Beef stew with root vegetables is cooking on the stove, along with a teapot of water for some chai tea. I’m going to write the second post for NaBloPoMo.
A few weeks ago, on a trip to the thrift store, I came across Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity. I’ve known about her work for a while now. Some time ago it was suggested to me, and I got the book from the library but I never followed the steps. I didn’t have enough time in the two weeks I had borrowed the book.
I’ve bought a few of her books, including The Right To Write, How to Avoid Making Art (or Anything Else You Enjoy) and Letters to a Young Artist. But I think I’m in a good place to start this work now. I wasn’t able to commit to the “morning pages“, because it seemed so hard for me to write the first thing in the morning, though in this video clip, she says to think of them in Jungian terms as if “you were meeting your shadow and taking it out for a cup of coffee”. What she finds is when “you put the negativity on the page it isn’t eddying in your consciousness all day.”
But I have tried to employ her “Artist’s Dates”.
“The Artist Date is a once-weekly, festive, solo expedition to explore something that interests you. The Artist Date need not be overtly “artistic” — think mischief more than mastery. Artist Dates fire up the imagination. They spark whimsy. They encourage play.”
I’ve taken myself on a few artist’s dates over the years.
One time it was to the Indy Arts Vintage Marketplace in Indianapolis.
Another time, it was to the Indianapolis Writer’s Conference.
Sometimes I find inspiration in unexpected places, like when I met a graphic artist at a local bookstore and got over my dorky nervousness and spent some time talking to him.
And of course, one of my favorite things to do is bring my camera anytime I’m in the Windy City. I always consider those jaunts artist’s dates because they are so full of opportunities to take beautiful photographs – like taken candid shots of other people’s wedding parties.
Most of the time, I just have my artist’s dates at the local Starbucks, because one of them is open until 11 pm. I would go out at least once a week to make art or write. It’s one way I ensure some quiet time to be creatively productive.
I also wrote a short story about the man who sings blues-rock at the local Potbelly’s. I go there every once in a while to listen to him play. I went back to that memory and turned it into a poem, as well.
Lately, I’ve been attending local plays in my area and have been enjoying seeing live theater immensely. I’ll be sure to post a few reviews of the plays I have seen this year which have been very thought-provoking and inspirational.
I’m looking forward to working with Cameron’s ideas in The Artist’s Way and seeing what comes of it.