For those who don’t know, the Artist’s Way is a course developed by creative Julia Cameron to restore your creativity. My goal with this course is to feel more comfortable being creative and find my creative voice.
Here are some of the major themes that stood out to me from the week 5 readings:
- Seeing our creativity as impossible. I definitely struggle with this. Part of the Artist’s Way course does have a spiritual element, and this week, Cameron put seeing our creativity as “crazy or impossible” in the context of believing in a “higher power” and not being able to do so because we have a limited belief in what we can do as humans. Cameron claims that in reality, spiritual beliefs gives as an “unlimited bank account” of creativity. I had a lot of trouble with the spiritual bit in the Artist’s Way the first time around and it made me uncomfortable because I used to identify solidly as an atheist, but since exploring witchcraft, my ideas about a higher power have definitely altered somewhat, and I can more easily fit myself into ideas about spirituality, which I think is making this course more valuable for me.
- Staying stuck creatively. Another major theme this week was exploring our creative blocks and the payoff for staying stuck. Cameron talked a lot about how many creatives choose being nice and pleasing others over our own creative desires. I definitely fall victim to this, so I really saw myself in this reading. Not creating is safer for our relationships, and we see depriving ourselves of creativity as a virtue.
- Importance of acknowledging and indulging in forbidden joys. One of the ways we’re mean to ourselves and stay blocked as creatives is by saying no to desires that, if indulged in, would fuel our creativity and fill our creative well. A lot of creatives, and people in general, see our desires as too crazy or selfish, but ignoring our desires is just one of the many ways we are mean to ourselves and stifle our creativity.
- How many days this week did you fo your morning pages?
I did the morning pages all but two days since starting week 5. I’m finding I’m actually liking them less as I go on, and have less to say. I go through phases where I have a lot to say, then a week or two where I only write one page instead of 3.
2. Did you do your Artist Date this week? Have you had the experience of hearing answers during your leisure time? What did you do for your date? How did it feel? Have you taken an artist date yet that felt really adventurous?
I did not officially do an artist date this week. I think I have had the experience of “hearing answers” during my leisure time though. While organizing materials for my book of shadows, I thought of a small business idea to sell handwritten and hand drawn grimoires that I’m really excited about trying. I have definitely not taken an artist date that felt adventurous, or that would feel adventurous to most people. Honestly, just leaving my apartment for some of these dates has felt adventurous for me because of my anxiety about leaving the house.
3. Did you experience any synchronicity this week? What was it?
I don’t think I experienced any synchronicity this week.
4. Were there any other issues this week that you consider significant to your recovery? Describe them.
This week I really started thinking of more ideas and ways I want to experiment with creativity other than writing. I’ve realized through this course that I want to open myself up to creative passions other than writing because I don’t think I actually want to write at the moment. I also started realizing I might need a break from reading, or to find ways to put less pressure to read all the time. Reading is definitely my favorite “creative block,” even though it also fuels my creativity, but I’ve realized I don’t enjoy it as much as I used to and I’ve been exploring in my morning pages why that might be and steps I could take to make reading more enjoyable again and have it be a way to fill the creative well rather than block it.