Friday, September 4, 2009

Cross Training

So my hubby is about five weeks away from running the Chicago Marathon.  Big, huge challenge to say the least.  As he's been training for his huge challenge, I continue on with my own challenge of writing the greatest YA novel of all times (NO PRESSURE IN OUR HOUSE).

He spoke a few times about his "cross training" that he does, and it occurred to me a few days ago how important that concept might be in terms of being a good (okay fabulously great) writer.  Athletes cross-train all the time, and although I practice writing in various genres, I didn't really think about how vital it may be to get out there and do some other forms of art like painting or drawing, or dancing or catch my drift.

I turned to one of my favorite experts on creativity, Julie Cameron who touches on this in one of the first chapters of her book, Artist's Way by suggesting that creatives have an "artist date", wherein you would block out some time once a week and do something to nurture your "inner artist" or "creative child".  In other words, go out and have some fun.  Then she goes on to explain how the artist brain "is the sensory brain:  sight and sound, smell, taste and touch."  I must admit, after baking a few pies from scratch and decorating sixteen batches of Christmas cookies, I tend to feel creatively rejuvenated.

This past week, although I didn't paint, draw, dance or sculpt anything, I did block off time on my calendar to walk the dog.  Depriving myself of this daily ritual over the summer (due to the kid factor) I've missed that routine, and realize how beneficial it is to my writing.  Walking the dog helps me reflect on the day's writing and see changes or what needs to come next in the story.   I've also added a tip this week from novelist, Les Edgerton to listen to music that fits into my novel's story and characters while I walk.  

This weekend, I've decided to block out some time and paint some antique milk jugs that I've been meaning to get at for about oh, nine or ten years.  If I don't get to that, for sure I'm going to the local Irish fest to soak up some good Irish music, dancing and fun. What are some things you do to creatively cross-train?  


1 comment:

2KoP said...

I've primarily been trying to take up different writing challenges to stretch my creativity. One of my new favorite blogs is called "Strangling My Muse" by Sandy Ackers, who often lists creative writing prompts.

Another great blog is by Linda Cassidy Lewis, called Out of My Mind. In this post that I linked you too, she shows a picture of her main character that she drew as a reward for finishing her first draft. Clearly, Linda is a woman of enormous talent. I asked her to draw a picture of my main character, but she declined.