Creating With Less

April 18. We’ve had magnetic poetry stuck to the microwave for several years, but I’ve purged piles of magnets the last few times we’ve moved, so the selection of words is very limited — but this restriction has been freeing. And overall, during this period of isolation, I’ve surprisingly found productivity and efficiency with less. Even as I work shorter shifts each day, I seem to focus and get stuff done (and when we get to the other side of this, I will be a big proponent of shorter work weeks).

I’m reminded of Emilia’s newborn months, when she slept on my chest in between breastfeeding sessions — all day, all night — and the writer in me came alive in short spurts yet long Instagram captions, often in the middle of the night, in between the moments of my new life as a mother and milk machine.

I have not typed furiously like that since, but over the past month as we stay home, I’ve experienced wee moments of creativity from these silly word magnets and other unexpected ways, like Emilia’s coloring books and other random things around our house. I’ve also reached a point where I can now stare at the wall as she falls asleep on my arm and the circular imperfections of wood on our doors look like faces in Dr. Seuss books. So thank you for the little bits of inspiration, Day 41.

Originally published in May 2020 on Instagram.

Published by Cheri Lucas Rowlands

Senior editor, Automattic. Editor and curator, Longreads.

One thought on “Creating With Less

  1. Forced fall-style introspection, spring version. Nice to see you re-exploring your own voice after such a hiatus and paralysis as you call it, from the magnitude of that audience (if I understood you correctly). Our voices change over time but it feels so good when they’re truly ours. And yours will change as a mom! And all those irregular patterns will take on more interesting shapes.

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