Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Tuesday's Tips and Tidbits

Today we are talking about A Writer's Time Out. Sound's sort of stern doesn't it? A writer's time out is what I call a commitment to doing something every week that helps you get to know your "inner writer" a little bit better. It isn't stern at all, but it can be scary because it reflects a commitment to writing that should move you closer to your writing goals. This is a scary thing--committing yourself to a goal that you aren't even sure is attainable. Julia Cameron refers to this as the "Artist's Date," a more romanticised notion of the same thing really.

According to Julia this date is an important contributor to your writing muse. In her book, "The Artist's Way," she compares writing to a relationship that needs nurturing. Counselors encourage spouses to spend quality time with each other in order to reconnect and they need to have fun together in order to do that. It only makes sense that writers should do the same thing to stay connected with their "inner artist."

Julia says, "Your artist needs to be taken out, pampered, and listened to." She points out that excuses concocted to evade this time together are far too easy to come up with, but that all excuses are nonsense. These excuses are simply the "fear of self-intimacy," she says. I think it's also the fear of the unknown and perhaps even success?

Your date need not be expensive or extravagant. It is only important that the time you spend enables you to tap into a deeper part of yourself that helps you to grow as a writer. Your date might include sipping iced tea on the veranda of a local restaurant, watching and listening to children play at the park, or hiking a nature trail near your home. Whatever activity really strikes your fancy...or actually whatever strikes your inner writer's fancy!

So my tidbit for better writing this week is to suggest that you put yourself in a writer's time out, or if you are feeling less self-deprecating take yourself out on an "Artist's Date--it's all in your perspective, my friend! I think I'll take the date!

Have a blessed day!


Lillie Ammann said...

Writer's time-out reminds me us that we need to discipline ourselves to nurture our muse. Artist's date sounds more romantic. Whichever way you look at it, it is so important ... and so neglected. Thanks for the reminder.

Lisa Vella said...


That was exactly the point I was trying to make -- discipline or fun, however you choose to view it the bottom line is that it's important!

Thanks for stopping by! Hope you have a wonderful day!


Betsy Henning said...

Thanks, I needed that!

Stop mowing, stop painting, stop weeding and cleaning -- get writing. I'm putting myself in time out. But when I establish the habit (discipline) I know it'll be as enjoyable as a date!

p.s. I'm only here because the first coat of paint has to dry ;-)

Lisa Vella said...


Can't we all relate to being so crazy busy? We must commit ourselves to our dreams though!

I hope you found some inspiration while you were at the keyboard! Talk to you later!