I am really enjoying my journey through The Artist’s Way, by Julia Cameron. It fits perfectly with the reading I’m doing in Liz Gilbert’s Big Magic, and with my own creative stirrings. This is only week one, of the twelve week course, but so far I’ve done three pages of free writing every morning and taken my artistic self on a date and worked through the first week’s assignments.
I don’t intend to share all the details from the book. Instead, I’d recommend it to anyone who desires to explore his or her creative side. But today’s exercise was just too fun to not share. Called Imaginary Lives, the assignment was to pretend you could live five other lives. What would you do in those other lives? Be a cowboy? Paint? Raise goats? The point of these extra lives is to have fun, cut loose, explore possibilities. This type of exercise ignites me! I can play and pretend in this manner all day long and put myself to sleep at night imagining. And that’s what the intention is, to fire up my imagination and think beyond where I am currently.
So here are my five imaginary lives, written in the present tense as if I am living them:
Owner of Rivendell of the Ozarks, a Spiritual Resort – I have 100 beautiful acres nestled in the Ozarks with a lake, and a river that runs through the land. There are woods with walking trails and places to sit and think, pray or mediate, and a stable with horses. Whimsical cottages await guests and include a Scottish castle, a treehouse, a Hobbit Home, an English Cottage and a Tuscany villa. Each cottage has a themed garden, a courtyard and an outdoor shower. There’s a conference center, pretty enough for weddings and receptions and roomy enough for workshops and classes. A small charming restaurant is on site, featuring delicious meals prepared with fresh local ingredients. My home is here as well. This is a protected, enchanted place to seek restoration on a deep level.
Published Author – In my beautiful and inspiring creative space, I write books about life, about the journey. My focus is on great writing that brings me joy and healing and allows for a creative flow of energy. I know if my books inspire and help me, they will help others. Because I can write anywhere, I spend part of each year writing in a small flat in Edinburgh, Scotland. I spend the afternoons exploring the city, finding new ideas and new places to have tea. Weekends are spent in the Highlands or the Borders or the outlying islands.
Owner of a Travel Agency – I combine my love of travel, of seeing new places, with the pleasure of creating fun and interesting travel itineraries for others. And of course, to familiarize myself with all the earth’s amazing locations that I send people to, I visit them as well. My passport is a collage of beautiful stamps, symbolizing my travels.
Plant Nursery Owner – I have my own greenhouses and acres of fertile ground to grow and sell a wide variety of plants. From seeds to mature plants, I have them all. I am so content when my hands are dirty with fragrant soil. I also sell interesting containers for potted plants and provide all that the gardener needs, whether a novice or a master. My private greenhouse is where I try new seeds and exotic plants. And you should see my private garden!
Coloring Book Designer & Colorist – I create fun, detailed coloring books for adults, teens and children. I also get paid to color book covers and sample pages. How relaxing and amazing to spend six hours a day coloring and drawing pictures and creating designs.
Coming up with those imaginary lives was fun and here’s the best part. The rest of the assignment was to spend time this week living one of those lives, doing something connected to one. Overachiever that I am, I came up with a list of things to do…for all five. They include:
Do a mind movie for each life * Create floor plans for each Rivendell cottage * “Decorate” each cottage * Design gardens for each cottage * Create titles for my next three books * Design book covers for each * Write a blurb for each book * Have a new professional headshot taken, for the back of the book cover * Write an outline for one book * Write query letters * Research Edinburgh flats – rates and locations * Create an itinerary for Italy * Put together the cost for a 10 day trip to Italy * Name my travel agency * Name my plant nursery * Order seeds for plants that are new to me * Start seeds indoors 6 weeks before spring * Look at or create my own greenhouse plans * Design a color book * Give it a title * Draw pages for the book * Research what’s missing from current available titles to find my niche * Draw designs, flowers and patterns * Color cover pages for other artists’ coloring books
I fully intend to do all of these things over the next few months. Not as a challenging task but as play. For fun. And not to try to make anything happen, but as a pure expression of my creativity. What will happen? I don’t know! I just know I will enjoy the process, the journey, as my creativity and imagination have full reign. Open to everything, attached to nothing…and I might add…having a blast. Whatever happens, it will be good!