By Natasha Hanova, WANA Commons.

After my creative dry spell, I’m trying to move more slowly. I’m still not sure what caused this fallow period, whether it was creative burnout, or frustration with my path, or self-doubt, or if the well had simply run dry and needed to be refilled. Or perhaps some combination of these factors.

I do know that as I move forward, I’m going to proceed slowly. I’ve started a new project, and I was half-tempted to jump in NaNo, but then I realized that a writing marathon isn’t what I need right now and that I could end up back where I was a month ago, unable to write—or to do anything creative, really.

I also know that I want to live a creative life—to write stories and poems, to write spells and rituals and add pages to my book of shadows, to try new recipes and decorate my home with care. And to spend time in nature—because nature is the most creative force of all, and it is a great source of inspiration and renewal to me. I am coming back to that after a frozen period, and like the return of spring, the thaw is gradual—but even the first tiny flower clinging to the earth, or the slightest warm breeze, brings with it the promise of summer sunshine.

That being said, I have made progress this week. I wrote 1,250 words in Entwined Magic and have been more active on Facebook and Pinterest—I even pinned my published works to a new Pinterest board, with links to Goodreads for more info. And I’ve decided to change the name of my current series from “Into the Faerie Forest” to simply “Faerie Forest”—because while the first one has a nice ring to it, it’s awfully clunky once you see it on Amazon.

I’m reading two books about creativity/writing: Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert, which is helping me reflect on the nature of creative living, and Just Write by James Scott Bell, which is getting me back into thinking about craft. I’ve loaded a fair number of new stories onto my Kindle and hope to dig into some of those in the coming days. I’m especially excited to read Rose Red and Black Bear by Gwen Williams.

So that’s what this round of ROW80 is all about for me: creative renewal. Exploring new stories and playing with language, getting a couple short stories out into the world, and reconnecting to other avenues of creativity—such as working on my book of shadows, doing some guided meditation, and trying new recipes.

What about you? What helps you renew and reengage with your creative side?