I hang my head in shame to admit that I’ve been busy with more important things than my own creativity. And this is what I teach other artists not to do!
Here’s the story: You may not know this but Companion and I have been collaborating on a musical. That’s right, as in play.
He’s been working on it and now it’s my turn. It’s a huge project and I couldn’t imagine finding the headspace to be inspired right now. I almost set it aside until Companion suggested that I take a week away and create the space.
I looked at the calendar and found one week that looked hopeful. I called a friend who lives in a gorgeous cottage in the English countryside asking if she knew anyone looking for a house-sitter, understanding that this was a shot in the dark.
But guess what? She and her husband were going away that very week and needed someone to stay in their home and look after the animals!
I took this as a very good sign indeed.
The house was lovely, surrounded by flowers and a garden stocked with fresh vegetables, a pond full of fish, cats to cuddle and a dog to play with. Who could ask for more?
I started each day writing non-stop until lunch. Then I’d take a 3.5 mile hike to the nearest town, Royal Tunbridge Wells. I lived in Tunbridge Wells when I first moved to England so it has a special place in my heart, and not just because this is where I first fell in love with cake.
Walking through the countryside brings out my inner 8-year old. I chased the dog across rolling green meadows, talked to trees in the forest, and played in the stream. I rested under huge oaks and blue skies as I took notes, capturing each idea as it came.
Once in town, my routine included trekking past all the regal Victorian villas to the High Street full of fabulous shops, where I’d treat myself to a cup of tea and a beautiful slice of cake before making the journey back.
When I returned to the cottage, I’d answer emails and address only the business that absolutely positively had to get done. Then dinner, a long soak in a hot bath, followed by an evening of musicals on TV for inspiration.
It was heaven! I’m the kind of girl who lives very close to my spirit because that’s where my best ideas come from. So although my self-imposed exile looked like a holiday, it’s actually the way I work best. Not only did I accomplish an incredible amount of work, I left that week feeling inspired and ready to put my creativity back into my daily schedule.
So to any artist who complains that they don’t have time to devote to their own creative work, I say “Let them eat cake.”
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