Creativity's Workshop

Taming and Training Your Creativity to Write Abundantly

Making Orange Juice From Life’s Lemons


A refreshing image of citrus fruit and a jug of juice from aforementioned.

Hello all. It’s been a little while since my last post, but I’m finally getting back into routine!

Yes, life has thrown us some lemons of late. For those who would like an update on my life, there is some good news and some not-so-good news.

The good news is that my health is picking up. After a couple of months being unable to write, I’m working my way back to something resembling normality. The not-so-good news is that my husband’s health has deteriorated further. We are none the wiser as to why he is so ill, though thankfully cancer and a couple of other nasties have been ruled out. It seems this one’s going to be a long haul.

At times like these, writing and creative projects tend to go out the window as you rush from doctor to doctor. Over the past couple of months I’ve learned how to be creative under the deluge of life’s flying citrus.

Here are some of my suggestions. I’d love to hear yours too!

1. Get Back to Basics

Sometimes all you can do is sleep, eat and manage essential household chores. When that happens, don’t be shy about cutting out everything that adds unnecessary stress or takes essential time/energy.

If this includes writing or other creative pursuits, don’t panic. It’s not forever, just during your current showering of lemons.

2. Find Little Outlets for Your Creativity

Doodle, write humours notes, fold paper hats from junk mail or any other little things which give your Creativity an opportunity to show a little flair. Try doing a small creative project that no one is relying on – something just for you.

Creative moments like these help to keep you sane under the pressure. Just remember, stressful situations are not ideal times to be creative. Use creative moments to release tension, not criticise yourself for what you’re unable to accomplish.

3. Return to Your Routine Slowly

Once you’re in a position to return to your creative pursuits, do things gradually. Don’t expect to jump straight back into the same quality and quantity as you managed before.

Be reasonable with your expectations and goals.

4. Be Patient as You Return to Form

After a hiatus, your first attempts at ideas, writing or any creative endeavour will be below par. You’re rusty and out of practice. Ignore your output for the first few days or weeks.

In the same way as an athlete will need to slowly work his muscles back into form, you too are working yourself back into condition. Be patient.

5. Ignore Advice

Waiting in your inbox will probably be plenty of blog posts and articles telling you all the things you should be doing – post to your blog three times a week, write 1,000 words a day, make sure there’s conflict in every scene.

This advice applies to people who are already in routine. You are building yourself back into routine, therefore this advice does not apply to you.

If anything in the article overwhelms you or discourages you, then ignore it. Only expose yourself to positive, gentle, motivating advice.

At this point, getting yourself back into writing is most important. You can polish and refine your work later once you’re able to face that stuff again.

So, that’s what I’ve learned from my recent experiences.

Have you been through anything similar? Do you have suggestions to add? I’d love to hear them.

P.S. If you’re interested in further tips on how to manage stress with your Creativity intact, try reading my e-book Tips for Those Contemplating Insanity.


Author: Jessica

I'm a writer who refuses to pin myself down to one genre, hopping from science-fiction and fantasy through to literary and even the odd western now and then. Check out what I've written at or follow me on Twitter @jessbaverstock.

10 thoughts on “Making Orange Juice From Life’s Lemons

  1. I am so glad you are writing again, it is lovely to have you back. And those are very good lessons/suggestion/fragments of wisdom.
    I find having fun words to say about a difficult time is very helpful in lightening my mood, so I intend to remember your phrase ‘life’s flying citrus’, it makes me think of Salvador Dali (spelling?). 🙂

    • Thank you, Amber. I’m glad you found them helpful. 🙂

      Everytime I reread that phrase I think it says ‘life’s flying circus’ which I think is also very true. 😉

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  5. You have no idea how timely this post is. Our family has had a citrus flavoured year – which to keep a long story short – has drastically impacted my ability to write. So it was good to hear from someone else going through it too. There are times when we need to be kind to ourselves and not load up with unrealistic pressures.

    I’m so glad your health is improving and you’re starting to rekindle the writing flame. I hope everything picks up for your husband soon too. Hang in there!

    • I’m glad you enjoyed the post. 🙂

      Thank you for your encouragement. I hope your year improves too. I love your way with words so please keep plugging away at your writing.

  6. It’s so good to have you back! And I’m so glad that things are going better for you. I think writing can be part of your healing. I’m sending good thoughts and holding your husband in the light. I love your suggestions, and I think #2 is my favorite. In a dry spell of any kind, finding small things you can do with your creativity is surprisingly helpful.

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