Years ago, in an art class, I heard a statement from my teacher that has stuck with me ever since: Visually feed yourself. In this statement, my teacher was encouraging us to go out and look at great art. She didn’t care what format it was in, paintings, sculptures or great magazine layouts. The point was to allow our minds to feast on the art in the world.
This was a great principal not just because it was true but because it applies to more than one artistic endeavor. I am a singer, fiber artist and writer in addition to being a graphic designer. I found that this principle applies to more than just painting.
Now that I am writing my next novel, I’m feeding myself with great writing. Not so much fiction in the genre I’m writing, but other ways. I’m digesting newspaper and magazine articles, blog posts and non-fiction books. I’m reading the last four issues of the Writer’s Magazine and the last two issues of Writer’s Digest. I’m reading a great book by Timothy Keller on prayer. I’m visiting Michael Hyatt and Publisher’s Weekly’s blog every now and then.
I’m feeding myself with great words, not to copy them, but to stir up my appreciation for a well-written piece and turn it into fuel for writing something that may feed another writer one day.