Joyce Hogue was nearing retirement five years ago and looking for something to do for herself.



A woman she admired in her community was about to start teaching a course entitled "The Artist's Way," based on a book of the same name. Hogue expressed interest, but was ready to back away as she began to doubt her own artistic abilities.



A fellow artist convinced her she did have artistic talent, but she just didn't know what it was.



Hogue ultimately took the 12-week course and considers it a life-changing experience. She now wants to teach others to find their spiritual path to higher creativity through "The Artist's Way."



Published in 1995 and again in 2002, the book leads readers through 12 chapters and daily exercises that challenge budding artists to stretch the limits imposed by everyday life.



"The book also has a lot of good quotes that encourage you to do whatever you have always wanted to do but never had the courage to do. It encourages you to discover your inner talents," said Hogue. "I went through the book chapter by chapter and was amazed."



After finishing the course, Hogue, who has a master's degree in nursing, learned to fly a plane and flew it solo several hundred miles a feat she had never thought she would accomplish. And, she is now writing her first novel, a mystery based in a locale much like South Walton. She also teaches an exercise class at Hope Lutheran Church.



"It was a life-altering experience and it gets the momentum going and gives courage to get out and try things," said Hogue. "It's very inspiring."



The 12-week course begins Oct. 1 and will be taught every Monday from 7 to 9 p.m. at Allison Wickey Gallery in Rosemary Beach.



"Everybody has a creative side," said Wickey. "This helps you tap in to your creative side and bring it out by taking an inner look."



The book may be purchased at Sundog Books at Seaside and at The Hidden Lantern in Rosemary Beach. Cost for the class is $150. Participants should bring a journal to class.