A few months ago, I decided to fast (take a break) from reading fiction until the completion of my thesis. I wanted to ensure I wasn’t wasting time with reading for pleasure instead of giving my creative energy to task at hand: my thesis. Needless to say, the harder I pushed myself to stay away from reading fiction the more writer’s block seemed to set in. I was making myself creatively desolate and miserable.
Sometimes, you have to throw away restrictions and live free. There are no formulas to success, no clear cut paths that lead you to your goal. Everyone’s journey is different. Part of us getting to the end goal includes the times we step off the path to do or see something new.
After a few months, I threw out the fiction fast and went to Barnes & Nobles to purchase The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. It’s a young adult novel about two teenagers who meet at a cancer support group for kids. I know, I know, it sounds sad and in part it is but, if you like a novel to shake your core, BUY THIS. It’s lighthearted in a lot of ways; after all it is a young adult book. But, it reaches a depth that speaks to the universal longings, pains, and struggles most people reading the book have faced. It’s genius. I’m in the fourth chapter and it’s been a perfect break from the piles of poetry books I was forcing myself to read.
This experience of writing my thesis and creating a schedule for creativity has taught me a valuable lesson. Creativity is free. I have to remember creativity is limitless; it is not bound by anything or anyone. It is the invisible and intangible “something” we chase after. I’m so glad I broke the fast, submitted one of my last revisions of my thesis, and bought this book.
If you’re in the same boat I was in, with putting demands on yourself, let them go. Live free! Be creative! Go with it, whatever it may be.