From now on, these check-in posts will be on Wednesdays, but since I was guest blogging yesterday, I postponed this first one to today.
Week 1 Theme: “Recovering a Sense of Safety.” The idea is that artists need support, especially from ourselves. We need to learn how to nurture our inner artist, to make her feel safe and to avoid self-sabotage from ourselves and from others. One way to do this is to write out every negative thought we think about our art and then write a positive affirmation next to it. I didn’t do this or the other exercises in this chapter this week because I’ve done it twice before. I am well aware of which personal demons haunt me the most. I know that if I don’t write or start talking negative smack to myself it’s because I am afraid. In fact, I know I have a lot of fear. I’m hoping later chapters will address how to overcome (or at least work with) the fear.
Morning Pages: Yes, I did them. Every day. I even did them enthusiastically for the first few days. It was only yesterday that I started feeling the temptation to sleep rather than get up and write them, but that is because I don’t like waking up period. I tell myself the truth – that 15 minutes of extra sleep is not going to make a difference in how I feel that day, but skipping the morning pages most definitely will. So far that pep talk is working.
Artist Date: I spent an hour in antique/flea market that I love. I love looking at the huge variety of objects there and imagining the stories behind them. The simplest things are the ones that intrigue me the most – a jar of old buttons, a dough bowl and a biscuit tin, a milk-glass cake stand, porcelain tea cups. Who owned these little treasures and what were their lives like? When and why did they give them up? How did they land in this store? Stories, stories. Then of course, there are the books. On this visit, I scored a 1968 hardcover copy of The Complete Poems of Robert Frost and a hardcover copy, in excellent condition, of The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran.
Any “Aha” Moments? I’m not sure this counts, but one of my children’s book manuscripts had a prologue of sorts that was way too long, but I could not figure out how to cut it down. It came to me suddenly in the car today, and it’s so simple I can’t believe I didn’t think of it before. Coincidence? Perhaps. But it could also be that the course is greasing my creative wheels. Time will tell.
A few favorite quotes from the Week 1 chapter:
“In a twisted version of Darwinian determinism, we tell ourselves that real artists can survive the most hostile environments and yet find their true calling like homing pigeons. That’s hogwash.”
In recovering from our creative blocks, it is necessary to go gently and slowly… No high jumping, please! Mistakes are necessary! Stumbles are normal. These are baby steps. Progress, not perfection, is what we should be asking of ourselves.”
“By being willing to be a bad artist, you have a chance to be an artist, and perhaps, over time, a very good one.”
Any others have experience to share, either from The Artist’s Way or other creativity-building practices?Books, Children's Books, Creativity, The Artist's Way, Works in Progress, Writing · Tags: Books, Creativity, Julia Cameron, Julie Hedlund, The Artist's Way, Writer, Writing