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.
‘Most of us equate difficulty with virtue – and art with fooling around. Hard work is good. A terrible job must be building our moral fibre.’
(Cameron, J., The Artist’s Way. London: Pan Books, 1995, p.106)
I’m now at the halfway point following The Artist’s Way course. I think it’s still too early to judge whether my creativity has been improved or unleashed, but I can already see some of the benefits. Thanks to a couple of Artist Dates, I’m taking more notice of my surroundings and filling up my mind with images and descriptions which could be used in future writing. I’ve finally found my way with the Morning Pages too, and am exploring ways in which these can be helpful to my writing. It’s been a good six weeks, although this week hasn’t necessarily been the best …
What’s involved? Week 6 asks you to take a fresh look at your finances, and to consider ways to treat your creative self to regular luxuries without necessarily spending a lot (or indeed, any) money.
How long does it take? In addition to the daily Morning Pages, I only spent around 1 hour on the reading and the couple of written tasks/exercises. Most of the tasks this week were practical ones and, to my shame, I didn’t do most of them. My Artist Date also fell by the wayside this week – I did get to spend some time at the beach, but it’s not quite as relaxing/inspiring when you’re chasing a two-year-old around!
Hardest part? This week, I found it hard to motivate myself to do the tasks. I could have found time for many of them if I’d really wanted to, but I kept forgetting – and I think this is because I didn’t place enough importance on them. I viewed some of them as a bit irrelevant and a waste of the time which I’ve been short on this week, whereas in reality most of them do look fun and would probably have been quite inspiring.
Week 6 overall? It’s been a busy week full of personal distractions, so I haven’t given much to the course over the last seven days. I have, however, kept up the Morning Pages and have found those to be really useful. I’ve been asking questions about my plots and characters and then using the Pages to mull over the answers, and they have helped me to come to some answers.
Roll on Week 7 – and hopefully I’ll find myself with a little more time to commit, particularly to organising an Artist Date!
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.