I am a bear. Hibernating. That’s what my wife tells me. That’s interesting, I thought. What are the symptoms?
Well, growing my hair for one thing. Not shaving. But, more importantly, drawing all my energy inwards. Not leaving the house unless I absolutely have to and, when I do, being a little grumpy about it until I get back to my cave.
I mean, house.
Hibernating. Well, it’s just that time of year, isn’t it? I’ve always liked the idea of hibernation, particularly as Irish Winters are just grey and a bit miserable. I’m not the only one who likes the comfort of home during the Winter, right? You can relate, I’m sure.
According to my wife, this isn’t really about the Winter. This is about creativity. And she’s probably right. You see, I have been creating and writing a whole new project over the last couple of months. In the last few weeks, I have been buried in stories and they are totally taking over. I’m thinking about them constantly, getting ideas during the night when I’m supposed to be sleeping and generally working through characters, plots, jokes and songs.
Apparently I do this every time I get stuck into a new project.
I love it.
And I don’t find it difficult when it’s the right project. But, even though I don’t find it difficult… it is difficult. It’s more that sometimes I don’t notice how difficult it is. I’m writing fun stories and really enjoying it, not realising that most of my other functions are shutting down to redirect my energies to the creation of a new life. And if that life is born and the project goes into production, I will soon find myself a member of normal society again.
And I’ll get a haircut.
I never noticed that I did this. The hibernating thing. And yet it’s really important to recognise it, I think. Because it’s a testament to just how difficult the creative process is. When it feels difficult, when it’s struggle (and it often is), it’s important to know that it’s okay – it feels difficult because it is. And when it feels easy, it’s also important to realise that those energies still have to come from somewhere. And it’s okay to retreat to your cave for a while.
So, for right now, I’m just hibernatin’. And that’s okay.