Refilling Your Creative Well

When the Waterworld Mermaids blog first started three years ago, I wrote a post about the Artist Date and my hobby of making bento box meals for my kids. For those of you who don’t remember, Julia Cameron defines the Artist Date as apintip time used to nurture our inner artist and a way to refill our creative well. (THE ARTIST’S WAY, 20-21).

In the past few weeks, I have found myself in desperate need of refilling my well. Lots of things can suck your creativity dry, some writing-related and some not. Health issues, money problems, fatigue, and the loss of a loved one, to name a few. Rejections, revisions, and less-than-stellar reviews, to name some others.

Whatever your reason, if you find yourself in need of an Artist Date, here are some suggestions:

1. Plant a garden. Buy some potted plants, seeds, soil, planters and dig in. Get your hands dirty. Nurture your plants, day after day, and revel in the pure joy of growing something.

2. Get a mani/pedi with your daughter, niece, or neighbor’s kid. Pampering yourself at the salon is a treat in and of itself. But experience it anew through the eyes of someone who’s not used to such an outing. I guarantee you’ll gain a fresh appreciation for something you may have been taking for granted.

3. Go fruit-picking — and make a fresh fruit pie. I believe strawberries are in season at the moment, but blueberries, cherries, and blackberries are coming right up. My personal favorite is raspberry pie — but regardless of flavor, let that freshly-picked taste burst in your mouth. There’s nothing quite like it.

4. Flex your creative muscle — in an area outside of your comfort zone. If you’re a writer, dance. If you’re a dancer, paint. If you’re a painter, make some music. In particular, I would suggest going to pottery painting studio, where they have all the equipment you need and you just pay for the cost of a certain piece. I have spent many relaxing hours creating fun, moderately attractive pieces at these places.

5. Go out to dinner — at a new restaurant, or better yet, in a cuisine in which you’re unfamiliar. What better way to stimulate the senses by trying something utterly new? And if you can taste yummy food while you’re at it, even better. Best of all? Invite a friend along for the outing, someone who connects with your creative self, and before you know it, your well will be overflowing.

So what do you think, mermaids and friends? What suggestions do you have, or what fun Artist Dates have you been on lately? Please share! I’d love to hear your thoughts!