I have now officially made it farther through the program than I have on my previous two attempts, so that’s an achievement already!
Week 3 Theme: “Recovering a Sense of Power.” This week deals with being open to opportunities and accepting gifts that come in the form of synchronicity. By committing to our creative power, doors will open. We need to walk through them. We also need to avoid self-sabotage and the sometimes savage criticism of others – especially with our early work. Cameron spends a lot of time discussing the difference between constructive and useless criticism. We need to be very self-protective of our inner artists and avoid the second kind like the plague. It made me thankful, again, for my very constructive critique partners!
Morning Pages: Yes! They now feel natural to me, although I must admit I was tempted to hit the snooze button this morning…
Artist Date: After first seeing it with my cousin over the weekend, I went by myself for a second viewing of the movie Breaking Dawn. Go ahead and laugh. I’ll wait…
Finished? Great. Yes, I will admit I loved the Twilight series. You laughing can’t possibly be more embarrassing than a 40 year-old woman showing up at the theater alone to watch a movie about hunky teenage vampires, believe me. I think that’s the first time I’ve ever gone to a movie alone period. At first it felt uncomfortable, but then I enjoyed it. I never get to see movies otherwise, so I might start going more often now that I have the artist date as an excuse.
And yes, I am well aware of the debate surrounding the quality of the writing in the books. True, it is not Pulitzer Prize winning prose. Stephenie Meyer has taken that fact straight to the bank. The movies have been pretty cheesy so far too.
But what Meyer (and now the movies) did do was create one of the greatest pieces of escapist fiction that’s come along in ages. What girl doesn’t love an epic star-crossed love story where the hero is a sparkly Adonis with great hair and superpowers? Were it not for the second half of Breaking Dawn – both the book and the movie – it would be a perfect fairy tale. SPOILER ALERT: Because I’m here to tell you, I don’t care how much you love somebody, it’s no woman’s fantasy to get pregnant on her honeymoon and end up having her half-human/half-vampire baby break her bones in utero and then need to have said baby chewed out of the womb. Ew.
In short, it was fun, and that’s at least part of what an Artist Date is supposed to be about right?
Any “Aha” Moments? I felt inexplicably sad and anxious at various times during the week. Cameron says that’s to be expected as you get “deeper” into your creative recovery. I’m still not sure what is behind those feelings for me though. I just lived with them rather than chasing them down. I also suppose that was another reason why escaping into Breaking Dawn felt like a welcome break.
A few favorite quotes from the Week 3 chapter:
“I have learned, as a rule of thumb, never to ask whether you can do something. Say, instead, that you are doing it. Then fasten your seat belt. The most remarkable things follow.”
“As artists, we cannot control all the criticism will well receive… We can learn not to deny and stuff our feelings when we have been artistically savaged.”
“We must learn that when our art reveals a secret of the human soul, those watching it may try to shame us for making it.”
“Do it. Creativity is the only cure for criticism.”
Criticism can indeed be harmful. I have one piece I wrote that got ripped to shreds in a public forum (although thankfully I wasn’t identified as the author). That piece was very close to my heart, and I was shattered by the criticism. This happened almost two years ago, and I have not shared that piece with one other person since then – or done anything else with it. This week’s work is opening me to the idea that I’ve made it worse by accepting and believing the remarks rather than resolving to move forward. Have you ever had such an experience?
Week 2 Check-In
Week 1 Check-In
The Artist’s Way
, The Artist's Way
· Tags: Artist Dates
, Breaking Dawn
, Critique Groups
, Julie Hedlund
, Morning Pages
, Team Edward
, The Artist's Way
, Twilight series