Saturday, August 22, 2009

The Artist's Way - All Finished

I have finally finished working through The Artist's Way, a book about unlocking your creativity, by Julia Cameron. It is a 12 week program, but I took a bit longer because I skipped a couple of weeks here and there. Overall, I would say it has been a worthwhile experience. I have been pretty faithful in writing my "morning pages", writing in a journal every morning. I haven't been good at taking artist "dates" - spending an hour each week on an outing doing something I enjoy. With the 100 degree weather we have been having, I did not feel like doing much this summer!

So, would I recommend this book to others? Yes and no. I think it really depends on the individual and where they are at in their journey. I had some philosophical differences with some of the activities, and some just seemed silly. I know Julia would say that just means I really need to do those activities. But I took the book the way I take most things - I take from it what I can and let go of the rest. And there was definitely something worth taking, for me. The morning pages have been a great way to get in touch with my inner guidance. They have also helped me work through some stressful situations that have come up over the past 3 months. The affirmations have been helpful - helping me realize that the way I think about myself has a lot to do with how others see me and with how life unfolds for me. And some of the exercises have opened up my awareness - to my procrastination, to ways in which I sabotage myself and to small things I can do to nurture my creativity.

In the book, Julia says it's working if you feel an urge to sort out, organize and de-clutter your life. If that's true, it must be working for me! I have been slowly working on getting my home studio organized and rearranged.I'm almost finished and will post before and after photos when it's done. Now if I could just get that enthusiasm for cleaning the rest of the house!

Who would I not recommend the book to? Someone who isn't committed to actually working through the exercises. I don't know if there is much value in just reading the book. To me, going through at least some of the exercises is the only way to get anything out of it.

So, what next for me? I plan to continue the morning pages, because I can't imagine starting my day without them now. And there are a few exercises that I want to go back and revisit. I still want to incorporate artist dates, but I'm thinking I'll start that next month (so my procrastinator says!)

1 comment:

  1. The thing i really value from Julia are her thoughts about process. Twyla Tharp has some of the same ideas in her book. How to keep going, germinating ideas, even when it feels dry. Another book i love and reread regularly is Art and Fear.


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