A Year in Practice: Seasonal Rituals and Prompts to Awaken Cycles of Creative Expression (Paperback)
“If you’re looking to get still, turn inward, and learn to trust your voice, this is the book for you.” —Alexandra Elle, New York Times bestselling author of How We Heal
“The seasons and cycles of nature have incredible power to affect everything in our lives—especially our creativity,” says poet Jacqueline Suskin. “The Earth shows us when our creative reserves might wax and wane. When we listen and follow nature’s lead, we tune in to an inexhaustible source of imagination, inspiration, and beauty.” With A Year in Practice, this inspiring teacher shares holistic practices to help creatives of all sorts access the limitless potential that flows with the rhythms of nature.
Set in sync with the progression of the seasons, A Year in Practice is a program of techniques and journaling prompts to guide the creative seeker all year long. Four seasonally themed chapters keep you connected to natural phases of creative contraction and expansion:
• Winter invites restoration so you can come back to your craft with renewed energy• Spring is a time of balance, focusing on the magic of emergence while embodying discretion• Summer is the season of togetherness, instilling confidence to bring our creations into the light• Autumn asks us to turn back toward ourselves as we prepare for another winter of introspection
Used regularly, you will move through creative blocks, deepen your capacity for self-reflection, expand imaginative growth, and find new levels of inspiration and contentment.
“It’s crucial that we spend time dreaming, crafting, and resting in a state of reverie,” says Suskin. Here she offers practical tools and creative customs to help you tune in to the energies of each season—to enrich your creativity through playfulness, emotional expression, explorative whimsy, and ever-deepening levels of imagination.
"Lyrical prose and a cohesive structure make this accessible to dabblers and committed artists alike." —Publishers Weekly
“If you’re looking to get still, turn inward, and learn to trust your voice, this is the book for you. Suskin guides us through a self-inquiry practice that is deeply resonant and beautiful.” —Alexandra Elle, New York Times bestselling author of How We Heal
“Using the poetry of our lives, A Year in Practice shifts our notions of time and space from linear to cyclical. By reshaping time, we can foster acceptance and meaning by working with the seasonal tides and not against them. This book is a grounding force for any creative practice to flourish, however you define it. A Year in Practice is an agent for connection, for expressing big feelings, for exploring the ‘why’ and tending to your creative self.” —Carissa Potter Carlson, artist and founder of People I’ve Loved
“Jacqueline Suskin’s A Year in Practice invites us to utilize our connection to nature as seasonal beings in devotion to our creative practice with such care, nourishment, and aliveness. Filled with soulful poetry and prose, wise creative wisdom, and deeply rooted practices, this book is a balm and a lovingly held container that allows readers to tune both outward and inward in order to create a bridge between ourselves, nature, and creativity. A Year in Practice weaves the practical and the unseen in ways that illuminate how we can relate to both the tangible actions and the mystery that hold our creative practices. The tender and unique approach Suskin takes is one that I know will ignite and nurture my own creative practice for years to come.” —Lisa Olivera, author of Already Enough
“I want every artist to read this book. We’re all so exhausted and burnt out from toiling in this digital capitalist hellscape, and Suskin provides the most brilliant solution I’ve seen: follow the earth’s lead. She reverently walks us through the seasons, pointing out the elegant natural order that already exists and how a balanced creative practice is less like a factory and more like a tree. What a relief.” —Hallie Bateman, coauthor of What to Do When I’m Gone, author of Directions
“In our busy culture it is so easy to forget ourselves and our internal compass. It is why as artists we must return to our seasonal rhythms both inwardly and externally. In her brilliant book A Year in Practice, Jacqueline Suskin shows us that creative prompts for artistic expression don’t just have to come from within, but in fact start with the earth. This book is a must-read for anyone who wants to feel less resistance in their creative efforts and their day-to-day life. It is a book for our times, from one of our greatest poets. May it guide you in seasonal creation and dreaming up new worlds to live in.” —Marlee Grace, author of How to Not Always Be Working and Getting to Center
“In reverent prose, Jacqueline Suskin’s gentle call to action asks us to deepen our attention—to the constant guide of the seasons, to the creator within us all pleading for direction, to the signs within the body that urge us to contract or expand, and to the omnipresent cycles that guide our daily lives. A Year in Practice is a practical guide and a tender companion through the wisdom of the seasons. Suskin invites us to get curious about how our personal cycles can (re)align with the flow of natural rhythms. Through self-inquiry and observation with the support of generative prompts and inspired poems, we are provided an opening, an invitation, and a quiet call of remembrance. Despite a severance from nature due to the demands of capitalism, Suskin asserts that there is a greater rhythm we are asked to fall in step with—a rhythm all living things know. In this book, the holy is within reach. Magic and mysticism are deeply embedded into the very thing we’ve grown to view as commonplace—the structure and passage of time.” —Giselle Buchanan, author of Incantations and Love Letter to Self, creator of the Written into Being workshop