Those Crazy Creative Phases

It’s been a couple of weeks since I last posted a blog, but honestly this retired grandma has been on an ambitious streak. I’ve stepped up my commitment to various writing-related tasks, as well as my new critique group and volunteer work. I’ve also attended some interesting Zoom workshops lately.

I don’t know about you but my life seems to revolve around internal cycles where I have a lot of energy and ambition to get things done for a few weeks—or even months—and then it diminishes. It doesn’t necessarily involve weather and seasons, although they might contribute.

During the low energy, unambitious phase, writing projects aren’t quite as important. I’ll have little interest in monitoring book sales or networking on social media. I still edit my book every day, but not for as long a period. Over the years, I’ve come to realize that the low energy phase always passes, so I don’t fret about it anymore. It’s perfectly okay to make more time for rest and reading, a lesson that has taken a long time to learn.

I’ve been in an ambitious phase since about the end of August, which means, I’ve finished a fair number of tasks, in and out of the house. Due to the terrible fires in the U.S., I did retreat indoors for several days when Vancouver’s air quality plummeted. My throat became dry, eyes stung, and I started coughing after only a couple minutes outside. My heart goes out to everyone south of the border who are suffering so much through this calamity.

The air improved enough over the weekend to go back outside and continue yardwork, but the rain has now returned big time and I don’t know when I’ll get back to the garden. Meanwhile, the photos below show some of the clearing I’ve been doing in the backyard, plus our first sunflower! We’ve also harvested a couple dozen of tomatoes.

Our first sunflower! We started late this year.
Slowly clearing the weeds. The yard was completely overgrown at one point!

Of course, there have been visits with our lovely little Ellie, who is pure joy and light. She’s adopting a wide range of expressions and sounds and is absolutely delightful.

I don’t know how long my ambitious phase will last—I never do, but that’s okay. I’ll role with it and see what happens. How about you? Does your creative life involve ambitious, or other types of cycles?

Author: debrapurdykong

I'm a British Columbia author who's been writing for over 30 years. My volunteer experiences, criminology diploma, and security work inspired me to write the Casey Holland transit security novels set in Metro Vancouver. I'm also a part-time facilitator in Creative Writing Workshops through Port Moody's Recreation program. Feel free to contact me at

14 thoughts on “Those Crazy Creative Phases”

  1. I really honour my feelings around activities, so do what I feel like doing . . . what brings me joy in the moment. When my muse is with me I write. When I’m musing, I walk or garden. Sometimes I just watch movies for inspiration. It’s all good. I think it’s good to be aware of our seasonal energy too. I love the rain because I can hunker down and let my introverted self roar . . . like today;)

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    1. Honouring your feelings is an excellent way to express it, Wendy. When I was with a traditional publisher, I always put pressure on myself to keep producing new books and doing whatever promotion was asked of me, regardless of the phase I was experiencing. Not a pleasant experience, but a really good learning tool.


  2. I used to get completely worn out with the creative phase and then I’d take a long break. Go on vacation if I could. I got good at estimating the time when I needed to stop and recharge so could book a break.
    It’s a normal rhythm in my opinion.

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    1. You might well be right, Julie. We all can’t be running at full speed with our writing all the time. Low energy periods are a good way to rejuvenate, but I think many of us aren’t tuned into the fact that it’s natural. Also, I think as we age or go through different things in our lives, those cycles can shorten or lengthen. We just need to be attuned to it and respect it.

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  3. I think the cycles make sense. My mind is always ambitious and spits out ideas and plans constantly, but after lots of work and progress on a (writing) project, I’m exhausted. Yet, if something isn’t finished or at a stopping point, I have to continue and that’s where productivity falters and I should take a break. Unlike you, I have not learned to be perfectly okay with making (more) time for rest and reading!

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    1. Thanks Liesbet,. I still struggle with making time now and then, but I’m also finding that aging is helping to change my perspective, not to mention what I can manage, physically and cognitively. These days, I’m okay with it. Next month, I might think the opposite 🙂

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