MOJ Book CoverTen years ago, I started work on a novel.

I worked on it off and on for about three years, and then had my first child.

All work stopped.

Somehow, after the birth of my son, I lost every bit of will to write that I possessed.  It was strange, actually, as if I were pouring all of my creative energy into my child and there was nothing left over for the book.

Then, a mere sixteen and a half months later, my little girl burst onto the scene.  And the exact opposite happened.  I was overflowing and couldn’t wait to start writing again.

But, alas, I had two children under two in my care and time was scarce.

Fast forward about a year.  I had recently undergone a laparoscopy for endometriosis and I was seeing a naturopath for regular Arvigo massage to try to minimize the scar tissue and promote healing.

As she massaged my belly, the practitioner said, “You know, there is a theory that endometriosis can happen when the body wants to create.  The idea is that the body’s so eager to create life that it just kind of goes haywire without an outlet.  Do you feel like you have plenty of opportunities to be creative in your life?  I’m not saying that we can prevent or cure anything, but it’s an interesting theory and if that speaks to you, then maybe it’s something to consider.”

Well, it spoke to me.

Her suggestion was that I take up crayons with the kiddos and draw whenever they do.  Little did she know how utterly frustrating drawing is for me.  I can see these beautiful images in my head and my hands just don’t cooperate with me.

Words are where I find my comfort.

So, armed with her advice, I intentionally carved out more and more time to write.  Sometimes the experience was cathartic.  Sometimes I got three words down before I was interrupted.  Sometimes I didn’t write for weeks and spent my kids’ entire nap re-reading what I’d written last time so I could remember it.

But, I was creating.  And it felt good.

After fits and starts and a few babies in-between, I finished said novel, had some amazing friends serve as “early readers,” and shopped it to agents.

Along the way, my entrepreneurial-minded husband implored me to just self-publish. He made a compelling argument that instead of spending my time trying to land an agent – who was only interested in a blockbuster – I should use that time to get this thing to market on my own and then start writing the next book.

I balked and hemmed and hawed.  And the book just languished on a shelf.

It is a very, very scary thing to put a piece of yourself out there in the world!  And, it’s not something I think I could have done ten or even five years ago.

I finally committed to getting the project to market and it is available at most all online booksellers.  I’d love for you to give it a read if contemporary fiction is your thing.  I like to say it’s a complex, contemporary love story set in the South.

But now that this piece of me is out there, I challenge you to think about the ways that you create.  Do you draw, paint, dance or sing?  Do you invent?  Build forts?  Make up fun games?  Do you throw fabulous parties or tell stories to your children?

I don’t know whether or not I believe that a failure to exert my creative energies caused or contributed to my endometriosis.  But, I do know for certain that for me, writing and letting my mind run with stories is an important component of my own personal wellness.  When I don’t tend to that part of my garden, something withers and I suffer.

You can find links to my book – [amazon_link id=”B00GEKA0X2″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]The Myth of Jake[/amazon_link] – on my FICTION page.  I’d love for you to give it a read.  If you like it, please consider leaving a review. They matter when it comes to online sales.

To add The Myth of Jake to one of your Goodreads shelves, click here:

The Myth of Jake

And, if this idea resonates with you – that failure to cultivate your creative self can cause physical issues for you – let us hear from you in the comments, on Facebook or via Twitter.

3 Responses to “Cultivating Our Creative Selves : The Myth of Jake”

  1. on 06 Nov 2013 at 5:50 pmCharlene Ross

    Hey Kristine,

    I just read you comment of Jessica Gottlieb’s “Timeliness” blog post and popped over here. I found this post so intriguing because I have traveled a similar path with my novel (started closer to 13 years ago). I am now in the process of shopping an agent, but self publishing is very alluring.

    I just purchased your book and look forward to reading it. (Though admit I have a little stack in front of it, so it may take a month or two.) If I like it -and I’m sure I will, it sounds great- I’ll be happy to review it on Amazon and goodreads for you. (I never give bad reviews – I know how hard writers work.)

    I hope your book does well and I’m so glad that you were able to create.

  2. on 06 Nov 2013 at 6:58 pmKristine Rudolph

    Please do pop in from time to time to let me know how the process is going for you. And THANK YOU for the offer of a review. I was just telling my mother how the process of writing and publishing has transformed the way I approach others’ work. I am so much more eager to be supportive than before. Not that I was unsupportive before, just that I will go more out of my way now to be supportive than I would have.

    Best wishes and happy writing!

  3. […] of missing things, I hope you didn’t miss my post about publication of my novel, The Myth of Jake.  I’ve had so much fun discussing the characters and themes with my friends.  If you all […]

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