As I mentioned in Sunday’s bi-weekly update, I have decided to take on The Artist’s Way. The Artist’s Way is a book by Julia Cameron, who teaches courses on creativity and opening yourself up to your creative potential.
Here are some of the things I hope to accomplish by doing The Artist’s Way:
- Get my intrinsic motivation to be creative back. I feel like when I was younger and up until I graduated college, I had a lot of strong self-motivation to do creative things. Even though I was told to do some things since I was a music major, I didn’t feel I needed that to convince myself to be creative. I feel like my depression has made me lose a lot of that intrinsic motivation to do things I like and that stimulate me creatively, so I hope The Artist’s Way opens up that part of me again.
- Figure out why I feel so blocked. I often get sudden bursts of inspiration to try creative things, but then self-censor about a week after they occur to me and tell myself I shouldn’t do it. I never used to have this problem and I don’t know where it came from. I’ve been trying in vain to get back into writing for over a year, but can’t get over the huge creative block in my head even though I have a ton of ideas. I feel like I’ve backed myself into a corner with self-censorship, and I want to undo that and figure out where the heck it came from in the first place.
- Use creativity to express my emotions. I used to be way better at doing this and did a lot of creative writing that helped me get my feelings out and work on my issues but also make something cool out of them, but I’ve obviously stopped doing that. I’ve realized recently that I think I have a lot of bottled up emotions and need to figure out some way to get them out so I can be a happier or at least more content person.
- Get back into writing. My main motivation for doing The Artist’s Way course is to get myself to write more. I think writing creatively would really help me work through my mental health stuff since it has in the past, plus, I really enjoy doing it when I do convince myself it’s okay. I also have SO MANY ideas that I want to put to paper, but I need some convincing and motivation to get myself to start actually doing that.
- Get back into music. Most of you probably don’t know this, but I was actually a classical flute major in college. Since I graduated, I haven’t taken private lessons and have basically stopped playing, which I thought I was okay with because honestly I think I did need a break from playing so intensely during college, but now I feel like there’s this huge part of me that’s missing. I want to find a way to make music fun again and not feel like a chore but also maintain my high skill level that I’ve developed over the years.
- Find some way to share my creative pursuits. For music, and my songwriting aspirations in particular, I have considered a youtube or soundcloud account. But I don’t know if I’m that good because I haven’t tried, and that feels like a lot of pressure. For writing, I love the idea of starting a poetry instagram, because I follow a lot that I like, and I find them so cool and inspiring. I know I’d have to go into it actively trying to care less about a follower count because that would make it feel like work, but maybe with this course I could do that.
I am very nervous about doing The Artist’s Way and have some skepticism about it because some of it is hokey and also subscribes to a belief system that I do not personally have, but I am very hopeful that doing the course will open up the possibility of doing the above things. I plan to write about my journey and possibly do weekly update posts on the blog to help hold myself accountable since I’m not actually being graded or anything else, and honestly because I’ll probably need some encouragement to do it at times.
Today marks day three first week of this exciting twelve-week journey, so wish me luck, and let’s hope I can stick to it and accomplish my goals!