Keep Your Muse Happy With Artist’s Dates with Shelli Proffitt Howells

Guest Blogger: Shelli Proffitt Howells

Sometimes, we grown-ups become too grown-up. We have deadlines to meet, bills to pay and food to put on the table. We have meetings to go to, dinners to make and children to teach and discipline. Is it any wonder that our muse might be crushed by the weight of all that responsibility?

They say that all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. That is certainly true if the name of your muse happens to be Jack. If you want to keep your muse happy, it’s time to schedule an artist’s date.

The idea of artist’s dates comes from Julia Cameron’s book, The Artist’s Way. In her book, Cameron explores ways to tap into our creativity. One way to do this, she says, is to have a weekly artist’s date.

The rules for an artist’s date are simple and flexible. It is a once-weekly, festive, solo expedition to explore something that interests you. It can be as simple as sitting down to watch a movie or as complex as going scuba diving. The most important criterion is that you must have fun.

Here are a few ideas to get you started.

  • Start a new hobby such as gardening, crocheting or gourmet cooking.
  • Visit the park. Swing on the swings and slide down the slide.
  • Put on your favorite CD and dance.
  • Play in the sprinklers.
  • Blow bubbles. Make your own bubble wand out of a hanger. Try to make the biggest bubble ever.
  • Draw with sidewalk chalk.
  • Finger paint. Frame your artwork.
  • Create a collage of the things that you love. Display it somewhere prominent so every time you see it, it makes you smile.
  • Go to the mall and people watch. Make up insane stories about their lives.
  • Visit the pet store and play with the puppies.
  • Take a bike ride.
  • Go on a hike.
  • Go swimming.
  • Visit a museum – but only if you really, really like museums.
  • Take a ride on a train.

As you read this list, I bet some of your favorite childhood memories came back to you. Remember what you used to love, and then do it. Vow never to be too grown-up again. Your muse will thank you for it.

About Bonnie Gwyn Johnson

Bonnie Gwyn handles all guest bloggers on this website. Contact her if you would like to volunteer your time to share writing advice for The Authors' Think Tank.