Hey Bookish People,

I’m between projects right now and am getting ready to jump into my next novel. With a few days to really relax I’ve been trying to get out of the house and visit new places. I’ve been calling these little outings ‘artist field trips.’

I’m not really big on waiting to feel inspired because I think that it can be used to avoid writing altogether if we got through a period of not feeling it. That said, there really is nothing better than feeling totally in love with an idea or struck with a brilliant idea. I think that a lot of that comes from exposing ourselves to new ideas, imagery and words.  I’ve been using this week to expand what I know about my city and to try and seek some new things to slip into my novels. And to just have fun with the creative process.

I don’t believe that these artist field trips need to make any sense, feel relevant to what you’re working on, or be practical. I’ve spent the last two days exploring curiosity shops in my area and I had no idea what I was going to use that for until last night when I got into bed and had a little epiphany. I would never have come up with that little bit of story and character building if I hadn’t followed my curiosity.

So go explore something interesting. Find a strange place near you, walk in the woods, take pictures of everything that catches your eye, write down snippets of conversations, and turn down a different street. I think the only rule to the artist field trip is to do what you want and see what springs from it, especially if it seems irrelevant. Our brains are really good at finding a connection, no matter how small. It’s our job to feed it.

If you’re lucky enough to live near your story setting I would also highly recommend walking around and really taking in the space. The little details that you pick up on and the snippets of history that come up can be the bits of magic that bring your story to life.

What are some places that you have gone on artist field trips? Have you benefited? How often do you plan them? Leave me a comment and let me know! I’ll go ahead and post some of my favorite photos from my own artist field trips this week in my Instagram story here.  Don’t forget to follow this blog where I explore the creative process and building a writing brand through social media!

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