25 September 2008

The Artist's Way

I first came across The Artist's Way (by Julia Cameron) years ago. Before I was married, I gave a copy of the book to my at-the-time boyfriend since he is a blocked writer. Over the years, I have struggled with The Artist's Way, because I want to do it right, but have never managed to keep my commitment to the 12-week program. I'd always start out with a bang, and then my interest -- my time commitment -- would decline as the program got harder. I've tried the program several times, one time making it to Week Eight before life stepped in the way of those damn Morning Pages! I don't think I have ever consistently worked through the entire book, even though I've finished it. 

Over the summer, at the suggestion of someone at The Boundless Living Challenge, I picked up the book and a notebook, and began the Morning Pages again. I can really tell a difference in my attitude when I'm doing the Pages, so I don't know why I resist them so much. My life is much more centered and grounded when I'm working the program, and I seem to participate more fully in my own life. It doesn't happen to me, but rather with me. I'm involved and aware. I've been a journaler all my life, and the Morning Pages have a different feel to me than journaling does. Maybe it's because I do them first thing in the morning; maybe it's because of the stream-of-consciousness nature of the Pages ... Whatever it is, I find the Morning Pages to be invaluable to my well-being.

So, I begin my commitment again! I spent a couple of hours Wednesday evening in the company of other people who were discovering The Artist's Way. It was a delightful time. I've committed to a 12-week course based on Cameron's book. I'm hoping that the classroom situation will keep me on track long enough to make the program a habit. Not just the Morning Pages, but the Artist Dates, as well. I really want to embrace this program, and I'm hoping the support of others will help me.

If you've been reading my blog, you know I'm not really blocked. Right now is the most exciting time in my life, art-wise. I've got a Featured Artist Show coming up and I'm creating up a storm! Mostly, the art is done, but I still feel the creative force in my Soul. I want to stay up all night and get lost in the process of creating. I want to play with my supplies and learn new techniques. I'm happier, creatively, than I've ever been. 

So why the need to "unblock" since that's the stated purpose of The Artist's Way? I don't really need to "unblock" -- what I need to do is learn to live in this moment more often. I know that somedays will be more creative than others, but I yearn to be a person who shows up with her Muse daily. I've read about people who create everyday, and I'm envious of them. I know that if you are painting everyday, for example, some of your stuff is going to be inspired -- and some of it is going to be crap. But imagine how much I miss, by not even showing up on a regular basis? How many opportunities have I had to be creative that I've let slide right by me, because I'm simply not used to meeting my Muse on a regular basis.  How much good work have I missed, simply because I haven't made that commitment, to be creative every day?

So, that's where I am with my creativity and the need to do something about it. I want to live my best life -- and for me, that means commiting to living a more creative life. I want to draw, paint, collage, or something visually artistic every day. I'm a long way from meeting that goal, I know. Hell, I'm a long way from even making -- and being prepared to keep! -- that commitment. I'm hoping that Cameron, with her ideas for 'spiritual recovery' will be of some assistance to me. That much, I'm ready to commit to!


m said...

hi just a quick note to say that I've only had experience of one person who has worked their way through AW on their own - its infinately easier with a group who meets weekly ! The thing that made the most difference to me was doing the artist dates

mary www.creativevoyage.co.uk

Patty Dutcher said...

I have found your blog and fallen in love with your words, your art and your energy!! This a great post, I can realate easily to not putting my 'butt in the chair' and creating all that is within me! I am a busy mom and wife, always struggle with how writing and creating my art feels very self indulgent. My family are my biggest fans, but still, life gets so busy I have to find the diciple to create. Blessings to you, my new friend.
Patty dutcher