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.
‘QUESTION: Do you know how old I’ll be by the time I learn to play the piano? ANSWER: The same age you will be if you don’t.’
(Cameron, J., The Artist’s Way. London: Pan Books, 1995, p.138)
What’s involved? Week 8 is titled ‘Recovering a Sense of Strength’, and that really says it all. Readings focus on the importance of acknowledging the grief which your creative self regularly suffers, e.g. receiving a rejection letter for that job/commission/short story competition which you had your heart set on – but this week is also about looking forward and asking, where do you want to be in 1 month, 1 year, 5 years from now? Rather than looking at it as a huge, unachievable goal, how can you break it down into baby steps which you can begin to take today?
How long does it take? This week, I’d allow 2 hours for the reading and tasks, on top of the Morning Pages and Artist Date.
As this course continues, I’m finding myself moving further away from full-on Artist Dates, and towards mini-Artist Dates. This week, I’ve been finding fun and inspiration in 10-20 minute bursts of music and dancing, or a stolen moment admiring the sunset. This is a more achievable goal for a parent and for a student with impending deadlines!!!
Hardest part? As usual, simply finding/making the time to do everything!
Week 8 overall? I’ve had another good week. The Morning Pages are continuing to pay off and act as a useful outlet for exploring ideas and plot lines. I’m definitely being kinder to my creative self – I bought myself some new socks (Honestly, this is something suggested in the book!) and a couple of little food treats to cheer myself up after a busy week last week. I’m feeling motivated creatively, and in the last few days I’ve written a short story, submitted a commission application form (and made a lot of progress on another one which I plan to finish today), and begun to explore ideas for a possible second novel, now that Novel #1 is powering through the editing stage. With 4 weeks to go on this course, I am really beginning to see why people return to it time and time again.
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. The book which I’ve been reading and quoting from, The Artist’s Way (London: Pan Books, 1995), can be found on Amazon’s website and other book retailers.