I am currently on Week 4 of the Artist’s Way program. It was created by Julia Cameron to help “blocked’ artists regain their creative momentum and begin practicing and producing their art – sometimes for the first time in their lives. It has helped me tremendously in my goal to establish myself as a fine artist.
Week 4 is all about “recovering a sense of integrity” (Cameron, 2002, p. 79). It is about losing the vagueness with which we describe our feelings, our circumstances, our goals, and our values. “I feel fine about that” we often say while the knots in our stomachs or chronic colds tell a completely different story.
The purpose of the Morning Pages, which I do religiously every morning, is to clear away the cobwebs and the dust covering our authentic feelings. The process of writing the three pages every morning allows me to vent my feelings, clarify my vision, and tap into that which makes me unique and special. Like snowflakes, no two humans are exactly the same and this originality is what gives our art its power, its flavor, and its ability to communicate.
In addition to the Morning Pages and the weekly Artist’s Date, Week 4 introduces the challenging task of NO READING. Cameron (2002) calls this activity Reading Deprivation: “Reading Deprivation casts us into our inner silence, a space some of us begin to immediately fill with new words – long gossipy conversations, television bingeing, the radio as a constant, chatty companion” (P. 87). Her point is that we allow the words of others to drown out and substitute for our own unique voices. Once we curtail the inflow of external words and chatter, we allow ourselves to go deeper within and access our own internal dialogue.
That being said, this week blows! Reading is my second favorite activity after painting. I have been dying 1000 deaths with each “reading-deprived” day that passes. However, I trust in this process and am committed to unblocking my inner artist.
If you are joining me on this journey towards greater creativity, then hang in there! While not everyone chooses to be an artist by trade, all of us can tap into greater levels of creativity. Whether we are artists, inventors, entrepreneurs, ministers, or salespeople, creativity allows us to do whatever we do that much better.
Now go follow your bliss…
Cameron, J. (2002). The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path To Higher Creativity. Penguin Putnam Inc.: New York.