A new school year is beginning. You walk into an office supply store and see School supplies all the specials on tablets, notebooks, backpacks, pens, pencils and other miscellaneous supplies for school.

If you have children, then you’ve been shopping for all those aforementioned supplies, and new clothes and shoes, etc. If you don’t have children or they are grown and gone, like mine, you probably still get that start-of-school buzz.

Remember the smell of the new pencils and crayons? And, of course, going to lunch and recess with friends you hadn’t seen in forever?

While you may not be actually returning to school this September, think about how you and your Muse can capture the fun and excitement of this time of year.

Time for new supplies. A new notebook, pen or crayons can stir up lost excitement about creative projects. So, take what Julia Cameron would call an Artist Date and I call Creative Play, and visit your favorite office supply store. Give yourself permission to stroll the aisles and see what catches your eye or stirs up an impulse to play–and buy. It might not be something you need now or ever, just something you want to play with. And no, you can’t do this online. Go have fun in the store. Look at colors and sizes. Catch the scent of pens and crayons and binders. You don’t have to spend a lot to re-capture that sense of new beginnings and creative possibilities.

Create a new routine or re-establish an old one. During the summer, it’s easy to slip out of the routines for doing your creative work. That is, after all, what summer is about—an escape from routine. But routines can be a creative’s best friend, helping you get more done in less time because you don’t have to make constant decisions along the way. And if time away from the old routine helped you realize it wasn’t working well, then design a new one or tweak the old one.

Remember to take time for lunch and recess. Seems silly to say, I know, but how often do you let the day slip away without taking a break? How often do you eat lunch while still working? What about recess? Yes, recess. Go for a walk, sit and look out the window while you enjoy a cup of tea or coffee, or take a quick nap (pretend you’re in kindergarten). Just because we get older doesn’t mean we don’t need time to rest and play.

So even if you aren’t entering the hallowed halls of education in the next week or two doesn’t mean you can’t anticipate and enjoy those new school year rituals.

Your Muse is tugging on your hand.

And the school bell is ringing.

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