I have a brilliant idea for you.
To find your creative mojo, get yourself one of those dollar store notebooks. It doesn’t matter if it is lined paper or blank. Whatever you prefer. I even love the notebooks filled with graph paper. Open the book, make a quick sketch and record a sentence or phrase or two to capture what is going on in that picture. Sketch anything you want. The coffee mug you are drinking from. A piece of bread. Your fridge door. Anything. Don’t want to draw. Then don’t. Just write. Doodle. Whatever you want. Turn everyday moments into something amazing. Something significant. Draw a frame around it even. You will, over time, build up a little notebook of memories.
I started writing morning pages over a year ago. Perhaps you recall that from a previous newsletter. I used the teachings of Julia Cameron who talks about the importance of writing everyday for 15 minutes. I spend an equal number of minutes making some rough sketches of pretty much anything. Sometimes it’s something from my life, sometimes it’s a prompted sketch (prompted by a sketch book called 642 Things to Draw). I draw for 15 minutes. Then I’m done. Even if I never write or draw anything else that day, I have given myself 30 minutes of uninterrupted time to write and draw.
Making art this way, through words and sketches /paintings, shows how much I have in my life. My treasured words and art. It doesn’t have to be anything amazing. Sometimes I write quotes that I like. Sometimes I write about something Kai said or John or how the sun felt on my skin after twelve days without sun. Sometimes I draw the dimples of an orange or the chipped edge of my mug.
Stuff a mini-notebook and writing instrument into your purse/handbag/ pocket. When you find yourself waiting around at the dentist’s office, at the garage getting winter tires swapped for summer tires or reaching for your phone to read tweets, pull out the notebook instead. Shape the mush of everyday life into something lovely. Be creative. Create some order out of chaos. Have a vision of what you want to do with your time and do it.
Here’s the thing: you would likely not subscribe to this newsletter if you didn’t want to have more creativity in your life. Creativity is not a luxury. It is an essence of everyday life. Invent something new with your just-sharpened pencil. Fit creativity into your life like you do tooth brushing and shampooing your hair. You’re not striving to be a full time artist. Just commit to expressing what is inside of you. Express what it means to be you. Everyday, if you can. Make everyday worthwhile. Seriously, don’t beat yourself up if it isn’t everyday. When Kai drops in for a week or two, I push pause on my creativity and make him the focus. I make things with him, alongside him, with playdough or pudding or crayons or markers or scissors and paper. I make notes of little sayings he has and photographs of him and Mira, and when they go on their merry way, I have new life experiences to capture somehow in my creativity.
Remember, art with a small ‘a’ (from Danny Gregory) is not the end product. It is a way of life. Now go play.