Aaaaaaand I’m at it again with The Artist’s Way. For those of you who don’t remember or are new here, I did the Artist’s Way a while ago but stopped around week 4. The Artist’s Way is a course by Julia Cameron that is designed to help you recover your creativity and lead a more creative life. My main goal in doing this course is to get myself to write again, or at least to work on writing and work towards writing.
The topic of week one was “recovering a sense of safety.” The main points that stuck out to me in the readings this week were these:
- Shadow artists. I am definitely a shadow artist. Julia Cameron describes a shadow artist as someone who has a career that is shadow to what they really want to pursue artistically (in my case, being a librarian vs. writing). She also talked about how blocked artists often surround themselves with other artists or date other artists, which is definitely true in my case. I consider my boyfriend to be a “real” writer, while I consider myself to be a wannabe writer, basically.
- The artist child. Cameron describes your inner artist as a child that needs support and attention, which really resonated with me. She talked about how judging your work too early or offering it up for judgement and criticism before its time is bad for your artist’s child, which stuck out to me because in the age of social media, I feel like I have to share my writing in some way to be valid. She talked about it being important to SLOWLY and GENTLY recover from your creative blocks.
- Affirmations. I usually find affirmations to be hokey, but I think I could greatly benefit from positive self-talk when it comes to art and creativity. Cameron wrote that affirmations increase a sense of safety and hope, and I could definitely use some hope when it comes to my writing.
- Morning pages. Morning pages are one of the two key components of the Artist’s Way. They are three pages of written journaling. The point is to get your thoughts on paper and out of your head to make way for other things throughout the day.
- Artist’s date. This is the aspect of the course I had the hardest time with last time. The artist’s date is supposed to be an “excursion” by yourself to replenish your creative well. I didn’t always actually go out of my house for my artist’s date because that’s not really relaxing for me, and I probably won’t this time either. I tend to have trouble thinking of an artist’s date, and it’s challenging for me to spend time by myself even though I always claim I want alone time because I don’t really like spending that much time with myself and my thoughts.
- How many days this week did you do your morning pages? How was the experience for you?
I did the morning pages all seven days this week. It was really helpful and helped me feel a little less anxious throughout the day.
2. Did you do your artist date this week? What did you do? How did it feel?
For my artist date this week, I spent some time alone watching Are You the One and working on my grimoire/book of shadows. It was kind of challenging and kind of enjoyable at the same time. I used to love doing things by myself but for the past couple of years I just haven’t been enjoying spending time with myself.
3. Were there any other significant issues this week that you consider significant to your recovery? Describe them.
This time around, I chose to do some of the activities and prompts that I didn’t do the first time I did the Artist’s Way. I wrote about some old enemies of my self-worth, and the major incident when I was a teen that made me stop writing for fun and landed me in the hospital. It was somewhat helpful to just admit that those people and what happened when I was sixteen still effect me even though I feel a little embarrassed that I’m still upset by what happened. It just changed such a core part of who I was as a kid and who I want to be now and I have never figured out how to get back that same joy for writing. I also wrote about champions of my creative self-worth, most of whom came from my teenage years as well, and that made me realize I should probably try to believe in my own creative gifts the way those people did.