work-in-progress, with new prompts for you

How do you experience creative flow (or Not)?

For me, creative flow feels more like a riptide than a gently flowing stream.

Sudden, urgent. All might look calm on the surface, but the current is strong.

The last few weeks have been marked by an inward pull toward deep exploration.

It looks like a lot of quiet, a hush, time alone. It looks like I’m doing nothing, really, as I share in these posts.

This can be disorienting.

What I’ve learned to trust in are the signs – an incubation of new work.  By using creative practice to observe my work patterns.

Usually I begin by fighting against the current – it feels difficult to retreat inward sometimes. I already spend far too much time alone, especially in Mexico.

It’s hard for me to feel very much like socializing or being very visible in the world when tilling the creative compost.

I’m curious how you experience creative flow – does it pull you inward in the same way? What do you experience?

Next week I’ll invite you to join me in creative practice. Watch this space.

Meanwhile, here are a few new pieces on the blog inviting you to share your experience, along with some new writing and journaling prompts.

dwell time imageDwell time

In my experience, work-in-progress doesn’t look like much of anything.

It doesn’t feel like work.

It doesn’t look like progress.

Case in point: These very rough beginnings of paint on paper.

read more >


extravagant treeIf you feel lost, try being extravagant

Did you know that the word Extravagant means

to “wander outside or beyond,” especially to wander outside the limits and beyond the rules we set for ourselves.

read more >


ooh-la-la: lisa sonora visual memoir pageSketchbook as idea incubator. Or mirror of one’s obsessions?

All of my work as a visual artist, writer, and teacher incubates in the the pages of my sketchbooks long before it ever finds form in the world.

read more >



for the traveler - visual journal of lisa sonora beamfor the (artful) traveler

When I’m deep in writing, I read a lot of poetry, and a lot of other people’s memoirs.

Includes the text of John O’Donohue’s poem, For the Traveler… one that I meditate upon quite a bit these days…

read more >


Imagine you could learn something useful for documenting your own journey…

What would that be?

The theme is: pilgrimage…travel notebooks…visual journals…travel photography…writing and documenting your journey… creative adventures… what do you want guidance or inspiration on most?

Ask me in the comments >

I’d really appreciate your input.

examples of 21 Secrets Teacher JournalsA New Chapter: Fearless Writing In Your Journal

Oh – and I keep forgetting to announce (with all the inner dwell time going on) that I’m teaching in the 21 Secrets Online Art Journaling course. Have you seen it?

Check it out here >

One Response to work-in-progress, with new prompts for you

  1. Kim March 21, 2014 at 2:55 pm #

    I always *think* I know what creative flow is. I think it’s those times when I’m actively making things, pulled to write and paint and can’t stand the times when I don’t get to be doing that. But when I give it more thought I believe creative flow is more like an ocean’s tides than like a constantly moving river. I think there is the high tide of making things, the receding tide of wrapping up projects, looking to what’s next, preparing for projects–still active in its way but not as much. And then there’s low tide when things are quiet, resting, waiting for everything to start up again. That’s the real creative flow, the cycles that turn again and again, repeating themselves but never the same.

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