Renoir's Luncheon at the Boating Party - a painting located in the Phillips Collection and one I HOPED I'd see on my Artist Date - the one that never happened.

I made it through another week!

Week 2 Theme: “Recovering a Sense of Identity.”  This chapter is mainly about identifying, and then staying away from, people who are poisoning your creative recovery.  Cameron calls them “crazymakers,” usually themselves blocked creatives who feel threatened by a person successfully embracing his/her own creativity.  In many cases, we ourselves are the crazymakers, so we’re reminded to read the artist affirmations every day.  We are also instructed to bring our attention to everything – the world, our lives, relationships, and especially our skepticism and doubts.

Morning Pages: Once again I got the morning pages done every day.  This week, I looked forward to them as I was waking up.  They did not feel like a burden.

Artist Date:  I fully planned to do an artist date this week.  We’re in the D.C. area and I had hoped to go to the Phillips Collection, a museum I love and haven’t visited in years.  Unfortunately, the nice TSA man at the security checkpoint noticed that my driver’s license had expired.  On the one hand, I should be grateful because I hadn’t realized.  On the other hand, I now cannot drive in good conscience until I get it renewed.  I thought about walking over to the Herndon library, which is near my in-law’s house, but it has been raining BUCKETS the past two days.  So sue me.  No artist date this week.  I’ll make sure I get one in next week.

Any “Aha” Moments?  Not this week.  My gremlin would tell me it’s bad karma as a result of skipping the Artist Date. 😉

A few favorite quotes from the Week 2 chapter:

“Often, creativity is blocked by our falling in with other people’s plans for us.  We want to set aside time for our creative work, but we feel we should do something else instead.  As blocked creatives, we focus not on our responsibilities to ourselves, but on our responsibilities to others.  We tend to think such behavior makes us good people.  It doesn’t.  It makes us frustrated people.”

“In creative recovery, it is not necessary that we change any of our beliefs.  It is necessary that we examine them.”

“The quality of life is in proportion, always, to the capacity for delight.”

I’m still not quite sure about the first quote, but it definitely struck a chord with me.  How do you balance your need to create with the needs of others in your lives?  Is it even possible?

Week 1 Check-In

The Artist’s Way

Categories: Creativity, The Artist's Way · Tags: , , ,



  1. I am so sorry you missed the Philips Collection. My driving license lasts until well into my sixties. How often do you have to renew yours and do you have to retake a test?

    • I am afraid I may have to retake the test only because I let the darn thing expire! I knew I had to renew it when I turned 40, but it slipped my mind because of the Italy trip, etc.

      Oh well. Life goes on.

  2. It is very hard to balance. When you work from home and have lots of children, there are always things you should be doing. Unfortunately, if writing isn’t going well, it’s far to easy to have things you COULD be doing also, that are legitimate and give you an excuse not to write – as in, “I know I should be working on my story, but I really need to scrub the bathroom tile grout with a toothbrush” (and let’s face it, when you come to that moment your story is REALLY not going well :))

    • Susanna, you are very right. It works both ways. You can just as easily use other obligations as an excuse to not write on purpose. Such a hard balance to strike.

  3. Week 2 Theme is spot-on.
    I truly believe positive energies can be drained by negative people/envirnoment if we ALLOW it. Identifying and then staying away/distancing ourselves from those who are poisoning our creative recovery is essential for our happiness/success. It’s not always possible to physically keep that distance. But how we receive thsoe vibes that others/sometimes ourself send out can make all the difference. I call it putting up a positive wall of defense. When the crazymaker rears it’s head I try to remember that it’s junk in their garage trunk not in mine.

    Congrats on achieving the Morning Pages!

    Bummer on mising out on the museum :~<

    Thanks for sharing Week 2, Julie :~D

    Happy Thanksgiving!!!

  4. Congrats on doing the morning pages for week two. Soon they’ll be as necessary as brushing your teeth. You just won’t feel right if you miss them. I have also been doing them and got “The Artists Way” out of the library to start it while I wait for my copy from Amazon. I’ve only started week one.

    Sounds like a good effort in doing the artists date. So sorry it was bashed. But you’re right that it was lucky to notice your license. It’s hard to do with a holiday in that week. I haven’t done it either and don’t have as good an excuse as you.

    I also think it’s hard to give yourself the responsibility for creating when you have other responsibilities calling your name. Children and spouses call very loud and yes, they can leave one frustrated. It’s all in setting priorities. For me people are more important than me writing. Maybe that’s why I don’t have much to show for my creative side. My writing has been on the back burner for quite a while now.

    • People should always be more important. But I also think it’s true that if creative expression is vital to us and we continually set it aside, it impacts not only our own well-being but those of others. A frustrated and depleted person cannot take as good of care of others as a content and nourished one. It’s like the phrase, “put on your own oxygen mask first.”

      So again, it’s trying to find the right balance between the two, and that is VERY difficult to do.

  5. Great post thanks Julie. Wow! your licence has lapsed. Here they last only 5 years now and you have to sit it all over again if you let it lapse even for one day.
    I connect with your first quote, so very true.
    I agree with all your points here….

  6. Keep up the good work! An artist’s date sounds lovely, just keep that goal on the top of your list.

  7. As far as the quote goes:

    When you choose to bring children into the world . . . your responsibility for them (when they are young) takes precedence over “everything.”

    But when adults are clamoring for your attention (and acting like children in the throes of a tantrum) so that you make THEIR priorities your priorities . . . IGNORE THEM and honor your inner artist first. 😉

  8. Thank you for this awesome post Julie!

    I will try to stay away from the crazy-makers. Thanks for the warning.

  9. Sometime, I think putting the needs of others is just another form of procrastination. It’s so much easier to say that we HAVE TO do all of these things for the people who are so important to us. But what we don’t realize is how unhappy we are when we aren’t managing to meet our own needs. If we’re happy and fulfilled, then the people around us are happier, too. 🙂

    Thank you for another uplifting post, Julie. I’ve still only managed to keep up the daily Morning Pages, and just doing those puts me in the mood to be creative.

  10. Thanks for letting us journey along with you through The Artist’s Way. I find that I’m usually the person who is getting in the way of my creativity, through doing practically anything else but sitting down and applying myself to the thinking and working that needs to be done on a project. The initial spurt of creativity is great, but the tough stuff, the revision, makes me find all sorts of anything to do instead. So I become my own crazymaker. I need to watch that.

    Thanks again! (And that Artist Date will happen. Perhaps spontaneously, perhaps serendipitously, some experience will become your artist date next week.)

  11. Enjoyed the post Julie. I am dating myself, but I did the Artists Way a good 20 yrs ago. I enjoyed it because it made get out of my comfort zone. I had already been journaling for many years and always looked forward to that. It is a balancing act. Fortunately, my kids are grown, so I have my quiet time during the day and love it. Agree with Beth, sometimes I do get in my own way. There are days I’m on a roll and others, I have to focus on other things. Glad you are doing the Artists Way. Good stuff.

  12. Thanks for a great post, Julie. I haven’t done the artist’s way for some years but this chapter was life changing for me – it gave me permission to stop including the crazy makers in my life.

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