gail schimmel

The blog of writer Gail Schimmel: A bit of writing, a bit of parenting, a bit of thinking and some book reviews

Feeding the muse

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I am a writer. So obviously I must, to some degree, be a creative person. My dad was an artist. Quite a well known and successful one, actually. His name was Fred Schimmel and Google will not let you down.

Anyhow, I have a small artistic talent but nothing that a couple of million other people don’t have. My talent (okay, a couple of million people have this one too) is writing. But recently, for a number of reasons, I haven’t been writing much.

And then on facebook, I saw a sponsored post to do this thing where twice a week a woman in America sends us all a “challenge” or a prompt for art journaling. Now I had no idea what art journaling was, and am only now kind-of sure. It seems to be a more artistic form of scrap booking where various mediums, and pictures and words are all combined to give the complete work. Now that is not my vibe at all, although some of the people who post their work on the facebook page for the challenge do some really spectacular things. And some do some really ordinary things, which is kind of inspirational in its own way.

What I am doing is using the prompt to do a more ordinary picture or painting in my “art journal”. I’m trying to keep it simple – I draw better than I paint, and my drawing is more cartoony, less realistic. I’ve done 3 of the 4 prompts received so far and – and I am now actually getting to my point – I am having SUCH fun. It is so stimulating to apply my creativity in a slightly different way and to exercise a very dormant part of my brain. I’m doing it partly with a favourite friend, and we are trying to involve our kids, and that is fun too.

And here is the really strange part – I can feel my sleepy writer muse stretching and uncurling. The urge to sit down and start the next novel is growing. I think that a few more drawings and paintings and I’ll be ready.

I guess the message is that creativity is a whole. When you’re feeling a bit stuck in one area, stretch your muscles in another and it will loosen the whole package. I know that for most creative people this is hardly news – but somehow, for me, it was.
(I think that this is the link to the challenge facebook page –


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