Sunday, June 6, 2010

The Artist's Way - a new experience

I haven't felt very inspired lately - I've lost my groove. This has happened before, and when it does, I never push myself. This past Friday, I picked up a book, called The Artist Way, by Julia Cameron, that I bought some months ago. Its purpose is to be a spiritual path to high creativity. Something I could use right now.

One thing that kept me away from the book previously was the contract you're suppose to sign, committing yourself to a 12-week regimen. Can I really do this? I've given myself other tasks to complete, and I think it's the right time to commit to this. So I started reading, to see what was required.

Something really struck me that Cameron writes in her intro:
"It does not matter whether you are a declared artist with a chosen art form, or simply someone who yearns for a more creative life."
Does that sound familiar? I think a lot of online artisans hold down "first" jobs, whether they're professionals, caregivers, or just working to pay the bills. But I really like Cameron's attitude, and think we'll get along just fine.

OK, so what's the plan? This post is the start of a blog series, telling about my experiences with the book. I'm real excited to be able to share this with my creative readers, and hope it will help them as it will, hopefully, help me. We'll see where this leads us. Please note,
"Do not look for dramatic - or traumatic - change. The shift that you will experience will be substantial, but it will come to you in many tiny increments."
In the first chapter, "The Basic Tools" tell me what I'll be using along with the workbook: morning pages and the artist's date. Morning pages are three mandatory pages of handwritten stream of conscious, done first thing every morning. It's like a cleaning of the soul, and can be anything - moaning, reminders, thoughts about yesterday or today, etc. to clear your mind.
"Morning pages leave no corner of our life unexamined. Our dreams, our hopes, our disappointments, our pains..."
The artist's dates are done once a week (or more if you want), where you venture out alone, treating yourself to things you would probably not have done otherwise. That sounds doable!

The rest of the book is divided into weeks, with 8-10 projects every week, that I will write about in my workbook. So next week, I'll tell you what happened. The first week is titled "Recovering a Sense of Safety."

To learn more about Julia Cameron, you can go to her blog. And if you want, get her workbook for yourself. I got my book from The Book Exchange, but I've seen it over at Amazon too.

UPDATE: here is the path I took
week 1    week 2      week 3     week 4     week 5    week 6    
week 7    week 8     week 9    week 10     week 11  week 12 


Walk in the Woods said...

It is a great book, and while it's not yet resonated for me, I know so many who use it as a tool to refill the well of inspiration and motivation.

Best wishes!

Splendid Little Stars said...

I did this some years ago. I definitely remember the "morning pages." That was an interesting exercise. It will be fun to read about your experiences with this book.

BeadedTail said...

This sounds like a great way to find inspiration! I hadn't heard about it before but will check it out and I can't wait to hear how it works for you!

Christine Gray said...

I love this book, she also has a newer one out, which I can't quite remember the name of! But I often dip into her books for inspiration, I've never followed her to the letter though.

carol l mckenna said...

I have had this book for several years and continue to do the 'morning pages' for several years ~ I do tend to forget the 'artist date' ~ so thanks for reminding me ~ My book is beginning to fall apart, is written in and dog earred ~ It is a great book and works when one uses it ~ especially the morning pages and I continue to pick it up when I am 'stuck' ~ so again thanks for the reminder!
artmusedog and carol (A Creative Harbor)

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