It’s more than half way through October. Normally, I’d be deep into a Halloween project, working like mad to get it done in time for either a party or trick-or-treat night.
Not this year.
Two weeks ago, it was glorious weather, the perfect time to put up Halloween decorations outside. But I couldn’t get motivated enough to do it.
My favorite holiday rolls around and I have no new ideas that have been simmering in my brain since Summer? No wish to transform our home into creep-central? No burning need to scare the neighborhood children?
What was wrong with me?
I felt horrible. I may even have raided the trick-or-treat candy stash.
Finally, I figured it out.
For the last few months, I’ve put a lot of creative energy into my writing. Dreaming up characters and plot twists has pushed aside the ghoulish ideas that normally play in my subconscious this time of year.
Then, I remembered a blog post I read a while back: How Life is Like a Stove: My Secret for Juggling Multiple Passions by Melissa Dinwiddie at Living A Creative Life. Imagine cooking a big holiday meal. Melissa explains that “a skilled cook can keep four burners going at once quite handily, shifting pots from front to back burners as necessary.”
A person can only focus on one pot at a time, so the others get moved around the stove, maybe to lower heat, so they don’t scorch. Some pots may eventually get moved off and new ones put on, but the pots are in constant rotation on the stove.
Think of the pots as your separate creative pursuits.
So, following this theory, my pot of creepy goodness only slid to the back burner and the writing pot of fabulosity was pulled to the front. The Halloween pot is still there, simmering quietly on the back burner until next year or the year after. When I feel the appropriate stirring in my soul, then I’ll pull it back to the front burner.
I haven’t lost my Halloween mojo after all!
So, after I calmed down, I was able to formulate alternate Halloween plans:
From now until the big day, I will write my little heart out, with some time taken to carve pumpkins, with my kids’ help, and to attend my sister’s party this weekend (in last year’s costume). Halloween day is a NO WRITING day. Thing1 will help me set up for trick-or-treat night since she only has one class that day. Though we won’t have new decorations, we’ll have the stuff that’s earned us compliments previous years.
And I’m happy with that.