As I noted in my last Artist’s Way post, I am doing the Artist’s Way again! 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, especially in regards to writing.
This week’s theme was “recovering a sense of identity.” Here are some of the major themes/ideas that stood out for me this week:
- Trusting your creativity. Trusting my creativity is definitely really hard for me, which is why I’ve been doing this course again. Cameron talked a lot about self-doubt this week, which is definitely something I’ve been feeling. I didn’t remember from my first time doing the course that she actually said that a lot of people resist the course and its ideas throughout it. I certainly did that the first time I did the course and actually stopped doing it altogether, and I wish the parts about feeling self-doubt being normal had stuck out to me more.
- Creativity happening when we’re safe and accepting of it. Specifically, Julia Cameron talks about your inner artist being a child that needs care and support. The most helpful thing from the essays this week was when she said to “safeguard” your newly found “artist’s child” against ideas about what you “should” be doing and to be open-minded about your creative recovery.
- Addiction to fantasy. This phrase from the “Attention” essay really stuck out to me as well. The first thing Cameron discusses in this section is how instead of living and being creative now, we daydream and fantasize about what we could have if only we did it. This is definitely my biggest pitfall in being creative. I always imagine what I COULD write and SHOULD write, but never actually do it in the now. Writing is like a pipe dream that I feel like I can never achieve because I don’t have time and am too afraid to do it.
- How many days did you do the morning pages this week? How was the experience for you? How did they work for you? What were you surprised to find yourself writing about?
I did the morning pages every day this week. They have been extremely helpful for me. Doing the morning pages is largely what encouraged me to get back to blogging because it helped me work out what was and wasn’t working about blogging for me and reminded me that I love doing it. I had more times this week that I wasn’t sure what to write about.
The thing that surprised me to be writing about was whether or not I actually want to be a writer. The whole point of me doing this course is to encourage me to be more open to writing and make the time to write. I don’t want it to be a fantasy life I keep leading; I want to actually do it. But this week I found myself questioning whether it’s something I WANT to do or feel like I SHOULD do. I think it’s probably both. I feel called to be a writer in a way I don’t feel called to be anything else. But I found myself questioning whether I am really a poet or a novelist, even though in reality I can probably be both and don’t have to choose.
2. Did you do your artist date this week? What did you do? How did it feel?
This week I did basically the same thing as last week. I worked on my book of shadows/grimoire, and listened to Tegan and Sara’s new album. In my final morning pages of the week, I found myself questioning whether I can count that as an artist date because I was so horribly anxious on the day I did it that I didn’t enjoy it. It felt silly to spend time on an artist date and just doing something that I wanted to do and not something I should do. I found it really hard to enjoy myself even though it was something I wanted to do because I didn’t feel like I should be enjoying something frivolous and silly, even though that’s the whole point of an artist date.
3. Were there any other issues this week that you consider significant to your recovery? Describe them.
I feel like I’m starting to realize that I can write just for me. Last week, what stuck out most was that I shouldn’t share my art too early on in my creative recovery journey, and that still stayed with me this week. I’m trying not to think about how I’d market my work, or whether my work is good. I really just want to remind myself that I actually enjoy writing and it makes me feel better to do it.
I also realized that music is important to my creative recovery. This week’s artist date involved listening to Tegan & Sara’s new album, and listening to music every morning when I wake up makes me feel relaxed. In week one, Cameron talked about doing things that replenish the “creative well” like cooking or other repetitive tasks, and I think listening to music does that for me, so I think making music part of my routine and creative journey will be really important.