For the past eight and a half weeks, I have been working through Julia Cameron's, "The Artist's Way."
While sometimes difficult, the book and its accompanying workbook have been nothing but wonderful for me. The weekly readings and activities have helped me add so much creativity and joy to my life and provided structure during a time when I desperately needed it.
Using 'The Artist's Way' as a Tool
Thanks to Julia Cameron and "The Artist's Way," I have started freelancing, updated my website, paid for headshots, started this blog, written over 50 pages of a novel that I am sure I will finish by this time next year, joined an acting studio, submitted my short stories to journals, tried countless new recipes, set some important boundaries, and overall improved my sense of self-confidence and wellbeing.
I have found new strategies to relax and counter writer's block and remembered why I love writing, why I quit my day job to do the kind of writing and work I like to do, and how much I enjoy performing.
Amazingly, I don't even feel like I'm bragging when I'm writing this, which means I have also shaken off a huge sense of shame about my creativity and my life choices in general! Whoo! (Oh, I also updated my Instagram for some shameless self-promotion).
My favorite part about the book is that Ms. Cameron will be the first to tell you not to credit her.
She presents "The Artist's Way" as a tool and reminds you to give yourself credit for all the hard work you do.
And it can be hard work.
Some weeks ask you to think about childhood wounds, other weeks ask you to think about what really scares you about living a creative life, and other weeks still ask you to reconsider your long-held beliefs about everything from God to money.
Week eight and this week (week nine) ask you to acknowledge, mourn, and move forward from creative failures or "U-turns," which has been particularly difficult for me. (Sorry I've been the world's most difficult person these past two weeks, Sam / my friends and family).
Every week, seven days a week, you are expected to rise early and write three pages of handwritten stream of consciousness, called "Morning Pages," to make space for yourself and kickstart your day. (I hate them sometimes but they do work)!
Fostering a Sense of Play
Along with all this "work," the book asks you to love and celebrate yourself, treating yourself as "an artist child." It humbly requests that you foster a sense of play and gives you daily, weekly, and one-time activities to help you do so.
For example, last week I danced around my bedroom naked and pretended I was skinny dipping in France -- and in previous weeks, I have collected flowers and interesting rocks, practiced calligraphy, and made a collage (pictures of some of these tasks below):
Nine Weeks Into 'The Artist's Way'
Nine weeks into "The Artist's Way," I have filled a journal with my thoughts and feelings and bought a new one in a color that I like even better.
Nine weeks into "The Artist's Way," my desk is filled with mantras, affirmations, collage, calligraphy, and colorful sticky notes -- and my calendar is packed with bite-sized goals and tasks I know I will accomplish, along with fun "Artist's Dates," I can't wait to go on!
After just nine weeks, I get excited to work at my desk, I look forward to spending time with myself, and I even have a special nook in a shared home just for myself and my creativity (okay, Rizzo the cat hangs out there, too).
I have a better sense of what I truly enjoy doing, and I'm doing more of it. Not only do I have a clearer vision of the kind of life I want, but I also feel like I am much closer to living it.
At the very least, I am on the right path, and I don't think I could have said that just nine short weeks ago.
I humbly encourage anyone who wants more creativity in their lives to pick up a copy of "The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity," and keep an open mind.
I started it the day I quit my job, so I can recommend it especially to anyone who might be going through professional disappointment/disillusionment, burnout, job loss, a breakup, or any kind of major life change.
Thank you so much for reading and please contact me on my website or email me at loganrosereadsandwrites at gmail dot com if you want to discuss all things Artist's Way.
Also, if you'd like to take advantage of my newfound audacity professionally, visit my brand-new services and pricing page!
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