Taking My Muse on a Date: Round of Words Weekly Check-in

Week Two of a Round of Words in 80 Days, or #ROW80 for those of us who spend waaay too much time on Twitter. It’s been a good week.

Among my goals for ROW80 is to work through Julia Cameron’s creativity rediscovery program as detailed in the The Artist’s Way. Each week there are specific assignments as well as tools that carry over from week to week.

One such tool is the artist’s date. I think of it as taking my Muse on a date. Like all relationships, it’s important to spend time one-on-one with your creative self. What you do is up to you but there are two ‘rules’: take around 2 hours and go alone.

Last week, I took a trip to the local art supply store. I’d passed it regularly for three plus years but this was the first time I’d ventured in.  Whoa, was that an education! I discovered some very deeply-held beliefs about my own lack of artist ability and remembered childhood attractions to certain art materials (including cray pas and colored pencils).

I bought some things that caught my fancy and put them, along with some materials I’d been squirreling away, into one of my dad’s old art supply boxes. (Yes, my father is an artist. Yes, it occurred to me that that has something to do with my insecurity). That stuff will come in handy during a future artist’s date.

This week I took my Muse for a walk. On Friday morning, I had a doctor’s appointment around two miles from my home. I took the bus there and walked home through Sligo Creek Park, one of the many streams that feed into the Anacostia-Potomac river system.

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The walk was about 2.5 miles, and took an hour and a half. It was a gorgeous day: high fifties, sunny with a slight breeze. I stopped whenever the mood struck and took pictures (in the slideshow above). Along the way I helped the park by pulling up any garlic mustard I saw. It’s a terribly invasive plant – bad for the park but yummy when sautéed for my lunch.

So that was one goal achieved this week. And the others?

Writing:

(1) Submitted my application for the writer’s workshop – Woo Hoo! While on a roll, I also sent in page one of my manuscript to “American Author” a first-page live critique done by agents and editors at the Washington Romance Writer’s retreat (coming up at the end of the month). Not for the faint of heart – thank God its anonymous!

Now that that is done, the 3000 words/week goal kicks in.

(2) Morning pages – not always morning, but more often than not, and everyday. I’m working on a new program to get more restful sleep, and wake earlier. That should help me get up before the kids, and get them done before chaos is unleashed (usually between 6:30 and 7:00am in our house).

(3) & (4) Blogging twice a week: doing by my regular post on Wednesdays (including the mid-week check-in), and adding the Sunday check-in. Next month I’ll add another blog day, if I can work it in with my 3000 words. Those are words of fiction – the blog doesn’t count.

(5) The Artist’s Way. I’m starting week three, so that’s going well.  I haven’t completed all the exercises from last week but that because some require a bit more thought. Overall, it’s going well.

(6) How to Think Sideways: Career Survival School for Writers: I’ve re-read the first two lessons, and I’m working through the assignments. I love it! I have an idea for a flash fiction contest, and I’m hoping that doing HTTS will inspire me.

There are dozens of folks participating in a Round of Words in 80 Days. Among them are these two fabulous women: Kerry Meacham, who is Desperately Seeking Sanity, and Robin McCormack, who counts the many ways she is fortunate starting with My Two Blessings. All the other amazing writers who are on this 80-day journey can be found here.

Marine Mammals Poster Giveaway

This month’s giveaway is an out-of-print NOAA poster of Marine Mammals of the Western Hemisphere. Every comment left in the month of May equals one entry. Every link or reference to this blog on your site equals two entries. The drawing will be held on the 1st of May, so start your entries now!

Danielle Meitiv is an oceanographer by training, an advocate for all things marine and a writer of science fiction and non-fiction. Danielle is also a huge fan and sales affiliate for Holly Lisle’s online courses: How to Think Sideways: Career Survival School for Writers, and How to Revise Your Novel. Follow @Danielle_Meitiv on Twitter, and on Facebook: Brave Blue Words, and Danielle Meitiv.

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3 thoughts on “Taking My Muse on a Date: Round of Words Weekly Check-in

  1. Danielle, congratulations on your dedication to your goals! Great to get some writing done, but I’m also impressed with the artist dates. At the week-long workshop I did recently, our instructor (an Artist’s Way fan) told us we had to do an artist date once a week. I think my muse is mad at me because I can’t come up with any good ideas.

  2. I’m not going to tell you how many years I’ve wanted to do The Artist’s Way. I start it and get thru to the 3rd week or so, and then . . .it fizzles, so I admire your commitment! I’m in a stage, now that my little ones are a wee bit older, to make that commitment to myself. I think it’s time. Thanks for inspiring me!

    1. Hey Michelle – let’s do it together! we can egg each other on. No pressure though – you can’t force the creative process. We can just check-in to have a bit of accountability and keep each other posted on what we learn.

      What do you say?

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