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.
‘You pick up a magazine – or even your alumni news – and somebody, somebody you know, has gone further, faster, toward your dream. Instead of saying, “That proves it can be done,” your fear will say, “He or she will succeed instead of me.”‘
(Cameron, J., The Artist’s Way. London: Pan Books, 1995, p.172)
What’s involved? This week looks at dangers to creativity, including workaholism and competitiveness. I, Kerrie, admit to both of these sins! It also asks you to consider other destructive habits and people you keep around you. Why do you keep that friend/habit in your life if all it does is take up your time and make you focus on negativity, when you could be spending your time with someone who nurtures your creative self?
How long does it take? I spent 2 hours on the reading and tasks, plus daily Morning Pages – although I’ll admit to only managing my pages on 5 out of 7 days this week, as real life (a wonderful friend visiting for a few days) got in the way a little. This week’s Artist Date was an hour spent reading in the sunshine.
I also spent 2 hours reading my Morning Pages to date. This was a task which I put off from last week, and one which I was determined to make time for this week. It was an enlightening experience which showed me that, (1) I spend a lot of time complaining about being tired!, (2) I spend a lot of time procrastinating about organising Artist Dates, and (3) on a more positive note, I’ve gradually allowed myself to be kinder and, yes, more selfish at times. My attitude towards the tasks and Morning Pages has become more positive, as they’ve given me space to reflect on ideas and to plan for the future. Most of all, it showed me that this course has been a worthwhile and positive experience for my creative wellbeing.
Hardest part? Time, time, time! As evidenced by the fact I’m a day late with this blog post!
Week 10 overall? This has been a good week, especially reading the Morning Pages (though I should have done that last week.) It demonstrated how far I’ve come in just 10 weeks, and showed me that this course has been valuable to my self-worth and confidence as a creator.
One task which I especially enjoyed this week was to think about ways I’ve nurtured my artist because – as with reading the Morning Pages – it made me see that I have been treating myself differently and as more valuable. I also enjoyed the challenge of doing ‘one lovely thing’ each day of the week, as it didn’t feel like too much of a demand to give myself a tiny treat each day (e.g. a bubble bath or a proper hot chocolate with cream!), but it made me feel special and cared for. I only hope that my readers will see a positive difference in my writing!
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.