Looking In All the Right Places

I have rededicated myself to writing morning pages every morning. For those not familiar with this technique from Julia Cameron in her book, The Artists’s Way, it is a writing exercise done first thing in the morning where you just keep writing 750 words by hand, the old fashioned way. Every day. I have made some modifications to her process. I fill one page of my composition notebook daily while drinking my morning coffee. Sometimes I do stop writing but get right back to writing when I notice this. This writing practice has a way of bringing up your deep thoughts. Somehow it is easier to write them out and then you realize that is exactly what you were thinking in a kind of hazy inarticulate way. I started this morning pages practice in 2012. Sometimes I am more consistent than others. I use the same Deconstruction composition notebooks in various funky designs and special colorful gel pens. It is the kind of habit that spills over into your every day life and effects many other things. It can be a direct line to self awareness. It helps me take action and not wallow in negative thoughts.

I know how powerful this practice can be, but I was astounded when I found myself outside writing in my decomposition book and realized I started seeing color combinations and design ideas right in front of me as I was staring out at our prairie garden. Some of you sharp readers are like, “hey, you were supposed to be writing, not daydreaming.” Yes, correct. Sometimes I alternate between the two activities. 

Looking In All the Right Places. Sunset down the road last week. Variegated leaves for a great design idea. Brilliant green moss color. Prairie color combo of lavender asters and mustard goldenrod.

This is exactly what I said I had missed most taking a summer sabbatical in my Studio Notes last week in the article, Just Start. Here I was thinking about color and design, looking for inspiration. I obviously was looking in all the right places. I was outside on our kitchen patio on a windy first day of fall. I was letting myself daydream and be open. Simple stuff. An idea or intention to think more creatively, some time where I had no pressures, and a beautiful spot in nature. Perfect combination. I gave myself the time to be open and the space to be inspired.

I did something I have rarely done. I posted the photos of the color combination and design ideas on Instagram. As a rule, I have only posted my art on Instagram. It just felt so natural and I was giddy to be seeing inspiration all around me again.

If you feel a little down in the dumps creatively, try giving yourself the time and space that you find the most inspiring. And then keep doing that. This works if you are a knitter, a quilter, a musician, a dancer, a poet, a woodcarver, etc.  You get the idea. It can work for everybody.