A self-described “aging hippie” put me onto this book. The Artist’s Way is described as a course in discovering and recovering your creative self. And that’s just how I’m treating it, as a 12-week course which takes about an hour of my time daily. The Morning Pages, or stream-of-consciousness writing (which I’ve blogged about already), and the artist date are two central exercises of the course. Many other tasks designed to help artists unblock fill the book, along with anecdotes and inspirational quotes.
“We are all creative,” says author Julia Cameron, “and creativity is a spiritual force.” Much of her life’s work has centered around this spiritual workshop intended to free that creativity.
I’m starting my fifth week of the course and I’m hooked. The Morning Pages have transformed from drudgery to a necessary part of my days. An important piece of this whole thing for me has been the process of identifying a self. I’ve recognized fragments of my life which stood in the way of my being true to that self. Not only are problems brought to light through Morning Pages work, but sometimes solutions as well. So they sometimes become a call to action.
But no more on the Morning Pages because as Cameron says, “morning pages must be experienced in order to be explained, just as reading a book about jogging is not the same as putting on your Nikes and heading out to the running track.” The morning pages no doubt open different avenues for different people.
Some of the early tasks in the book involve exploring our inner child. We’re led to recall favorite childhood toys, games, foods, and interests. We’re asked to identify our critics, or in other words, the objections of influential people from our early years that we allowed to stifle our dreams – an activity that’s proven very insightful for me!
So I will press on until the end and perhaps free the writer within.