Many people are familiar with the book, The Artist's Way, by Julia Cameron. I first learned about it a number of years ago when I was living in Chicago. The book focuses on freeing up your creativity, no matter what your art - painting, writing, music, cooking! I was very good about keeping morning pages and artist's dates for a long time. For those unfamiliar with the book, Julia recommends writing down 3 pages of stream of consciousness thinking first thing in the morning. She says that getting all that "stuff" out of your head clears the way for creativity. She also recommends making an artist "date" with yourself once a week. That is time to do something fun and spur your creativity. Chicago had lots of great places for artist "dates".
I fell off the wagon a few years ago, and haven't kept up with either. A friend of mine gave me a copy of The Artist's Way last summer and I finally pulled it out and decided to work through it again. (Yes, Diana, it has taken me this long to get to it! Everything in it's time.)
I must admit, it takes discipline to get back into the routine of morning pages, but I am committed to sticking with it for the next few months. It really isn't as hard as it sounds. You just sit and write whatever comes into your head, even if it's something like, "My cat just attacked my feet.", or "I don't really want to do this, but I said I would, so here I am." What I find is I spend most of the time writing about all the things I have to do. It almost becomes my to-do list for the day. I suppose that's not so bad - if I write it down, I don't have to worry about forgetting it.
I have also committed my Friday afternoons to artist dates. I'm teaching a class downtown on Friday mornings, so I decided I would use Friday afternoon to visit galleries, walk on the river, see the sights. I'll share some of my Friday experiences here.