Tonight I am beginning a spiritual journey (which is difficult as an atheist, yeah?). I made a commitment to read "The Artist's Way" by Julia Cameron alongside my two best friends. It's a 12 week course to rediscover and reconnect with my creative self. I haven't written in over a month. I have my own, turbulent reasons--but they are just that, reasons. I want to push them aside. I want to reconnect. I want to write. Everything I have written lately has been dark and disconnected. I need to realign myself, and I'm hoping this journey will do just that.
I took a few notes to explain the process for myself and my friends, and I'd like to share it with you:
The Artist's Way - a summary
- Read the week's chapter on Sunday night, then speed write through the exercises at the end of the chapter.
- If we cannot do all of the tasks during the week (try to do at least half), then:
- Pick the ones that appeal the most and
- Pick the ones you're most opposed to.
- "We often resist what we need most."
- Save the more "neutral" feeling tasks to complete later.
- A time commitment of 7 to 10 hours per week; an hour a day or slightly more for your tasks, Morning Pages and Artist Date.
- The pivotal tools are the Morning Pages and the Artist Date.
- The Morning Pages are 3 pages, long hand, strictly stream-of-consciousness as soon as you wake up. No novels, no character writing, just whatever comes to mind. Even if it is 3 pages of "I don't know what to write..."
- Morning Pages will teach you to stop judging and just let yourself write. It will tune out your inner Censor, your inner critic--eventually.
- The Artist Date is a block of time, usually 2 hours, set aside and committed to nurturing your creative self
- You must go alone. Pre-plan and defend your Artist Date.
- Example Artist Dates: A visit to a great junk store, a solo trip to the beach, an old movie seen alone together, a visit to an aquarium or art gallery, a long country walk, a sortie out to a strange church to hear gospel music, an expedition to the lake to see the sunset, to an ethnic neighborhood to taste foreign sights and sounds, bowling...
- Refill The Well: Find a repetitive task that helps you find ideas. The shower, driving, cross stitching, cooking, etc. Do something during the week that lets you zone out and opens your mind up to new suggestions.
There will be more on this - but those are the notes I took while reading through to Chapter 1. I'll be sure to share my personal answers to each week's task as a way to check in with reality.
We picked up the ebook of The Artist's Way for around $12.00 - but you may be able to find a physical copy, used, somewhere cheaper.
Have you completed The Artist's Way?
Do you have any suggestions for Artist's Dates? Future reading material? Tips and tricks? Success stories? Please share them in the comments below!