Crop Rotation for Creativity

In Create

Many creatives bend towards one particular discipline that enables them to communicate their personal truth and how they see the world. But how does one find inspiration and fulfillment day after day to push through life’s obstacles and continue their craft?

As I prepare my little piece of earth for planting this season, I started to ponder crop rotation and how this idea communicates deeply with my creative nature.

Crops have a special relationship with the earth. It is a relationship based on not only giving but also receiving. In that perfect rhythm the crops thrive and grow stronger providing more fruit, and the earth and soil is richer and more fertile because of it. Moving the plants around allows the soil to rest from feeding specific plants. It is a natural rhythm of rest, giving, receiving, and thriving.

Now apply the same principle to artistic expression.

As a writer, I think like a writer. I see the world through stories. They are always around me. Sneaking up on me at the Library, driving around, or stopping at the hardware store. This part of  me is always plugged in and engaged. Planted if you will.


After producing my first book in a short and ridiculous nine months, I was empty and dry. I had run out of ideas. Worse, I would sit at my computer for hours and write nothing or I would write the same two sentences 45 different ways and in the end delete them anyway. I am a writer and I couldn’t do it. Beyond causing all kinds of identity issues, I felt as if I was losing the way to myself.

Since I couldn’t produce anything with words, I closed the computer and told myself not to touch it for the next month. I was on a break. I spent the next four weeks pouring myself into my sewing projects, making quilts for my kids. I was embroidering and cooking and devouring gardening books in preparation for the spring.  And then the most incredible thing happened. I remember sitting there on my couch, hot coffee in front of me, my lap covered in fabric as I stitched it together and then it felt as if the doors to the library of my words were thrown open. A story started rolling around in my head and I had to capture it before I lost it. I grabbed my journal and started writing. I felt so alive in that moment. The words just kept coming and I had been so barren before. In that moment, I discovered the critical need for artistic crop rotation.


I believe that humans are by nature creative. We are made to express ourselves to humanity in a way that impacts who we are as a community. In this way we are inherently connected to the earth not only as we work it in the fields and in our garden, producing the food that keeps us alive, but it also teaches us how to care and tend for our creative spirit. Even with our bend toward one particular expression, whether it be photography, painting, writing, fashion design, cooking, knitting, graphic design, sculpting, wood work, metal work, architecture, or jewelry design, if all we do is keep to that one craft, our well of inspiration and motivation will run dry. If you find yourself in a creative slump these days, or have noticed a rhythm of high production and then low motivation, I encourage you to adopt crop rotation. Think about other forms of creative talents and push into that for a bit. See what it can teach you. Pay attention to how it feeds your soul and rests the other weary over taxed places of your heart.

Artistic crop rotation is a tool to help you find a stronger voice, a richer craft and in the end it will keep you healthier. Gatherhaus loves discovering tools to express ourselves in a way that ultimately takes care of us and keeps us healthy…healthy for ourselves, for our families, and for our communities.

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  1. This is right in the money!!! Sometimes it’s just doing something that feeds your soul and the rest will fall in line.

    • Exactly Rachel! Sometimes I want to write or I have to meet a deadline. If I can’t find the passion for it, I pause it and go to something else to fill my heart. And in the end, it does all fall in line!

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