When we first moved into the cottage late last summer we found that we had some dead space at the top of the stairs. I couldn't really call it a landing as it didn't go to a third floor. The cottage is well, cottage-y and a little on the small side so we needed to find some use for it. The previous owners had used it as a home office but I didn't really want to see my computer and files and projects in various stages of completion as I walked by each day going up and down the stairs! I am fairly organized for the most part but in my home office, it's a "piling" system rather than a "filing" system. Trust me, you don't want to see that either....
So we turned it into a reading nook. Here it is post makeover - it's not a huge space, about 6'x7'. I had some bookshelves built-in and put in some chairs that we had no room for elsewhere. The carpet is a little long for the space - you can almost see how I had to fold it over at the bookshelf end to make it fit. Repurpose and reuse, right?
The girl's bedroom is across the hall from it so it has all of her books plus some of mine. The rest of my books are down in the living room. I do have an e-reader but find that I still like to read some books in hard copy. Don't you find that too? Some are fine as a digital edition but some you just need to hold in your hands.
On one shelf in the reading nook I collected together all of my books on creativity. I was looking at them last week and found a couple of old copies of Julia Cameron's the Artist's Way. One is my copy and one is my husband's. I think he was working through it when we first met. You know how it is - "you are reading that book too?!!". I think we were both thrilled to find that the other guy had it.
As I looked through I saw all the pages where I had written notes and highlighted various sentences as paragraphs. It was almost like reading an old diary to see what had grabbed my attention when I first read it. And when I reread it a second time and then I think a third time.
You see, it's that useful a book when working on recovering and growing your creative self. And one of the best exercises from it is something that Cameron calls her Morning Pages. As soon as you get up each morning, grab a pen and a journal or some paper. Start writing. Start writing whatever comes to mind. No censoring, not judging, no criticizing, no matter how mundane. Or how surprising. You'll be amazed at what bubbles up. You'll be surprised at what you find is really on your mind, in your subconscious, and what you really feel about your creative self and your creative journey.
I haven't done them in a few years and I think I will start again. Want to join me? Let's try it for a week and see what happens, what we find out - okay?