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Sunday, June 26, 2011

Following The Artist's Way: Introduction


Following The Artist's Way: Introduction

I'm sure that the majority of you have at least heard of - if not partaken in - The Artist's Way: The Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity by Julia Cameron. I myself have undertaken the start of the twelve-week program three, maybe four times. Notice I said "the start of". Alas, once I came across the bumps in the road, I performed what Julia refers to as a creative U-turn. I don't think I've made it past Week 5, yet. Let me repeat that. YET. As of today, I pledge to myself (and to you all out there watching me) to complete the twelve week challenge that is The Artist's Way. I'm not so sure that Julia would choose the word challenge to describe it, but that's how it has stacked up for me in the past.

If you care to follow along, there is The Artist's Way Online. If there's enough interest, perhaps we can start our own cluster group and join the forums on the site.

To start with, there are two Basic Tools: Morning Pages and Artist Dates.

Morning Pages are written long-hand, and are stream of consciousness writing done first thing in the morning. Three pages of it.
Sometimes, three pages was a challenge. Heck, some mornings, just getting out of bed early enough to get them done before I had to get my day rolling, was a challenge. But I am the first to admit to the miracles that Morning Pages created. I'm not the same person I was before I started them for the first time. I'm more confident and self-assured than I ever was, even though I wouldn't go so far as to say I'm any smarter or wiser than I was before. I'm much more in tune with who I am and what I want out of life. I didn't have a clue before I started them. Why did I stop?
 {NOTE: Morning Pages are intended to be a lifelong practice, like brushing your teeth. Just because I slacked off on them doesn't mean it's good practice to do so. I now have plaque buildup on my  muse.}

 Artist Dates are weekly outings to explore something that interests you. By yourself. No children/buddies/significant other tagging along. These are basically play dates with your inner child.
I admit, I've had resistance to Artist Dates in the past. Part of me felt silly, part of me just simply didn't know what to do.
My Artist Date for this week: a shopping excursion to Josee's Handmade Imports. It carries a collection of New Agey stuff that I find stimulating and engaging. Then I'll hit the local craft store for drawing supplies for next week's Artist Date.

I'm hoping I can make it through the challenge this time without balking when things get uncomfortable. (No one has ever accused me of being the touchy-feely-let's-talk-about-our-emotions type. Emotionally stunted? Probably.) Each Monday for the next twelve weeks, I'll report on my progress. Or rant about how frustrated I've become. Or cry on your shoulder. Just warning you.
So I'm off to read Week One: Recovering a Sense of Safety, and see what I can accomplish in the TASKS.
Have You ever completed The Artist's Way challenge? Any pointers?
Would you care to join me on this journey?
Any ideas for me to do on my Artist Dates?

Extensive List of Julia Cameron's Books

8 comments:

Jenny N. said...

Actually I haven't heard of this until reading your post. Wishing you luck!

Lynda R Young said...

I haven't done this challenge before. I like the sound of Artist Date. That's a great idea!

The Golden Eagle said...

I've never heard of The Artist's Way before. It sounds interesting.

Jemi Fraser said...

I've never heard of Artist Dates before - very cool idea. :) Good luck with it!

Pk Hrezo said...

I got these books a long time ago in my early twenties and did morning pages for an entire year. I lived alone and it was something I did while I had my coffee. It was really valuable in getting to know myself and the way I wanted my life to turn out. I need to reread these books.

cleemckenzie said...

There's something very interesting that happens when you let the artist run free in your head. A shift in the way you feel and experience, I think. Life seems to become more about being than doing.

Good luck.

Damyanti said...

I do not have this book, but I'm thinking of getting it. I've heard of it and seen it loads of times...

I try and do morning pages everyday, some days I succeed, others I don't. The idea is never to give up, and keep going everyday, no matter what time I get up.


I would love to join you on this...wish I had the book handy!

notenoughwords said...

I love The Artist's Way. I did most of it years and years ago. I still pull out the longhand when I need to clear the decks of dreck.

Good luck!