How to Unleash Your Creativity and Let Your Writer’s Spirit Soar

Carol Tice

When you’re a writer, there’s no such thing as wasted time. Everything you do enhances your craft, in the end.

An example:

On one of the last warm days of our endless Northwest Indian summer this year, I played hooky from work for a couple hours in the afternoon.

I had an important task to attend to: My lithe, athletic 9-year-old daughter wanted me to climb a tree with her.

She’d been just about living in a tree all summer, and wanted us to do this together.

The weather forecast indicated this would probably be the last unseasonably warm day before fall finally arrived. So it needed to happen now.

I was a little scared to attempt it.

Though I loved tree-climbing as a child and spent many hours in the branches of one of my girlfriend’s big maple trees, it had been a few decades since I’d left the ground.

I couldn’t get up the first one we tried. Which was sorta sad.

But I didn’t give up

On the far side of the park we found another tree with a better array of low branches, and after a little huffing and puffing, I was up.

For the first time in decades, I was in a tree.

And it was grand.

I could see all across the park, over rolling lawns to where a stand of trees showed the beginnings of autumn colors. Birds circled by.

The wind seemed so mild and fair, from this height. The impossible late-October sunshine so warm.

I was out on a limb

Which felt scary, but also exhilirating.

Could I get down? I had visions of tumbling out onto my head, which would no doubt happen just as neighbors walked their dog past.

I had Ariella lead the way through the descending levels of branches. Then, suddenly, I found out why I’d come.

“You climb down so fast,” I remarked, struggling to keep up.

“My spirit climbed down even faster!” she replied matter-of-factly, as she expertly navigated the final branches. “Look, mommy — it’s already down to the ground.”

I have no doubt she saw that vision, of her spirit roaming free.

When’s the last time I felt that, I wondered.

I realized I needed to schedule more time like this. Time to take risks.

Play hooky. Live a little.

We should always be expanding our notion of who we are and what we’re capable of, in our lives away from the computer.

Of how far our spirit can fly.

Then, we can approach that blank page — or screen — ready to pour our souls into it.

What’s made your spirit soar recently? Leave a comment – I’d love for you to share it.


  1. Anne

    What a wonderful story! I recently had such a similar experience – my 13 year old daughter, who talks to trees (in a good way!) invited me to join her in her special pine tree. I, too, haven’t climbed a tree in way too many years. It was exhilarating – we could see for literally miles.

    So often we adults forget that we work to live rather than live to work. You are so right that when we allow ourselves some time to play hooky (I love dogs so I like to think of it as “off-leash time”) it actually enhances our productivity and the quality of our work.

    One more observation: getting enough sleep makes a huge difference, too! 🙂

    • Carol Tice

      Yeah…still working on that last part of it! But I am trying hard to get out and do fun things more.

    • Diane

      What a great story with life lessons, thanks for sharing – I particularly liked your daughter’s quote “My spirit climbed down even faster!”. It serves as a reminder that what we dream…and capture in our spirit can eventually become a living reality.

      I am inspired.

      • Carol Tice

        Glad you liked this one, Diane. If we’re not inspired to write, we’re probably not going to earn as much, so doing inspirational posts has become a regular feature here on the blog.

  2. catherine

    Love this post! I haven’t climbed a tree for along time but you brought back the memories of when I used to! Thanks for all the valuable information you send my way!!


  3. Jonathan Hinek

    I love that story! I strive to never lose that childlike sense of wonder.

  4. Amandah

    Finally getting out of the house and meeting people has made my spirit soar. I’m not shy about saying how I’ve struggled since I’ve moved back to my home state two years ago. Living in another state for about four years gave me a “taste” of a lifestyle I desired, which included hiking over 300 days a years in beautiful weather and being a part of spiritual and writers group. To cope, I journal and write down what I’m grateful for. Receiving a publishing opportunity helped too.

  5. Joy

    I *love* this story, thank you 🙂

    My children enjoy theme parks. I would say that I had been afraid of heights. I also believe in the mind/body energetic connection, so that would mean that somewhere internal I had a “cap” on soaring. I bought season passes to the local theme park and began my experiment with soaring. I began by sitting somewhere in the middle of the coaster seats, eyes closed, scared but doing it. By year’s end, I was front row, eyes open, loving the view. My children love that I accompany them, and I learned how to soar in all ways ..that shows in so many areas of my life 🙂

  6. Debra Weiss

    The thing that’s made my spirit soar lately is the upcoming holiday season. I love the decorating, the food, finding the right gift for the right person, and celebrating with those I love. Doing these things makes me eager to get back to my writing.

  7. Clara Mae Watrous

    I liked your story. I could relate to being scared of heights for fear of falling. The leaves are all fallen here in the east side of WA, and we have intermittent rain, snow, clouds, with a peak of sun once in a while to remind me of my heavenly Father looking down on me in love. Bundling up and taking a brisk walk up the familiar road in front of our house is exhilarating and enables me to return to my work with enthusiasm.

    • Carol Tice

      That’s just what I did this morning! Cracked out the gloves for the first time, but it was lovely out with peeks of blue sky showing and fall leaves all around.

  8. Sarah L. Webb

    For me, it’s spending time with my 8 month old nephew. There’s nothing risky about that, but it’s definitely an escape. It helps me keep my priorities in order.

  9. Charlotte Rains Dixon

    Love this story. I love the idea of climbing trees, but I have a fear of heights so it’s way out of my comfort zone. What’s making my spirit soar these days is cooking. I’ve been an indifferent cook all my life, and suddenly I’m pouring through recipes and learning new techniques. It’s wonderful!

    • Carol Tice

      For me, that was gardening. I say I never saw the sun, or a flower, until I moved to the Seattle area from L.A. and discovered the thrill of planting something and watching it bloom…and of treasuring our rare days of sun, especially in fall and winter.

  10. Cheryl Bryan

    I think I need to spend more time with children! We can’t be with our grandchildren very often — they live too far away. But that doesn’t keep me from getting out and looking for new experiences, new adventures. Thanks for that reminder.

  11. Ali

    So is that the particular tree you climbed or is it a PLR image? 🙂

    To “Unleash My Creativity” I usually walk about in places where I’ve never been before… it’s fun and sometimes even funny

    • Carol Tice

      I think I got that one from Morguefile, Ali, it’s definitely not the one I climbed, which didn’t have a treehouse or ladder…making it harder to get up. 😉

  12. Michelle

    Loved this post!! I spent a lot of time climbing trees in my childhood but I don’t know if I could do it now. I tried doing a cartwheel recently and it seemed really awkward (I’m sure it looked awkward too!) but my guess is if we do these things more often, they won’t seem quite so daunting! Enjoy climbing with your daughter!

    • Carol Tice

      I still do cartwheels too, and I don’t care if it looks awkward. Better than not doing them, I say!

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