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.
‘As an artist, I do not need to be rich but I do need to be richly supported. I cannot allow my emotions and intellectual life to stagnate or the work will show it.’
(Cameron, J., The Artist’s Way. London: Pan Books, 1995, p.181)
Well, I’ve made it to the penultimate week and I’m still going strong! I hope you’ve been keeping up – but if you’ve fallen behind over the summer, don’t worry. This is a fantastic course and I hope my posts will go some way to inspiring you to keep going to the end. When you do, don’t forget to let me know how you find it!
What’s involved this week? Week 11 tells us to accept who we are as creative beings, whether that means working a 9-5 job or finding a routine which suits you. Experiment! Exercise, have Artist Dates, and create a space within your home where you feel calm and inspired. Remember (as in the quote above) that you must look after yourself in order to be the best version of yourself. Several weeks ago, one of the tasks was to copy out the phrase, “Treating myself like an important object will make me strong”, and to display it somewhere – I stuck this on the bottom of the mirror which I look into every morning, and today I read it and thought, ‘Yes. This is what it’s all been about.’
How long does it take? I spent around 4 hours on reading and tasks. There are several more time-consuming tasks this week, but they are enjoyable. I especially liked reflecting on the ways I’ve changed over the last 11 weeks and recalling some of the examples of synchronicity which I’ve experienced, as well as looking to the future and listing changes and commitments which I want to make over the coming months.
My artist didn’t get to go very far on an Artist Date this week – to be precise, I sat in the car next to the park for 30 minutes and watched the rain running down the windscreen! It was quiet though. It gave me time to doodle away in my notepad, and I came up with some ideas for a poem.
Hardest Part? Listening to my own voice when, as required by one of this week’s tasks, I recorded myself reading some of the book’s chapters! The idea is to use this for meditation but I’m not sure I’ll ever get to a stage where I can hear myself speaking on tape without laughing …
Week 11 overall? This has been a great week, with lots of fun tasks, including the purchase of a special creativity notepad (pictured above). I love new stationery, so that was definitely a good one for me!
The tasks and readings were spot on for me this week, especially for where I am with my MLitt portfolio (15 days to go – eek!). I’m so proud of myself for getting through this course because I can now see how it has made me treat myself more kindly, as well as giving me the space and quiet time to reflect, at a point in my life where I really needed it.
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.