Letting Joy Lead the Way
Following its breadcrumb trail to unknown destinations
It’s officially fall here in Seattle—here we go, sweater weather/spooky season/pumpkin spice overload time! Usually, this is when I buckle down and return to the writing projects that languished during summertime, but this year I’m trying something a little different.
I took last week off from writing a newsletter, thinking I’d spend that time getting organized and maybe breaking ground on a few lengthier posts I’ve been wanting to write. But the muses had a different plan for me, and I ended up completing a poetry project that I started in midsummer. I’d been totally stuck on it until I stumbled across several seemingly random but actually interconnected bits of inspiration, and it all finally clicked.
Once I figured out what it wanted to be, I got… a little obsessed with finishing it. This is the thing about creative projects for me—once I really get rolling on something, I do not want to stop until it feels done. Which is part of the reason why I’ve needed to take a long break from writing novels. Ten years of that restless feeling, that itch begging to be scratched all the time, was quite exhausting!
But, oh, how satisfying to complete a project, to get to a place where you can feel it whisper, yes, this is how I was meant to be expressed. Because this is only possible if you keep a loose grip, if you don’t force it to contort into some shape that doesn’t fit, if you let go of all your needs for social approval and really listen to what it wants to be, then do your best to carry it into this world.
When I was reflecting on this experience and envisioning what I want the coming season to look like, I thought, more of this, please! More following my intuition, in all aspects of my life, but especially when it comes to creative pursuits. I’ve always been a bit of a dabbler, and right now I’m feeling the desire to expand my horizons. I want to embrace the dabble! And spend my time not just working on the memoir I’ve had on the back burner, or these newsletters, but to make multimedia art, and get together with friends for tea, and cook ambitiously, and sew some things, and sit outside in the rain or the sun (or both!) as the days get shorter.
This is a time of immense change for me, so it feels extra important to make room for everything—no matter how small—that brings me joy. I’ve heard it said that “joy is the breadcrumbs the universe leaves to guide you down your path.” I love this idea, especially since I have a constant inner narrative of all the things I should be doing. But what if all I really need to do is pay attention to whatever brings me that glorious rise of energy, follow that wherever it leads, and trust that this is exactly where I should be?
Of course, even with all my dabbling, it will always come back to writing for me. And there are definitely a few newsletter topics I’ve been itching to work on! But they’ll also require lots of time and thought, and I don’t want to rush them. So, things may be a bit more sporadic around here, but I’ll still aim to post at least twice a month.
What’s bringing you joy these days? If you were to follow its breadcrumb trail, where would it lead you? Let me know your thoughts!