I read the articles after I bought the coloring books. You know the articles, the ones that praise coloring books for adults, like this one. Of course, I like that there is science behind what I already knew. Coloring rocks. It also helps reduce stress, and has benefits not unlike meditation.
I’d relearned how much I loved coloring when I had nieces and nephews, and would color with them. Simplistic books for small kids, but I’d add a pattern to Strawberry Shortcake’s dress, or make one of the Muppets multi-hued. It was a great way to spend time with them, and to share an activity we all liked. When two of the nieces (now teens) were coming over to spend a few days, I went to Barnes and Noble and found a table full of “adult” coloring books. I bought them each one, and threw one in for me at the last minute.
The patterns are complicated, and the options are endless. All you need is a box of colored pencils and your imagination. And time. These patterns (my book has a lot of paisleys) take time to work on. They force you to slow down, think, sharpen pencils, live with mistakes, move forward. They also require no artistic ability, and yet you can create lovely pictures.
Coloring helps me write better. It requires focus, but allows me to think about plots, rework scenes, develop characters. So much of writing is a mental game, and coloring gives me space to create.
Here is a link to some coloring pages you can look at and download. Give coloring a try. Justify it by pointing to the articles. But do it because it is fun.
Julianne Holmes writes the Clock Shop Mystery series. Just Killing Time debuts October 6. J.A. Hennrikus writes short stories. They both look a lot like Julie Hennrikus.