This article was written by Rachael Heffernan, writer and researcher with The Drawing Board.
If you’re feeling like you don’t spend enough time on your creative self, and you’re getting tired of the same-old-same-old dinner and a movie, you may be a perfect candidate for Sits.
Sits, you say?
Sits began (as far as I know) in my partner’s family. Because they all live far apart during the year, in the last few days of summer they have a ritual they’ve dubbed Sits. They each spend some time scouting out the best places around the property, and then, in one glorious day, grab a couple of bottles of wine and some folding chairs and trek their way to each spot. They sit, they drink, they chat, and they admire the beauty that can only be found in The Middle of Nowhere, Ontario. It’s a beautiful tradition all about spending time in undiscovered places with people you love.
The idea of Edmonton Sits came out of this ritual with a couple of little twists to make it more appropriate for city life, and, as a bonus, orient it towards accomplishing the dreams of two author-wannabes. Here’s how it works:
- You and your posse of creative minds go out on the town armed with good pens, notebooks, and no more than one book each for inspiration. You may trade books with one another as the night goes on.
- Go to a place you’ve never been before. This can be in nature or can be somewhere indoor that has beverages and appetizers.
- Everyone orders drinks OR a timer is set – and here’s the crutch of the game – you must write as much as you can for the duration of one drink, or leave before the timer runs out.
- Then you move on to the next location.
- Repeat steps 3 and 4 for as long as you please.
My partner and I went out and it was one of the best date nights we had had in a very long time. Getting to spend some time joyfully writing together and sharing our silly stories and poems was hugely refreshing. The unexpected side effect was that I felt it activated my creativity in a whole new way – armed with my notebook in my purse, for the next few nights we went out I ended up furiously scribbling poetry amongst the baskets of french fries and pints of beer on the table.
Here are some of my favourite poems from our adventures:
Lemon half moon
Sittin’ under Edmonton skies
Burdened down I ain’t
Pickin’ at the paint
Not knowin’ when I’m gonna die
My nephew toddled softly
He would adamantly walk
And stoop and stop and bend and stretch
And talk and talk and talk.
He’d pick the little clovers
And stare down at the grass
He’d grab pink rocks and stash them
He’d point out bits of glass
And I’d walk and stop and hurry
I’d take him by the hand
All I could see were stop signs
While his eyes were on the land.