Back to me

John Mayer’s ‘Back to you’ ends with a variation to the chorus:

Back to me, I know that it comes

Back to me

Doesn’t it scare you?

The will is not as strong as it used to be.

I’m fairly certain John wasn’t writing specifically about me and my creative life, yet when I opened the laptop today, ‘Back to You’ swirled around in my brain.

Back to me, I know that it comes, back to me… whether that’s blogging or creating with pen and brushes or getting the damn dishes done and the groceries purchased and put away, it always comes around, back to me.

To answer John’s question, no, it doesn’t scare me that the will is not as strong as it used to be. This life isn’t all about will. We’re not here to white-knuckle through life’s ups and downs until we reach our deathbeds.

Can you think of someone who has tried to will themselves to follow a punishing diet, or stick it out in a relationship that’s bad for them, or fold themselves into a small enough, quiet enough, agreeable enough box to appease their loudest critic (internal or external)? I can. Did it work for them? They’d probably tell you that will failed them at a crucial moment. They know, sometimes from bitter experience, that the will isn’t all it is cracked up to be.

More than that, things aren’t supposed to stay as they “used to be”.

As I was walking down the hall before work yesterday, a thought popped into my head. Why do women face so much pressure to get their pre-baby bodies “back”? Why does the body have to go backwards? Why can’t the body evolve, and be different? Spoiler alert: these questions will not be answered in this post. Sorry.

I think the reason that my brain’s jukebox decided to play that particular JM track today stems from re-immersing myself into creative practices.

This month, I’ve decided to draw/paint/sketch every day, simply to reconnect with making art. I am also doing a wonderful online creative writing course called Writey-Oh! by Pip Lincolne. She’s my fave creative teacher, but you probably know that already!

By painting, by drawing, by reading Pip’s lessons and doing creative writing exercises, I feel like I am gathering kindling for the fire, or ingredients for a recipe.

Gathering kindling is all well and good, but it’s not how you make fire. Grocery shopping isn’t the same thing as serving dinner.

The point of it all is living a creative life – that comes back to me.

Unless I light that kindling and chop and combine those ingredients, I’ll remain creatively cold and hungry. Perhaps will is the ability to gather what’s needed. It gets us so far, but it alone cannot create the life we want.

Hmm, that’s a good metaphor for me. I’ve never been a big believer in the will, as mine lets me down regularly. It’s okay if yours does too, I won’t tell.

I know that it comes, back to me… and I wouldn’t want in any other way.

Annette x

18 thoughts on “Back to me

  1. Love this. You inspire me to write and create and more importantly, at least I think it is, to be myself. Thank you.


  2. Much to think about Annette, I for one know my will these days is virtually non existant along with motivation and even desire, it’s looking like a long cold and hungry winter if I don’t get my shit together and evolve


    • Hi Kate, it’s not all or nothing, though it often feels that way. These things come and go, will, desire, motivation. Try gathering some kindling and see how that feels. Small steps. KINDNESS. You’ve got this.


  3. “Perhaps will is the ability to gather what’s needed. It gets us so far, but it alone cannot create the life we want.” Oh I love this so much Annette! These words right here are indeed a work of art. As soon as I read them I thought “Wow, I’d love to see this as a quote created into a piece of your artwork?” Is that a possibility? It’s amazing how these triggers for creative thought often find us through music.

    Sandra 🙂 Xx


  4. I know that my creativity comes & goes, sometimes I need to shift focus to get me back on track. I recently realised that I only enjoy crocheting if I have something to listen to while I’m doing it so I need to have some TV shows or audiobooks to keep me going. I know that to be creative in the kitchen I need time. I think if we all know what our creative recipes are it makes it easier.



  5. Mmm…more of that exciting vulnerability I mentioned in a comment on the lesson feed.

    Moments of introspective pondering are so special. How do we evolve and reinvent ourselves if we don’t question ourselves regularly. It is during these ponderings that we often answer our own questions!

    Will, inspiration, self discipline…really it all comes back to DOING. We pick up the pen, paintbrush, tool and we begin. From there, anything is possible.

    Ps. I also dabble with wonder and wander and words! I feel we are finding a few kindred spirits.


    • Hi Tina! Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment. I love words and wonderings, really I’m too much of a homebody for many wanderings, so I do lots of that in my imagination. I’m off to check out your blog.


  6. I have always loved your creativity Annette, and I have always been inspired by the way you fully lean into things. I like the idea of collecting kindling, and it totally resonates that kindling a fire does not make, or ingredients does not make a dinner. It is in the doing and that is down to us. I felt that, big time, since my own creativity has waned a lot in the last two years. Thanks for the reminder xx


  7. Fabulous, thoughtful post. I often find myself taken by song lyrics and pondering over their meaning and their meaning to me. Like you I’ve also reinvigorated my creative self lately. Making habits to write everyday and develop my craft through personal and professional development. (I’m also doing Pip’s class! Hooray) It’s lovely to read about the journey of others and no that there is a huge community of people all looking to grow and nurture their creative lives. Thank you for sharing – Kris xx


  8. I absolutely love the metaphor of the kindling! It is so accurate. I’m the same – gradually collecting my kindling (my inspiration) and then learning how to build a fire (the physical act of picking up a brush or pen to start which requires breaking through the mental creative inertia). Maybe one day I will have a fire that rages beautifully…


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