more. Part entertaining, part informational, all terribly British, this is one of my favorite podcasts. This week they are interviewing authors up for the Costa Book Award. Great stuff.
2. Binge watching TV shows. Have you seen Slings and Arrows? Did you watch House of Cards? Have you seen the original House of Cards? Have you heard about the Australian series Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries? Whereas too much TV is a problem when the weather is nice, I am a winter binge watcher. My annual Pride and Prejudice watching party is being scheduled for February.
3. Knitting simple projects. I am on a cowl spree. Bulky yarn, big needles, enough of a challenge to keep me interested, but not too hard. EVERYONE likes a scarf (or cowl). Knitting also helps me think, which is part of my writing process. For you it may be other craft projects, or scanning files, or cleaning out your closet. Something that lets you measure success, and gives you some meditative pleasure.
4. Pinterest. I am figuring out social media best practices, and how to use the tools, for all of the aspects of my life. Pinterest fascinates me. It is very visual–like virtual scrapbooking. I am still figuring out how it can be “useful”, but it sure is fun.
5. I watch this video. It helps reinspire me to sit down, and do the work.
Be safe and warm my friends.
Julie Hennrikus is a writer, art administrator, and teacher.