the artist’s way week 6: check-in

recovering a sense of connection

This week was all about recovering a sense of connection. In the context of the course, Julia Cameron defined this as connecting to our art and the ability to listen to the stories our artist wants to tell. She talked about how our art exists within us in its entirety and we just have to listen for it and get something down instead of trying to think something up, and not to be stopped by our perfectionism. Perfectionism was also a major theme in the readings this week, which I appreciate because that is the number one reason I don’t write. Perfectionism isn’t about having standards or fixing up what we have, it’s an excuse to not let ourselves go ahead with our art. Perfectionism is basically not helpful to our art and we should let it go.


check in

  1. How many days this week did you do your morning pages? Have you allowed yourself to daydream a few creative risks? Are you coddling your artist child with childhood loves?

I did my morning pages for 6 days this week. I kind of dropped the ball on most artist’s way things this week because it is a very stressful time right now and I just didn’t have the brain space for it. I have been daydreaming about a few writing ideas in my morning pages. I wouldn’t say I’m coddling my artist child yet and my artist child is probably feeling very stifled and un-taken care of at the moment. I should fix that and watch some cute movies. My artist child would definitely like that.


2. Did you do your artist date this week? Did you use it to take any risks? What did you do? How did it feel?

I did not do my artist date this week. Oops.


3. Did you experience any synchronicity this week? What was it?

I did not experience any synchronicity this week.


4. Were there any other issues this week that you consider significant to your creative recovery? Describe them.

Probably the main issue that was significant to my creative recovery was my discussions in my morning pages about perfectionism. I’m holding myself back from writing because I’m worried that I can’t be a “real” writer. I’m worried that not being able to write every day or have a high enough word count or writing a bad draft or not having the perfect time or place to write all means that I cannot be a “real” writer. I’m intimidated by people’s wordcounts that they share on social media and feel I will never have the time or ability to get up there in terms of word count.

I definitely realized that perfectionism is holding me back, but I don’t have any ideas on how to fix it and allow myself to write an imperfect, messy first draft. I’m used to waiting to write until things sound perfect in my head, and then not feeling like I have to do much editing even though I know in my head that that’s not realistic for any writer. I just have it in my head that I have to have a perfect first draft and things have to be done a certain way and I have to write for a certain amount of time or for a certain number of words and it’s honestly exhausting to keep this up and continue keeping myself from trying to write, but I don’t know how to stop and just let myself write something, even if it’s bad. I’m worried if I have a bad first draft I’m not a real writer or a good writer, which I know is unrealistic. I am for sure struggling with my perfectionism, but I’ll admit that doing the artist’s way is making it a lot harder to keep up my perfectionist stance about writing.

I also really like the idea that our story or art is already within us fully formed and we just have to listen to it and put it down. That’s a lot easier to deal with than the frustration of having to constantly be coming up with ideas. I definitely feel like I have a couple of stories that are in my that are ready to be written, but my perfectionism is blocking them from coming out and I can’t hear what they want to say.

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