Monday, January 20, 2014

Refill Your Empty Well...

There is a lot of talk about inspiration and muse-writer collaboration but getting our work done is mostly just a lot of hard work and putting our butts in the chair and pushing out those words when we would rather be doing anything else that day. There is however, a time to fill our creative well.

I read the "Artist's Way" by Julia Cameron several years ago and participated in an online study group. For some I think it was an exercise in futility but for me it really made me aware of the need to fill my soul with inspiration of the more spiritual kind as opposed to the writing kind.

I learned about two very important concepts, daily Morning Pages and a weekly Artist's Date.

These are not complicated or time consuming theories and those of us living on borrowed time when it comes to our writing, know our free time is at a premium and we don't want to waste it. These two things however, are more of a necessity than a luxury.

Your Morning Pages consist of  writing three pages of mind dump every single morning. I just write whatever comes to mind, sometimes I even write my blog posts in there among the rubble. I complain and cry and vent about whatever is going on in my life and then I go on with my day. That's it. Three pages of inner babble that gets it all out there for no one to see, not even yourself. You can go back and read it later if you wish, I never do. There will always be more babble tomorrow.

Now the Artist's Date involves finding out what floats your creative boat and doing it at least once a week for a couple of hours. Doesn't have to be anything fancy although some people do get pretty elaborate. There are a couple of ways I like to spend my weekly date with myself, either sitting in a hot tub with a glass of wine and just my imagination to keep me company (I get through many writer's road blocks in there - must be the heat going to my head) and hanging out a book store or library. I am fortunate that at the front of my local library, they have a place where they sell used books, usually for twenty-five or fifty cents and they change all the time. I can roam around in there for hours, picking up this book or that, skimming pages and wondering where their life began. I don't have to spend any money, and frequently don't, but it always leaves me with a sense of something bigger at work.

I do one other thing, my guilty pleasure, but as far as I am concerned, you can't write without it.

I read...books, magazines, newspaper articles. Every single day. When I have the time, I inhale an entire book either just for fun or for research or somewhere in between. I have two Kindles, an iPad and an iPhone so I am never more than an arms reach away from something to fill my soul with a little creative juice...

And I wouldn't have it any other way...

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