Monday, July 11, 2011

The Artist's Way -- Chapter 1 Check In



My bloggy friend, Paula, mentioned a while back that she was going to start working through Julia Cameron's book, The Artist's Way this July.  Because I own the book and tried working through it a while back (and because I always wanted to be able to work my way through the book), I thought it would be a good idea to join her.  The procrastinator that I am, I put off working through the introduction until the last minute.  I discovered some fascinating thoughts and feelings when I finally got around to opening the book.  One of the things I discovered is that I don't feel like a blocked artist.  Although I don't always do as much writing as I want to be doing, I don't think I have writer's block, either.  It seems that right now I have such an overflowing of creativity, more perhaps than any other time in my (adult) life.  What does that really mean?  Well, it was a bit of a eye opener for me.  It made me realize that yes, I am an artist and yes, I feel like I can call myself an artist.  That's something I've been struggling with, so it feels good to be able to say that.

In much of the introduction and chapter 1 I did plenty of underlining and writing in the margins.  There's lots to think about here.  Looking through the book I see that I never got past chapter 3 the first time I went through it and this time I have to admit I'm having some reservations as to whether I should continue.  Resistance.  In the introduction Cameron says, "we often resist what we most need" which makes me inclined to keep going for now.

As for how I'm doing... I started the morning pages on the 2nd of July and have done them all but two days since then.  8 out of 10 days.  Not great, but not terrible, either.  Today's morning pages were the easiest to do yet.  The other days I pretty much hated it.  I've chosen an artist date but haven't done it and I haven't delved into the assignments yet, either.  I have been doing the affirmations but I haven't had the blurts that are supposed to result from them.  A few fears and misgivings, but not really blurts.  I'm not sure if that is good or bad.

I'm thinking that as part of the assignments/artist dates each chapter I'll pull out some of my other books on art and creativity and weave some of those exercises/activities in with this.  It often worries me that I'm interested in too many different things -- I fear that I'll never really be good at any of them because of that -- but another realization that I had  while working through this book was that having so many different creative outlets can be a good thing.  When Cameron talks about "filling the well" I wrote the following in the margin: "Maybe practicing different art forms helps me to fill the well.  Taking a break from one to do the other helps the first."  Whether that's true or not, I don't know, but I like that shift in perspective.  It makes me feel hopeful.

7 comments:

  1. This is a great book that you'll really enjoy and rediscover yourself in some ways, too. :) Happy Monday!

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  2. You say "this time I have to admit I'm having some reservations as to whether I should continue" Why is that so, sweetie? You may do what you feel comfortable with this time around till you get to the end to see the whole process and may later come back to complete it if you feel so inclined.

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  3. Hmm sounds really interesting. Thanks for sharing, I think I'll have to pick this up. I know what you mean by having so many interests and the fear of spreading yourself too thin. I feel like I have sooo many ideas and not enough time/focus to get to them all.

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  4. My goodness, I relate with so much that you've said here. It's so good to be doing this in a group setting. Even though it's online it honestly has been helping me to stick to this in a big way. I too had started before, years ago. And I too dropped it pretty fast. But the book had been calling me back ever since. I hope you stick it through, no matter if you only do a sliver of the exercises each week. So what? Do what you can and don't feel guilty or bad about it. I can't believe that you've done the same thing I did, I pulled about a dozen of my other art books off my shelf to do the very same thing - weave the exercises in these others in as we go along. I did a whole post about it a few days ago with pics of all the books. It was so good to read your experience thus far and I really hope to hear more!

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  5. OMG! I started that book two weeks ago!! AND I feel the same as you! I will read it but having done only 2 morning pages I decided not to beat myself up over doing it my own way. AND I thought the same about the art dates being look at books you already have! Twins :)

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  6. You shouldn't feel that when you pull out too many ideas or books that you won't get anything done . Its all part of finding what you would like to do first . Im the same way , you kinda have to just go with the flow , and not get so overwhelmed is what I discovered , have fun ! Its nice to meet you , look forward in doing this project with you and all the other gals & Paula ! : )

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  7. Hi Anne. That book is great. I have been doing the mp's for almost a yr. and a half now. They have become such a big part of my day. Make coffee, write my pages while drinking it. Very often I am interrupted by little ones so some days I don't get to do all three pages.

    Keep going with it. I think you will love it after awhile. I hated it too in the beginning.
    OH, and I also have that same thing with alot of interests... I want to do so many things and some times it feels like too much. but i like your shift in thinking... filling the well.
    thanks for that.

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