During this time, I like to read a book on creativity. In the past I've read books like The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron, A Writer's Paris by Eric Maisel, Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg, Succulent Wild Woman by SARK, and Embracing Your Power Woman by Barbara Wilder.
A couple of weeks ago, I stumbled upon a gorgeous book called Creative Awakenings by Sheri Gaynor at Borders while I was looking for books on beading. Someday I want to make a gorgeous book like this. The imagery and design are as important as the words. My books have all been designed beautifully, but they are not art books. This book is a work of art, on top of being full of good information to read. The subtitle is what really hooked me:
Envisioning the Life of Your Dreams Through Art
For several years I've been wanting to do more artistic work and I think it's finally time for me to be able to do that. I'm wrapping up the big book I've been working on for four years, I haven't signed a contract for another knitting book, I have help with my business, and I actually know what kind of art I want to explore. At least at first. Who knows where this adventure will lead? When I first read The Artist's Way, I was hoping it would help me overcome being blocked as a writer. Instead, it opened up my creativity in knitting and design.
I'll be using this book for the rest of the year and blogging about the experience. It's really a year-long program but I want to play with it a bit before I commit to a year. On first perusal, it seems wonderful and not too terribly time consuming so as to be impractical for the long term.
What you are supposed to do (and this is a grossly simplified overview based on my quick skim of the book), is spend some time at the beginning of each month thinking about your intention for that month, your focus and direction, more than a specific goal. After the meditation, you make a collage or drawing in your journal that captures the essence of your ideas and feelings, then you write about it. During the month, you come back to this periodically. You can change or add to your art, you can write more, or you can just give yourself time to focus your mind. It's all about being in touch with your muse and listening to your inner voice. This year I've been trying to listen to my feelings and not over-rationalize so much but I've failed miserably. Maybe using more visual art forms will help me in my quest.
There's a lot more to it than that, and I hope you'll follow along as I share my insights with you as I work through the chapters in the coming weeks. And as I read through the book, I'm becoming more and more ready to sign a contract with myself for the whole coming year!