3 March 2015
Note From Rochelle
I’m so happy it’s March! This Saturday (March 7th), I’ll be celebrating March and Dr. Seuss’s birthday by teaching Boing! Bam! Boom! at Central Library in Milwaukee, WI, from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM. Bring your kids and join me in writing noisy poetry!
Today’s tip is about one of my favorite activities—taking an artist’s date!
Rochelle, the Write Now! Coach
In The Artist’s Way, Julia Cameron encourages readers to take a weekly artist’s date. I love the idea but rarely take time to do it. This year, the winter has been long and cold. Just leaving the house and braving the icy sidewalks feels daring. But in these dark winter days, more than ever, I need to take time for artist’s dates. As Cameron says, “Always, when I return to the practice of Artist’s Dates, my sense of wellbeing increases and my work deepens and enlarges.” Walking in the World: The Practical Art of Creativity by Julia Cameron, p 10) Here are five fun and free ways to nourish your creative spirit on an artist’s date:
1. The Kitchen Table. Get out your art and craft supplies and make something. Don’t worry about being fancy or professional—all you need for this activity is paper and crayons or colored pencils. Scribble and enjoy! (Pro Tip: My favorite companion lately has been the book The Art of Whimsical Lettering by Joanne Sharpe. Loads of fun with letters!)
2. The Library. Visit your local public library and wander around until you find a section that piques your curiosity. Grab a book. Repeat the process (wander, get curious, grab a book) until you have a stack of books. Find a cozy corner of the library and page through the book much like you would wander through an art museum. Stop on the pages that intrigue you, skip the ones that don’t.
3. The Music Device. My teenage son is a musician and insists that the best way to understand an album is to listen straight through, from beginning to end. Choose an album that you love and listen from beginning to end. Or make a playlist of songs to spark your creativity. (And if you don’t have a music device, don’t worry. Use the radio, an online streaming service, or YouTube to get your music fix!)
4. The Junk Store. Maybe my favorite part of visiting craft fairs is seeing how artists repurpose everyday objects to make art. Though I work with words rather than stuff, I like visiting second hand stores. Sometimes I think about how I could makeover old items. At other times, I’m happy to just wander and admire the art of every day things—dishes, fancy shoes, and books.
5. The Zoo, Aquarium, or Humane Society. We got a new dog in February. As crazy as it’s been to cope with a young dog in the middle of winter, it’s also brought great joy to our lives. Take an afternoon off to visit the animals or hang out with your own.
This winter, don’t whine about being tired or burned out. List 20 activities and places that you could do for an artist’s date and start planning. Remember, you can do an artist date without spending a dime—take a walk in the woods, attend an author’s book reading, or visit a building with great architecture. Just get out of the house and have fun! I’m guessing this small act will have big results for you.
About the author: Write Now! Coach Rochelle Melander is an author, a certified professional coach, and a popular speaker. Melander has written ten books including Write-A-Thon: Write Your Book in 26 Days (And Live to Tell About It). As the Write Now! Coach, she teaches professionals how to write books fast, get published, and connect with readers through social media. Contact her for a consultation.