Taking Care of Creative You

I’m only lost if I don’t know where I’m going, but knowing where I’m going isn’t the same as having a specific destination. Am I confusing you? Sorry about that, but it’s not as convoluted a statement as it may seem.

Unlike Jan Markley who was trying to find her way to a YABS (Young Alberta Book Society) event and ended up being “transported into an alternate parallel universe” (no, aliens didn’t scoop her up but a late-May whiteout almost kept her from spending the day in a coveted green leather hand chair – don’t ask; that one is convoluted), I’ve been known to muse and meander without a destination but with a purpose.

It’s something Julia Cameron advocates. I’ve read a few of her books now but regularly go back to WALKING IN THIS WORLD. In it she advises her readers to take “extended soul-refreshing walks” as one of the tools to nourish creativity. It’s amazing what ideas, solutions, and discoveries emerge from a brain being drenched by additional oxygen during a brisk walk or a contemplative meander.

Any caregiver will tell you that you can’t continue to give of yourself indefinitely without occasionally replenishing your energy. Likewise, a writer’s source of inspiration needs topping up, the well needs refilling.

At the beginning of Julia’s course of discovery she provides a “Creativity Contract” that I think we would all do well to sign.

(Today I’m particularly conscious of taking good care of myself as it marks exactly five years since my cancer surgery… a happy milestone. 🙂 )

What steps do you take to care for yourself and nurture your creativity?


11 thoughts on “Taking Care of Creative You

  1. Congratulations on the milestone. Something about that 5 year mark is really special, but I hit the 15 year milestone this year and that’s a good one, too!

    Reading a good book always gives me inspiration, but sitting on my deck watching the birds and bunnies is my favorite way to relax. I always feel refreshed after a few minutes basking in God’s beauty.

  2. Jan Markley says:

    Thanks for the link Carol. Good post, as writers we must remember to take care of ourselves and occasionally push the chair back from the computer and take a walk!

  3. Dave Ebright says:

    I gotta evaluate this a bit. The treadmill that is my life has been pretty crazy – hmmmm….

    Congrats on your milestone.

  4. Laura Best says:

    Five years, congratulations!!! That is a milestone.

    I’ve been known to go for walks with a purpose. Being out in nature always helps to keep the creativity going. I mean, what better place to be if you want to see creativity at its best? Hard not to be inspired.

  5. Thanks for your comments Carol, Jan, Dave and Laura. I don’t think most people consider the writing life particularly difficult, but we know what’s involved. Crammed into a daily life full of responsibilities, writing stresses play against a lot of hours just sitting staring into a computer monitor — definitely not the healthiest lifestyle. So walking not only provides mental and creative refreshment it’s also gives us some physical exercise. That’s gotta be a good thing, right?

  6. joylene says:

    Hallelujah, Carol!

  7. Oh, good, I”m not the only one who takes convoluted paths to find my destination. Although I do wonder what a white out is. I’d say a snowstorm, but in May?

    Congratulations on being cancer free! That’s a God thing, just for you.

    I try to walk to take care of myself, and I’ve cut back eating so many sweets. I’m sweet enough. Ahahahahahaa!

  8. It’s a wonderful milestone!

    I like this post. But then you’ve always got good stuff. 🙂

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