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.
- 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.)
- Pull out a sketch pad, colored pencils and a copy of cartoon drawing for dummies. I had a blast drawing clowns and animals.
- 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.
- 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.