How to Get Your Creativity Back with The Artist's Way

 

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I reference The Artist's Way often, so I thought I ought to give you a little context. The Artist's Way is a 12-week self-guided transformation in the form of a book by Julia Cameron.

This book helps would-be artists get unblocked and start creating. 

Each chapter is a week with a theme such as "Recovering a Sense of Identity." There are several evocative tasks to try each week (you could even call them "experiments!"). The tasks can be fun, such as listing favorite childhood treats and then eating one. They can also be challenging, such as processing painful memories of being criticized. 

You also use 2 tools throughout the journey: Morning Pages and Artist Dates. 

Morning Pages are 3 pages long-hand that you scrawl out every morning.

You purposefully don't read them until the end of the process. At about week 8, you start reading your pages and highlight insights and patterns. This reveals so much what you want and where you are stuck.

I have continued the practice of Morning Pages well beyond the 12-weeks. It helps me clear the chatter in my mind and integrate my experiences. Then new ideas come to me naturally!

 Looking back at my Morning Pages, I can see the idea for Experiments in Vitality and blog posts drafts as early as June 2016.

Looking back at my Morning Pages, I can see the idea for Experiments in Vitality and blog posts drafts as early as June 2016.

Artist Dates are 2-hour excursions every week that are for you, just you, BY YOURSELF.

These dates foster playfulness and connection to your inner artist, who is, of course, a child. They can be simple as looking for treasure at the thrift shop or taking a walk in a quiet forest. They also foster the independence and boundary-setting necessary for you to develop your art.

Julia is absolutely adamant that you take your artist dates solo. That was difficult for me at first, but once I started doing it, I immediately understood why. Artist Dates are all about getting to know yourself. Your likes, your dislikes. Your voice.

It's about knowing your own mind, without the distraction or discouragement of others.

Because of The Artist's Way, I do everything differently.

Instead of a 9 to 5, I now run my own doggie-care business. I have written more and created more art than I have in the past several years combined. I have had experiences that I never would have allowed myself before,  such as throwing a tea party and visiting art museums in four cities. 

I cannot recommend this journey enough. The Artist's Way has helped me get out of a painful "pass/fail" mentality and into a creative love affair with my life. Check it out, experiment, have fun!

 


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