How to Recover Your Creative Mojo

What is it that you feel when a creative idea strikes you? Do you reach for a paper and pencil to jot it down? When you begin a creative project, what emotion surrounds you, drives you to do something with your idea? Do nerves zing under your skin, does your pulse race, your eyes glow as characters begin to unfold? Is it the same feeling in your gut, that sense of courage, of fearlessness, that seizes you by the heart as you complete your piece? Do you remind yourself of the question: Why do I create?

Excitement. Joy. Drive. Desire. Whatever label you attach to the feeling, are you familiar enough with it to allow the flow to direct your creative process? When we are in the flow, in the moment, there are few bumps and potholes in the road. Or, if there are, we seem more equipped to deal with them. But what happens when the bottom falls out of a project?

When a day or more slips by and we have not worked on our art, be careful about other feelings that might arise. Return as soon as possible to the characters and their conflict, the canvas, the instrument, but be wary of guilt. With guilt, comes doubt, and with doubt, criticism and judgment, followed by fear. And once that arrives on our doorstep and camps out in our spare bedroom, enormous amounts of effort will be required to oust the squatter.

Is there a project that you have abandoned? Try these steps to find the misplaced mojo:

1) Pick up the piece, look at it/read it, then close your eyes and reconnect with the feeling that first blossomed when the idea came to your mind and heart. The colors, the lines, the lyrics, the notes, the dance moves, the flavors, the characters, the sensual input... can you see it? Feel it?

2) Allow that feeling to soak into your pores, to fill you up, to direct your hand and return to the project and finish it.

3) Too far gone to get the feeling back? Has your perspective changed? Take something from the project and build anew. But grab that in which you are guided, what breathes the most excitement.

Plug back in to the sparking nerves, the fluttering stomach, the itching fingers that long to pick up the pen and scratch the words that feel stuck. Returning to the joy and fun that creating gives us, fuels our intention and encourages us to carve out the time and space to be artistic.Those unfinished projects deserve to see the light of day. If not, we would have never been given the inspiration to begin them.

Michele Venne published her first novel in 2008, which was followed by another five novels and two collections of poetry. All of her books include an introductory "Dear Reader" letter and concludes with "Questions to Ponder", as she encourages readers to contemplate their opinions and beliefs of societal ills. Michele lives near Cave Creek, Arizona, and devotes herself to the joys of riding her horses, tutoring, writing, and yoga.

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