Nosara and the Creative Process

When I originally planned to come here to Nosara for 6 weeks to write, I was really focused and appreciative for the gift of time.

I thought that by being here fewer distractions would allow me to be a more intense version of, well, myself. I envisioned myself sequestered in my room, writing for hours on end. After all, my first book was born laboriously through the power of discipline, routine and sheer will.

I had carefully planned what I was going to work on here (as not to waste a moment of time!) I knew that I’d be flexible with that, but I more or less had an outline that I planned on sticking to. Now that I’ve been here for three weeks, a more organic creative process has taken over and that kind of thinking has been slowly flipped on its head. What I have been given is not only time, but also transformation.

The first thing that starts to happen here is a natural disconnection from media and pernicious influences, and a reconnection to nature and self. The majority of people in this world are being carried by the voice of fear, or the other. When you stop listening to the outside voices, and start being a part of what’s outside, your messages change too.

In this place, we are surrounded by incredible nature. We are also surrounded by the gifts of stories. For some foreigners here, Costa Rica is a land of heightened adventure, and they have amazing stories. Costa Rica is also home to many people who are are still “of the land.” They too have incredible gifts and knowledge, and a culture that deserves to be upheld.

So my creative process here is changing. I am no longer just in front of my laptop cleverly wordsmithing in my room, but what I’ve come to realize is that the story is in the living. If I just go out of my room, walk around and talk to people, it leads to a story falling in my lap. Stories, I realized, are not just something that we create, but something that we catch.

So my best advice to someone in the creative process is: allow yourself to be led. Don’t be so rigid in your plan. Leave room for genuine interactions that touch your soul. The stories that you seek are also seeking you.

Karen Henson Jones is the author of Heart of Miracles, a spiritual travelogue. She is also a Philip Stein Global Filipino Hero and speaker for Women in Leadership’s Economic Forum.

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