Nurturing creativity: Lets share some ideas

I credit my decision to commit myself to writing to The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron.  When my creativity takes a nose dive (guess where it is now) that’s the first place I return to for a jumpstart.  She recommends two tools to unleash creative potential–morning pages and artist dates.

Morning pages are a process of writing three pages daily by hand on just anything that comes out. It helps you work through all your stuff out and just primes the pump before you dive into the rest of your day. Through those pages, my inner need to write fiction (I write non-fiction in my day job) surfaced with a vengeance and here I am.

I struggled over the artist’s date.  Once a week you are supposed to go on a date by yourself and do something whimsical, silly, fun or just escapist to fill the creative well and keep those artistic muscles in shape. Truth is, my life’s so packed with responsibilities and deadlines that when I carve some time out, I don’t quite know what to do with it.  I struggle to rediscover my ability to play like a child.  Over time, I’ve find several me-dates that help refresh my sense of joy and wonder, all fodder for the muse.  Here are a few of things I dreamed up.

  1. Visit used children’s book stores: I love to page through the old books full of illustrations and drawings we lack from the adult fare. (I probably should get more into Manga and anime.)
  2. Pull out a sketch pad, colored pencils and a copy of cartoon drawing for dummies. I had a blast drawing clowns and animals.
  3. Bake an elaborate dessert–something that’s as pretty to look at as it is to eat, drawing out those design instincts when putting the dish together.
  4. Lie down on the grass and just be.

How do you do it? What do you do to keep you’re creativity juiced? I’d love to hear your ideas.

9 comments

  1. There is a fun creativity/mental health site. They organized by how you want to feel/goals and also by the type of art created. I’ve been enjoying playing with it. One of those things where I sometimes don’t realize how much I miss those creative outlets until I get back into it. http://www.start2.co.uk/ Something different to try for the creativity date.

    1. My daughter is a leg fiend. I do get some play just by having a child around the house–lego, drawing, fashion shows. Our big creative endeavor is Halloween–haunted house, spooky cupcakes, decorations. We go all out. Do you have anything like Halloween in Australia?

      1. Hi, Well we do have Halloween, but it’s nothing like the big deal I think it is the US. For most of us, it largely passes us by!
        When my folks lived there for a few years and I came to visit, I was amazed by the amount of effort people go to to decorate their houses at Halloween and Christmas. It’ s rather nice really. I’m not sure why we don’t – perhaps all too laid back?

  2. Hi Sabrina, I love your cupcakes! I love to go out and have goofy fun with the kids, but when I go out on my own, it is usually to work in the garden–fun and relaxing, but working with a practical goal in mind. I love to take my camera with me and snap photos–sometimes very pretty, and sometimes what I call “cracker shots,” named after the first goofy picture I ever took, with the sun shining through the holes of a Pilot biscuit. I don’t know if that counts, but I really enjoy it. Beading was a creative focus for years, and we made really nice stuff, but it was something I shared with the kids. So was our dollhouse, which I kept in my office so the kids could come in and play while I worked. We went to miniature shows, and made our own tiny Sculpey props. They got busy with other stuff, and I packed it up to take out again, maybe when grandkids come along. But again, that’s stuff I did with the kids. I really don’t have much extra time that isn’t spent working on my writing and storytelling, maintaining house and home, taking care of invalid mother-in-law, and trying to fit in exercise. We do have really creative parties, almost always costume with a theme, but I am not sure I would do that if the kids weren’t involved. Something to think about! Thanks for another great post.

    1. Thanks for another great conversation. With me as well, most of my creative dates center on my child. Halloween is the eye of our artistic storm–we go wild. Decorate the yard, the house, build haunted houses on the basement, costumes, make special deserts, etc.. Lot of failures and successes but its all fun. I do take the overall point that sometimes I need to do something for me, to take the creative flow in personal and new directions. I’m looking forward to October.

  3. i love love love The Artist Way. My favorite dates are the library, going out to eat, splurging on good ingredients for a home meal, bookstores, museums, drawing anything after a walk, blasting music and taking a bath with herbs.

    1. The library’s a great one, love a jacuzzi bath with herbs.I always seem to get stuck with such small tubs it detracts from the taking a bath experience. When I get the right bathtub, for better or worse, I love to have a glass wine while I’m letting the water the leech the stress out of my bones.

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