It must’ve been my recent return to poetry, Chipmunks.
Lately, I’ve felt somethin’ coming on. Sometimes I mistake it for melodrama. Or, at best, awkward earnestness.
Though never insincere, I wasn’t always all guilty pleasures and goofy PowerPoint presentations. In my teens, humor only crept into my writing via dialogue. Everything else was angst-y and maudlin. I filled dozens of journals with lovesick poetry. Some of it wasn’t half bad.
In college, I discovered writers like Bill Bryson and David Sedaris, and realized that was the genre I wanted to pursue: humorous memoir. I’ve always found the truth more profound with levity. I like it when a protagonist’s journey makes me laugh despite the tears.
Nevertheless, the old poetry itch is back, and I don’t want this blog to suffer for it; we all know this place is the Uncle Jesse to my Aunt Becky. So today I thought I’d just quickly mention something a liiiittle more serious. A little behind-the-scenes look at my writing life.
I spend a lot of time on creative exercises and figuring out how to find and follow my passion(s). I handwrite, stream-of-consciousness style, for 30 minutes every morning, first thing. I take a daily walk, and once a week, I try to go on a mini adventure that sparks my creativity. On Sundays, I spend about an hour or two ‘checking in’ with myself, writing about recurring issues and the little miracles that happen when you get in touch with your creative nature.
These practices are, yes, a huge time commitment; I shower at night and get up at 5:30 in the morning to write before I drive an hour to work. But these exercises are a lifesaver for me, and if they sound familiar, you probably read about them in The Artist’s Way. Much like blogging, Julia Cameron’s books have changed my life in unimaginable ways.
They’re the reason I volunteered to help Marlene film the pilot webisode of My Parents Are Crazier Than Yours. The reason I had the nerve to attend my first blogging conference, meet up with Rache from Rachel’s Table, and sign up for that web design class.
Thanks to this blog and The Artist’s Way, I’ve identified concrete goals and watched them spring to life. I’ve learned that if you ask for a creative helping hand, and open yourself to possibility, the universe always delivers. Some of you have been the messengers!
I’ve never met Julia Cameron, have no affiliation with The Artist’s Way, and never thought I’d talk about this here, but my blog has always embraced the things we all love -however logical or…not– without shame. And so: I love these books.
If you’re feeling stuck and really ready to make a change, they might help you, too.
Have you ever read any of The Artist’s Way books? What inspires (or blocks) your creativity?
P.S. – Lest you think I’ve fallen off the guilty pleasure wagon,
I’m drinking vodka right now and I’ve got somethin’ spectacular in the works for you later this week. It might be the most bloggy fun I’ve EVER HAD.