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I know it’s ironic that in a blog all about transcending, rising above and cutting through, that the blog itself and the writing and creativity that flows through it have somewhat languished in the past year.

I’m calling it a hibernation, and am coming out now into the warmth; no more torpor and lying low.

In getting back to the blog and writing and creativity, I am thinking about what sustains me – in reading, writing, blogging, life generally and work.

There are three things  at present that I am choosing to engage in to sustain me and reconnect me with my creative foundations.

1. Australian Women’s Writing

The first thing I have done this year to keep moving is to connect with the Australian Women Writers’ Reading and  Reviewing Challenge. This challenge is all about reading and engaging with Australian women’s writing and with other readers and:

hopes to counteract the gender bias in reviewing and social media newsfeeds that occurred in 2011 by actively promoting the reading and reviewing of a wide range of contemporary Australian women’s writing.

Readers are encouraged to approach this challenge “with a spirit of willingness” ie no failures around the goals set. I’ve committed to reading 10 books by Australian women writers this year and to review 4 of these books. I’m loving this challenge and the connections it brings; the way it celebrates the history of women writers and also promotes the current development and support of women writers in Australia. I love all kinds of books, but Australian women writers are my lineage, my team, my tribe and I’m loving getting to know this extended family of readers and writers as well as getting my creativity moving at the same time. I’ve read 3 books so far and will post my reviews here soon as I move through this challenge.

2. Blogging from the Heart

I joined Susannah Conway‘s ‘Blogging from the Heart‘ e-course recently for a kickstart, a jolt to get moving here; a bit like the electric shocks sometimes needed to create life in people. The course, 2 weeks in, is exactly that, a vital, energising focus on the creative blogging process designed to get us all moving and connected to other like-minded bloggers. As well as engaging in regular reading and activities on creative blogging led by Susannah, there is a wonderful connection through facebook and the blog world with a community of bloggers  – writers, artists, mothers, photographers and other creative folk – all finding  a way to express their uniqueness online and coming together to appreciate, encourage, support and read about each other.

It’s inspiring and I am blessed to be part of this group, to read their work and to see what sustains them, as well as to learn from one of my stars in the blogging and creativity world, Susannah, and through all this to get writing again.

It reminds me how much my blogging is as much about connecting with like-minded creative people as it is about sustaining my own creativity and strength.

3. Creativity at work

I work in a leadership role in a large adult vocational education organisation in Sydney. This role consumes much of my time and energy. I love my work and the personal satisfaction it brings, but have been thinking lately about how I can bring my creativity to bear in my work and my leadership. I’m thinking about how I no longer wish to leave my most creative self at the door when I arrive at work in the morning. It’s as if there are two selves with little intersection and I am keen to see how they can come together more consciously.

I’m enjoying linking together the strategising in my leadership, using my skills to find creative solutions and crafting strongly constructed writing to produce outcomes. I recently attended a ‘Wisdom at Work’ conference in Sydney, based on ‘The Leadership Circle’ and the more creative and philosphically based aspects of leadership. I’m exploring this conscious leadership more and enjoying the strength it is giving it me. Here’s an article about cultivating wisdom at work from one of the speakers at the Sydney conference, Dr Jennifer Garvey Berger. It’s a fascinating space and I look forward to exploring that more here.

So, I am sustained at the present by:

Australian Women’s Writing

Blogging from the Heart

Creativity at Work

Starting back writing here after this hibernation is really as easy as A, B, C and connecting with what sustains me.

So tell me, what sustains you?