Mackenzie Reed

APORTA Shop ambassador,
writer, maker

Picture this: you’re sitting on the couch, flipping through the Netflix titles for the one millionth time. Do you watch John Mulaney’s stand up again or do you start New Girl from the beginning one more time?

This has been me for most of the pandemic. I’ve been feeling drained and I know I’m not alone in that. It’s always hard to feel creative, but it’s been especially hard the past few months. 

 There have been, and will continue to be, many nights where I choose TV instead of working on any of my projects. With the winter months making their way in, many of us will be spending a lot more time inside, which means we’ll all have more time to work on our creative endeavors. This can feel daunting. This can feel exhausting. This can even feel terrifying. But fear not, we are here to help you create a space where you and your creativity can flourish!

I like to ground my creative practice in routine; this helps me feel at peace and creates an environment that doesn’t feel stressful. My practice starts with coffee. I make a big French press every morning to slowly chip away at throughout the day. My favorite coffee mug at the moment is the OMO handmade tumbler in marigold, it’s the perfect size for every situation.

The next step is candles. I love a good candle, who doesn’t? I keep a few burning throughout the day to create a blend of scents that help keep me present while creating. It’s so easy to get lost in my head, worrying about whatever is happening in the world around me, but I find that the scents I choose to burn keep me grounded and in the moment. I’m currently burning Smoky Cinnamon Special from P.F Candle Co and Red Fern from Wax Buffalo.

I’m a big believer in the idea of morning pages, but not so much a fan of the actual morning. I find that my creative juices flow best in the afternoon, so I have adopted afternoon pages. Morning pages is a technique practiced by many writers and creatives where you are encouraged to write three pages, front and back, full of anything you think of. You don’t have to overthink morning pages, it’s a space to get your thoughts and feelings out and down on the page.

“Morning pages are not art; they are not an outcome- they are part of a process of creative recovery.” (Julia Cameron)

I’ve taken this idea and morphed it a little bit to fit my practice better. I light a Japanese rice candle from Warousoku Daiyo and write until it is finished burning. These candles are the perfect tool for journaling, sketching, morning, or afternoon pages, whatever you need to get your juices flowing! I like to use these candles because they’re odorless, smokeless, and they self-extinguish which is perfect if I get wrapped up in an idea and I don’t want to stop. It’s also nice to not need my phone for a timer because I’m so much less likely to look at it and become absorbed in something else.

These are just a few tips and tricks to get you started on your creative journey. 

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