“The artist brain is the sensory brain: sight and sound, smell and taste, touch. These are the elements of magic, and magic is the elemental stuff of art. In filling the well, think magic. Think delight. Think fun. Do not think duty. Do not think what you should do… Do what intrigues you, explore what interests you.” — Julia Cameron
Julia Cameron, author of the enduring best-seller The Artist’s Way, popularized the notion that creative people have a “well” of inspiration and energy which can run dry, and sometimes needs to be refilled. Overwork, fatigue, and giving too much of yourself to others without receiving equal support can drain your well.
To combat this energy drain, Cameron suggests two rituals to refill the creative well: Morning Pages and the Artist Date. Here, I’ll explain a little about each of them, as well as offering several alternatives and additional ritual practices you might implement.
More than any other, the rituals of creativity are concerned with play, one of the tenets of ritual that we explored in Part 1 of the series.
The Artist Date: Take a Field Trip
The Artist Date is broad, and resists definition, because the shape it takes depends entirely on your own needs and interests. We might better call this a “field trip.” The Artist Date is an opportunity to get out of your everyday environment and allow yourself to be transported.
You decide what your field trip looks like, but it may be good to brainstorm some unconventional ideas or look to others for inspiration. Sometimes, it’s hard to know how to break out of your own routine. It can be difficult to see all the possible choices available to you.
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This article is part of the Writing Rituals series.
Series Table of Contents:
- Writing Rituals: How Writers Can Use Rituals to Create Intention
- Writing Rituals: Pre-Work Rituals for Writers
- Writing Rituals: Managing Life Outside Work
- Writing Rituals: Getting Inspired (This Article)