Week 5 of the The Artist’s Way (Cameron, 2002) has helped me discover a great deal about what my inner artist needs to be creative. Cameron (2002) identifies solitude as a necessity for artists, and blames the lack of it on blocked creativity. She advises that artists need free time, alone, but acknowledges that “such time, space, and quiet will strike our family and friends as withdrawal from them. It is.” (Cameron, 2002, p. 96).
I admit to constantly going through this battle with people. I do need significant periods of time alone, and privacy. People often misinterpret this as rejection, snobbery, or selfishness. However, when I am denied this time, I start to feel irritable and trapped. I never quite understood this about myself until now. This struggle for privacy also ties into another way would-be artists sabotage themselves – by “playing nice.”
Because carving out private time can be viewed by others as “selfish”, artists are put in the unenviable position of either standing up for themselves (and risk making people mad), or caving into the pressure and sabotaging their own creativity. In addition to alone-time, artists need a certain amount of money, space, and other resources to dedicate to their art. Many artists have a hard time accepting the disapproval of others. But refusing to set boundaries is self-destructive, and robs the artist of her ability to dream.
Week 5 is entitled “Recovering a Sense of Possibility.” The ability to stretch one’s mind, to stoke one’s imagination – without censorship – is key to reconnecting with one’s child-like mind. Children are insightful and creative because they have not yet forgotten that all things are possible. They have not yet adopted the sad, limiting beliefs of the adults around them. And they know that play is natural and healthy. As artists, when we become reacquainted with our inner child, we recapture a beauty that is unparalleled in its power.
Now, go follow your bliss…
Cameron, J. (2002). The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path To Higher Creativity. Penguin Putnam Inc.: New York.