But, now, I knew I was ready! So, I went to the bookcase and pulled out The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron.
Do you have this book? Have you heard of it?
You probably have. It’s sold over a million copies.
But, in case you haven’t, here’s the gist:
Only you can remove your creative blocks. You remove them by tapping into the creative power of the Creator/Universe/God/Zeitgeist/however you define it.
These blocks prevent you from not only creating art as society has come to define it (like painting, writing, singing, dancing, etc), but they also block you from living more creative daily (like figuring out a solution to a work issue, or developing fuller and fun-er relationships).
Creativity can heal you, and heal those around you. And tuning in to your creativity can change how you view your world, making each day more exciting. (And who doesn’t want that?!)
And The Artist’s Way helps you challenge your blocks and break through them!
Now, before you say, “But, um, I’m not creative”, you need to remember that creativity is our birthright, and in every one of us. So, while you may not be writing a novel or painting your family portrait, you’re probably choosing what you wear each day (and accessorizing), or making up a story for your child, or coming up with a new way to spice up your spaghetti sauce, or changing the layout of your living room, or re-telling an incident that occurred at work (with gestures and voices). THAT IS CREATIVITY!!!
One of my favorite quotes from her book is “[A]s we are creative beings, our lives become our artwork” (Cameron, p. xxvi).
I don’t know about you, but I’ve never thought about my life as being my artwork! What an inspiring idea! And I’m ready for the challenge to make it more colorful.
The Artist’s Way is a 12 week course. And Julia (I’m going to call her by her first name because it sounds like we’re friends) makes two requests that must be fulfilled during the 3 months:
1) You must write three pages, first thing every morning. This she calls “Morning Pages.” You are not to show these pages to anyone and you are to write whatever comes to mind (even if nothing comes to mind). Ramble away!
2) You must have a weekly “Artist’s Date.” This date should be between 1 to 2 hours long and should be done solo. It doesn’t have to cost anything, but it should delight you!
Both of these things are going to be tough for me because:
1) I’m not a morning person. So waking up earlier, just to write poorly, is going to be a challenge.
2) While I don’t mind going places or doing things by myself, I’m not so good at following through when I’m not held accountable by others (especially when my pajamas are calling my name).
But, I’m going to do it. There’s a contract in the book and I’m going to sign it!
Now, along with these two requirements, she has weekly exercises to pick and choose from. Julia suggests you pick the ones that make you the most uncomfortable. So, that’s what I’m going to do.
At this point, if you’re still reading, you might be asking yourself “Why are you telling me all this?”
To be honest, I wasn’t going to mention it. It was just going to be something I did for myself, by myself. But last week, as I was discussing this book and it’s concepts with my friend, Taryn, she suggested that I should blog about it, and that perhaps it might inspire someone else to try something creative. And she’s absolutely right! (Plus, it helps me with accountability. Bonus!)
So, if you’re interested, I’m starting next week (on Monday, of course). I’ll being posting about the exercises I choose, the struggles I have, the discoveries I make, and my weekly Artist Date. My plan is to post all this on my sad, lonely, and forgotten blog. (I want to leave this blog open for all my other witty thoughts…..… [crickets chirping]……… [hollow wind blowing]……… [……….]………)
If you want to try this with me, great! I would love for you to share this journey with me.
But, more than that, I hope you realize that you have the option of injecting creativity into your life any time you choose.