A New Year’s Revelation

It’s a new year alright. Before I know it, I’ll be a new mom to a newborn baby, my husband will be a newly ordained minister, and we’ll be moving to a new place to serve a new congregation. I am thrilled about all of these changes and the possibilities that they will bring, but I also have had some trepidation. How will all of this affect my work? I’ve already been struggling to make time for my own creative endeavors outside of teaching, although teaching will always be an integral part of any art I make because I love it. But will all of these new factors help or hinder my creativity?

In preparation for all of these exciting changes, I decided to enroll in Julia Cameron’s 12-week Artist’s Way course for artistic discovery and recovery. My dear mother-in-law has taken and led the course several times. She very sweetly lent me the coursebook “The Artist’s Way” and has been checking in with me every week to see how things are going.

Things are going great! Rather than outline all of the ins and outs of the Artist’s Way course (you really should check out the book), I am using this first blog entry of 2015 to take a creative risk. Through my work in the Artist’s Way, I have identified a dream that I really want to pursue and this is the first time that I’m talking about it publicly.

I want to start a small business, tentatively called Merry Mystery Playmakers. This business would be all about creating customized murder mystery and scavenger hunt packages for all ages and events. Yes, I have already listed murder mysteries as one of the services I offer, but some soul searching has made it clear that I want to pursue this more directly and deeply. One of the things that Julia challenges us to do in The Artist’s Way is to take baby steps towards attaining our artistic goals and to see what happens when we aren’t shy about admitting what we want. So this is my next baby step.

Merry Mystery Playmakers seems like a perfect way to combine so many of my creative loves–writing, theatre, and encouraging others to play. Growing up, my dad designed scavenger hunts for my birthdays. Those parties were always so much more than pizza, cake, and presents. All of the guests got to play together, hunting for clues and sharing in each triumph leading us to the prize at the end. Of course, the hunt was always better than the prize itself. It was the gift of adventure and that’s what I want to give other people.

I see this being so much more than a birthday party business. The packages I offer will be invaluable and playful for people of all ages and in so many settings. These customized challenges encourage collaboration and imagination in an unparalleled fun way. They would be wonderful for fundraisers, for employee team building exercises, for galas, for bachelor/ette parties, for family reunions, museum events, library programs…the list goes on.

So there you go, folks. I want to start my own mystery-making business. It will be a while before I’ve completed the necessary groundwork, but consider Merry Mystery Playmakers as yet another new thing starting in 2015. Having this renewed sense of purpose is phenomenal and I can’t wait to see what happens next. I wish you all creative inspiration and satisfaction–we could all use more of it.

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