February 15, 2015

Inspired All Over Again - Tracy Krauss

Creative people like writers, artists and musicians pour a tremendous amount of energy into their art. The instinct to 'let it out' is strong, but at some point it is essential to fill up the depleted tank of inspiration.

I love this month's prompt because I have read and enjoyed the book THE ARTIST'S WAY by Julia Cameron, which is one of the springboards for this month's prompt. In fact, I blogged about it myself quite awhile back and wrote a review of the book.

Since that post expresses quite well what I want to say here, I've included an excerpt:

"... the author’s premise that everyone has a creative side since we are all a product of the Great Creator, is exactly what I believe. God is the ultimate creator and since we are made in His image, we are each naturally creative in our own way.

There were two main exercises that I found truly inspirational.  She calls these the ‘Morning Pages’ and the ‘Artist’s Date’.  Basically, the morning pages are simply taking the time to journal each morning before you start your day.  She recommends writing three pages about anything that comes to mind – a ‘stream of consciousness’ exercise that works as a therapeutic ‘outlet’.  This is easy. I journal regularly and totally agree that it is a great way to ‘dump’ your thoughts and feelings. Just getting them out is often enough to bring clarity.  According to the author, this helps de-clutter the anxieties and hang-ups that might be hampering your creative efforts. It certainly works for me!

The ‘Artist’s Date’ is equally beneficial and even more intriguing. This is a once a week event that you schedule with YOURSELF. It is a date between you and your inner artist. Essentially, you are setting aside time to feed your muse. Think of the things that bring inspiration. Perhaps it’s a walk in nature; going to a play; listening to music… this is the ‘input’ side of the equation. She stresses the need to do this activity alone. It is not a time to discuss things or ask for input. It is simply you allowing yourself to be inspired.

For me, I love visiting art galleries, and come to think about it, I enjoy this experience most when I’m alone. I can just sit and stare at a particular piece for as long as I want with no sense of being hurried along and no obligation to discuss the merits (or lack thereof) of the piece in question.  I also like sitting looking out over an amazing view – be it a city skyline, a mountain valley, the ocean at sunset, or the vastness of the prairie sky. This inspires me. I’ve also found inspiration in people watching. Airports, parks, shopping malls… there are lots of interesting characters just waiting to be discovered."

 Think back to the times when you have felt truly inspired. Then make a date with yourself to do these things more often.

Tracy Krauss is a multi-published author, artist and playwright living in beautiful tumbler Ridge, BC.  visit her website for more. 


  1. I love the dictate to take Artists Dates alone. As an introvert, that's easy. I crave such time with myself and whatever opportunities I can sneak away for. Inspiration often comes.

    How does this work for extroverts, though? I'd like to get more understanding into their world!

  2. Good point Bobbi. As a borderline extrovert (I also have strong introvert tendencies) I find I need that alone time to truly recharge. I think extroverts in general probably need this as well, even if they prefer being with people. My husband is an EXTRA extrovert (I mean there is very little introvert in him at all!) yet he says there are times when he just needs to get away.

  3. I too have no problem choosing to be alone, but must confess I do not always spend that time in purposed creative pursuit. I do have a suggestion for the extroverts, though, which I mention in my contribution to this month's theme (but it's not posted until the 26th, so you'll have to just wait for it bwahahaha).

  4. Thanks for this, Tracy. I have Cameron's The Artist's Way on my bookshelf, but I haven't read it completely, so I guess that should be one of my first jobs.

    I also think I worked sideways when I discussed people and places that support and inspire me in my writing. That's what I wrote about in my blog on the 10th of this month.

    Maybe I don't take enough artist's dates by myself. Thanks for the thoughts, Tracy.

  5. Thanks for this Tracy! Great post. I am pretty sure that we all know that is it imperative to take time out to recharge and get inspired, yet "knowing" isn't enough. The Lord is clearly teaching the ACT of getting recharged. Having an entire months worth of posts learning how other writers have "Aritist's dates" is incredibly enlighting. I just might figure out how to relax yet :)

  6. I appreciate your ideas for artistic inspiration. I like people watching too!
    Pam M.

  7. I feel somewhat left out of this discussion, although I fully endorse the ideas you have for recharging.
    While I occasionally do many of the things you and others describe, I get excited at people's follies on the TV news--they so often validate the Bible!
    I'm fascinated watching trains--I loved Bobbi's picture. I get excited with the truth of the Bible, it makes so much sense as I get older, and reading of other people's discoveries in Scripture.
    That, with prayer for God's view of what I read and see, provides me with too much to write about. I'll never get it all done!
    It's probably a male thing!
    So, Tracy, I'm somewhat off track with your leading, but had to let my personal thoughts out this valentine.

  8. I've been inspired to read blogs this month. Julia Cameron advocates going alone on an artist's date, but some who wrote this month mention spending that time with people (myself included)--my spirit is often filled when I'm with friends and family.
    Pam even mentioned a group date for writers.

    So, do whatever works for you--alone or with others.

  9. Julia Cameron's book The Right to Write is also excellent, I know when I practice the morning pages I feel better about writing.

  10. I too love to go to art galleries, alone, with no one to pressure me or hold me back. And yet, in the end, I also enjoy dialoguing with others about a piece of art--what they saw, felt, in the piece. What stood out to them. I love the different perspectives. Yes, art is one of my favourite inspirations because God is there.

  11. Tracy, thanks for the reminder to just SIT for a long time. It's hard for me to do that without forcing myself to be productive somehow while I'm sitting at a museum, etc., but you've given us permission to just sit and stare and absorb and enjoy!


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