Recently, I read Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert which contains thoughts about the creative process, writers, writing, and challenges to the creative life. I never finished Eat, Pray, Love, but I really liked Big Magic.

She wrote about the importance of finding our own voices and expressing ourselves. The term “creative outlet” was used often. I got to thinking about creative outlets in my life such as playing the piano, writing, and dabbling I’ve done with painting and other arts over the years. These experiences help me in the moment to feel present and even happy. They do give me an opportunity to share something of myself.

As I thought, I decided that “creative inlets” are just as important to me. Just as inlets of water provide the right set of conditions for certain ecosystems, creative inlets provide the right set of conditions for ideas to grow, for healing to happen, and for beauty to refresh the soul.

I realized that I need to pay more attention to inlets. What am I inviting and allowing to flow inward to nourish my creative ecosystem? The world is sometimes harsh and the news brutal, but nature teaches us about seasons, ebbs and flows, and surprises us over and over with beauty. I think I need more time outside.

Thank you Two Writing Teachers and teacher-writers in this community.

7 thoughts on “Outlets or Inlets?

  1. I really like this idea of “creative inlets” and what we are allowing in. I especially love this imagery- “creative inlets provide the right set of conditions for ideas to grow, for healing to happen, and for beauty to refresh the soul.” I, too, need more time outside. Thank you for this!

  2. Sally talks of windows and mirrors, you share this useful idea of creative outlets and inlets. I love it. We have focused on our outlets but where do we get something to put out there? In the writing/quilt/music/painting/etc. I agree nature is probably our best source. It gives us material but also rejuvenation. But you have me wondering, are there other inlets in my life? Thank you for this lovely piece, and for sharing what you are learning about creativity.

  3. This blows my MIND. Creative outlets, creative inlets. I think you are absolutely, 100% ON to something here. What a fascinating perspective you’ve brought. THANK you!

  4. Such an important question to ask: “What am I inviting and allowing to flow inward to nourish my creative ecosystem?” What we consume surely influences our thoughts and emotions. I hope your weekend will provide plenty of inspirational inlets.

  5. “Creative Inlets”…. OMG – it’s what I’ve been doing for myself in the last 6 years since I realized my marriage wasn’t failing; it was already dead. This phrase helps me think through what I’ve been doing AND what I want to keep doing as I move forward. Thank you!

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