Welcome back the sun! And welcome back to another weekly prompt that hopefully inspires you to make writing a priority in your life.
If you missed our workshop, you missed us talking about character development and the three-beat arc for our characters. We also worked on personal archaeology as part of our creative recovery and working through The Artist’s Way. We’re almost done with Week 7 and if all goes as planned, we’ll be done by the end of the year.
We have 10 tasks to work on this week. Some of them take moments, others will require you to focus. This is about taking care of your inner artist child. Not doing so is paramount to self abuse. Such language sounds harsh, but it is absolutely true. This is now the third time I’ve gone through this book and I learn something new each time. It always makes me a better artist, writer and person. Treat yourself. Do these tasks:
1. Make this phrase a mantra: Treating myself like a precious object will make me strong. Watercolor or crayon or calligraph this phrase (I would suggest needlepoint or crocheting or glass art or any other expression that fits your style). Post it where you will see it daily. We tend to think being hard on ourselves will make us strong. But it is cherishing ourselves that gives us strength. But it is cherishing ourselves that gives us strength. (I put my money where my typing is on this today — I went and got my first professional haircut in years today. It really does bolster your spirit. Treat yourself well.)
2. Give yourself time out to listen to one side of an album, just for joy. You may want to doodle as you listen, allowing yourself to draw the shapes, emotions, thoughts you hear in the music. Notice how just twenty minutes can refresh you. Learn to take these mini-artist dates to break stress and allow insight. (I did this today with a mix CD my brother sent me. Two things became clear — a new scene for my WIP and an idea for an art project. Very worth the time investment.)
3. Take yourself into a sacred space — a church, synagogue, library, a grove of trees — and allow yourself to savor the silence and healing solitude. Each of us has a personal idea of what sacred space is. For me, a large clock store or a great aquarium store can engender a sense of timeless wonder. Experiment.
4. Create one wonderful smell in your house — with soup, incense, fir branches, candles — whatever. (I do this daily with candles during meditation, and I cook just about every day for my family and it does warm the hearth, as they say, to come into the home and smell something stewing in the crock pot or on the stove.)
5. Wear your favorite item of clothing for no special occasion.
6. Buy yourself one wonderful pari of socks, one wonderful pair of gloves — one wonderfully comforting self-loving something. (May I suggest you stop in to Selah Gifts, Shelley carries the most wonderfully comforting self-loving socks. Tell her I sent you!~)
7. Collage: Collect a stack of at least ten magazines (don’t have any? check out the thrift store or the library — they sell old magazines uber cheap. you could even make an artist date out of gathering a stack that has beautiful-to-you images in them), which you will allow yourself to freely dismember. Setting a twenty-minute time limit for yourself, tear (literally) through the magazines, collecting any images that reflect your life or interests. Think of the collage as a form of pictorial autobiography. Include your past, present, future, and your dreams. It is okay to include images you simply like. Keep pulling until you have a good stack of images (at least 20). Now take a sheet of newspaper, a stapler, or some tape or glue, and arrange your images in a way that pleases you. (This is one of my students’ favorite exercises.)
8. Quickly list five favorite films. Do you see any common denominators among them? Are they romances, adventures, period pieces, political dramas, family epics, thrillers? Do you see traces of your cinematic themes in your collage?
9. Name your favorite topics to read about: comparative religion, movies, ESP, physics, rags-to-riches, betrayal, love triangles, scientific breakthroughs, sports…Are these topics in your collage?
10. Give your collage a place of honor. Even a secret place of honor is all right — in your closet, in a drawer, anywhere that is yours. You may want to do a new one every few months, or collage more thoroughly a dream you are trying to accomplish.
Okay, writers, get to work. Get your tasks done. Take care of yourself, treat yourself precious and take some time for these fun mini-artist dates and explorations. You’ll be grateful you did.
The Night of Writing Dangerously, Mini Writing Retreat/Nano event is on. We have a block of rooms saved at the top of Fall City Roadhouse. If you want a room, you need to contact Vicky Bastedo (her email is on the To: line here) and she will let you know what you need to do to get your room. We anticipate that the six rooms available (three double occupancy — in case a couple of you want to go in half-sies) will go quickly. It’s for the night of Nov. 16th — a Friday. We’ll be there at the Roadhouse beginning at 3 p.m. and will have the banquet room upstairs until 10 p.m. and then you may retire to your room to wrestle your noveling demons alone, with a roommate or even rest. We’ll have breakfast in the morning and then checkout. There may be an evening event planned later, but that announcement is forthcoming.
Don’t forget our NaNo kick off event is Nov. 1 at The Black Dog in Snoqualmie. The duck-worthy fun starts at 6 p.m. Special NaNo-Rhino Guests will be there to help us Charge Ahead! with our writing goals.
I am your M/L for the event and I am HeroProtagonist on the NaNoWriMo.org site. Get signed up. Come friend me and we’ll novel our way to artistic bliss. 😀
And now your moment of Writing Zen:
“When you start a painting, it is somewhat outside you. At the conclusion, you seem to move inside the painting.” ~Fernando Botero.