a peek inside the fishbowl

11 Jun, 2022

Friday after work

Posted by andrea tomkins in: Misc. life

I was talking to someone recently about creative work and the challenge of cranking out quality material when you feel absolutely brain dead. As someone who writes for a living this can be tough, for sure. When I’m approaching that feeling I try to switch tasks. So instead of writing, I’ll transcribe an interview, for example. It’s a quick fix which I jokingly refer to as procrastinating from work by doing other work, but for the most part, it works. I also have a good idea at what time of day my creative output is stronger, so I try to schedule interviews and writing around those times.

Our conversation turned to “writer’s block.” I find that image to be creatively harmful, if that makes any sense. Blocks seem like an obstacle, and obstacles may loom large and seem insurmountable. Instead I prefer to think of myself as a cup or a vessel that needs to be refilled when I’m running low. (I have written about this before.)

Mark went out last night so I had the evening to myself. I ate dinner in front of the TV, put in a load of laundry, walked Piper… now what? I had lots of options. I could watch more TV. I could read. I could clean something. I could fritter away time scrolling my social media channels. Those things were the easy things to do but I knew that what I really needed was to fill my vessel.

So I picked myself up, changed my clothes, unlocked my bike, and took off. The wind in my face felt glorious.

I didn’t go far. I biked to the beach and hung out for a bit.

Hanging out at Westboro Beach during golden hour

On the way home I detoured to Maplelawn gardens in Westboro, where I observed the last of the poppies. I had somehow missed them in their prime.

Poppies at Maplelawn

Poppies at Maplelawn

While I was there I spied a baby bunny spying on me. A wee mouse. A red-winged blackbird sitting on her nest. These sightings were my reward, I am certain. My cup feels a little fuller this morning.

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The Obligatory Blurb

My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark and our dog Piper who is kind of a big deal on Instagram. We also have two human offspring: Emma (23) and Sarah (21). During the day I work as a writer at The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999. The Fishbowl is my whiteboard, water cooler, and journal, all rolled into one. I'm passionate about healthy living, arts and culture, travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

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