Week 5 – The Artist’s Way

During summer 2016, I am following the 12-week course prescribed in Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way (London: Pan Books, 1995). The book focuses on ways to re-discover your creativity. Each week, I will be posting an update on my progress.

Check back on my earlier posts for explanation of key terms which Cameron uses, including Morning Pages and Artist Date.

‘We shake the apple tree and the universe delivers oranges. […] One of the central tasks of the creative recovery is learning to accept this generosity.’

(Cameron, J., The Artist’s Way. London: Pan Books, 1995, p.96)

Week 5

What’s involved? Week 5 focuses on the ability to listen to our spiritual side, learning to ask the universe for help and advice, and to receive its response with positivity and acceptance. It is also about continuing on the quest to recovering a sense of individuality – doing things which we enjoy and which inspire our creativity.

How long does it take? I found the written exercises much quicker this week, and spent perhaps only 1 hour in total on them. This was in addition to the daily Morning Pages. Once again I missed my dedicated Artist Date, although I did savour the chunks of 5-10 free minutes that I found at various points of the week, and spent those short bursts of time simply taking in my environment and making a few notes.

IMG_3021 LOW RES.jpg

This week, a cruise around Lake Windermere was my perfect opportunity to spend 10 minutes taking in my environment, concentrating on the sights and sounds.

Hardest part? Although I enjoyed the exercises, I found the reading this week was a little too heavy and spiritual for my personal tastes. The overall message was important, but I got bogged down in the explanation. I prefer the moments when Cameron refers back to real examples, e.g. when she talks about people she has worked with over the years and their experiences of the course.

Week 5 overall? This week, I especially enjoyed beginning to build an ‘Image File’ or ‘a file of dreams’ (p.103), using my answers to some of the exercises to begin amassing a folder of photos. It was fun to keep my eyes peeled for relevant images during the week, and I already know that I will be going back to these in the future for inspiration and motivation.

The Morning Pages also came into their own for me this week, when I decided to try Cameron’s advice of asking the universe a question last thing at night and then using the Morning Pages to mull over the answer. I found this directed reflection really helpful, and it’s encouraged me to double the amount I was writing each morning for the Pages. I will definitely be keeping up this part!

Do you want to rediscover your creative self too? If you’d like to join me as I complete Julia Cameron’s course The Artist’s Way, please post here or find me on Facebook (Kerrie McKinnel – Author) and let me know


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