Navigation menu

Friday, June 05, 2015

Friday Speak Out!: Recharging My Creative Palette

by Jennifer Purdie

I arrived at work exactly eight minutes late, like always. At least I was punctually late. I turned on my laptop and the bright glow hurt my eyes; I wasn’t sleeping lately and when I did, a recurring nightmare of my teeth rotting into the form of stalagmites caused me to wake up almost every night in a panic. I decided to research teeth dreams (aka look it up on Wikipedia), and found that rotting teeth symbolized an anxiety building up inside you over time.

As a magazine writer for years, I felt burned out and trying to muster any type of special sparkle in my writing felt laborious. I needed a pick me up and a new outlet to revive my creativity.

I decided to purchase one of those ubiquitous Groupons for an inspirational activity outside of my norm: something called Paint Night. At Paint Night, people learn how to paint a picture. (It’s at night, in case you didn’t get that part.) The Paint Night website stated to wear clothes you don’t mind getting a little dirty, which made sense. In the site’s photos, I spotted participants wearing aprons; at least the company offered some form of paint protection.

When I arrived, a sign read “If you look under 30, we card.” A tall, hefty bouncer with biceps the size of my thighs stood guarding the entrance with his arms crossed across his chest, acting as the gateway to entering.

I looked up at him. “You’re going to card me, right?” I asked, pointing to the sign.

He shrugged his wide, muscular shoulders. “I guess so.”

“That’s the wrong answer. Try again. You’re going to card me, right?” I enunciated every word.

The man, who looked as if his day job were either a cage fighter or stunt double, played along. “Ma’am, I need to see your license. You don’t look at day over 28.”

I cleared my throat. “Try again.”

“25?” he asked.

“That’s better.” I handed him my card and wouldn’t take it back until he at least glanced at it.

I (easily) passed the age requirement and headed into the venue to discover rows of blank canvases on easels placed on different tables. Each easel station contained a bar stool in front of it, a paper plate with the primary colors as well as black and white in paint gobs, and three brushes of various sizes.

Throughout the evening, an instructor taught us how to mix paint to create different shades and dab our brushes for the perfect shape of tree limbs. Although everyone painted the same picture, all were different in their own way. Some made the sun a bright yellow; others added pink and orange. I felt a spark of artistic power for the first time in a long time.

Now I seek out new channels to keep my writing ability fresh. From taking a ukulele course to tango dancing, all make a difference in stimulating my mind.

* * *
Jennifer Purdie is a freelance writer for publications such as The Los Angeles Times, Buzzfeed, Running Times, Purple Clover, CNN and many other national magazines. She recently completed her first novel titled The New Year's Eve Project. You can connect with her on Facebook [], Twitter [] and her website []. 

Would you like to participate in Friday "Speak Out!"? Email your short posts (under 500 words) about women and writing to: marcia[at]wow-womenonwriting[dot]com for consideration. We look forward to hearing from you!


  1. Jennifer--Great post. We have to dip into many artistic wells to keep our creativity alive and kicking'.

    Have you tried to Zentangle? Look it up on the internet. There are millions of patterns guaranteed to take your doodling to higher levels.

    I've done glass fusing (quite fun) and knit. I've also done stained glass (too stressful for me).

    Thanks for the great reminder. Writers need a change of pace in order to keep our writing fresh.

  2. This is a great reminder that creativity is connected in so many different ways.

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. Sorry my comment showed up 3 times! That's what happens when multitasking on your phone!

  6. Sorry my comment showed up 3 times! That's what happens when multitasking on your phone!

  7. Sorry my comment showed up 3 times! That's what happens when multitasking on your phone!


We love to hear from readers! Please leave a comment. :)