The Artist's Way - Introduction and Week 1 Update

This is going to be a long one with a lot of text and no new content from me. I’ll get back to getting some pretty pictures up and running soon. Just bear with me for a little bit since this takes some time to set up.


Introduction:

So here we are. I never thought for a minute I’d be in any position to be talking about self-help anything. Much less buckling down and following any sort of program or path. After hearing it come up on several Podcasts I listen to regularly (Shout out to Kyle from This is Rad and Anna from 12 Questions)

https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/12-questions/id1050716646?mt=2

I decided to finally break down and give it a shot.

The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron is a self help book (in case that wasn’t 100% obvious) which can best be easily described by the below Wikipedia entry:

The book was written to help people with artistic creative recovery, which teaches techniques and exercises to assist people in gaining self-confidence in harnessing their creative talents and skills. Correlation and emphasis is used by the author to show a connection between artistic creativity and a spiritual connection with God.

The ideas in creative personal development outlined in the book, which were felt to be new at the time of the publication, are said to have become a phenomenon and spawned into many meet-ups and support groups throughout the world. The group meetings are based on a 12-week creativity course designed for people to work through and gain artistic inspiration, as outlined in the book. The program is focused on supporting relationships in removing artistic blocks and fostering confidence
— Wikipedia

The book provides a list of 10 Principals, 12 weeks of exercises, and on top of all two main excercises:

First, Write three freeform-longhand pages first thing upon waking up. This is used as a form of meditation and is meant to help get the creative gears turning by getting out ideas that are stuck inside. These Morning Pages are not to be shared with anyone but the person creating them during the course of the 12 weeks.

Second, Take yourself on one “artist date” per week to help “put gas in the tank”.

So if you know me at all you will likely have noticed a few glaring issues that need to be adjusted. I am in no way, shape, or form a “Godly” man, and really have no intentions to be. This direct verbiage and reference to God was something that really held me back from going through and working the steps presented.

After some googling I found a blogger named Tae Phoenix who some years ago broke down and re-wrote the 10 Principals to better focus inward instead of on the God aspect. That blog post can be found here:

https://taephoenix.com/2012/12/27/a-skeptics-guide-to-the-artists-way-core-principles/


If you are looking to try this for yourself along with me I probably also would recommend a free PDF that was created by Lianne Williams

https://liannewilliams.com/blog/my-free-the-artists-way-worksheets

I wish I had found these before spending a few hours longhand transferring Week 1’s Activities into my notebook. And who knows, I may end up printing off a copy anyway and using it anyway.

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So with my notebook, and text in hand there was only one other thing that I needed. A partner.

Back when I first started talking about taking on this project, I brought it up to blog favorite Nikki Nuke’m at her Husband’s birthday party earlier this year.

Side note, aren’t they both just adorable

Being an artist (and going through some things) herself, I felt she would be a great “Battle Buddy” for me. We both decided to start the journey as soon as DragonCon was over. Which leads us pretty much up to the present. Nikki and I will be meeting together each Sunday for a check in, and in-between my plan is to share my thoughts in a roughly coherent fashion here as they come through.

I don’t plan to play-by-play each and every thought I have during this process, but hope to hit some highlights that maybe will help work through some insights on your end. It should become pretty clear as things go along. So without further ado:


Week 1 Tasks:

  • Complete Morning Pages (x7)

  • Complete Artist’s Date (x1)

  • Affirmations and Blurts Worksheet (read the book)

  • Complete at least 1 other exercise from week 1 readings


Day 0:

I spent the better part of an hour free-handing the updated Principals and Week 1’s Homework into my notebook. I already wish I had bought a bigger notebook. I have a feeling if I tried to complete every assignment that I’ll quickly run out of pages. I got a good start through on a couple of extra exercises. Looks like I’ll be completing at least 2 this week. In the future I probably shoot for 100% completion, but of course…notebook.

I took myself on my first “Artist Date”. As suggested I went over to the dollar store. Spent a few bucks on stickers, thank you cards, and a bath bomb. YOLO?


Day 1:

(I started tweeting my thoughts before I decided to actually make this a running blog post)

“I can already tell that waking up early is going to be an issue. I was 12 minutes late getting out of the house today. In Atlanta traffic those 12 minutes put me almost 30 minutes late to work.”

“I can already tell that waking up early is going to be an issue. I was 12 minutes late getting out of the house today. In Atlanta traffic those 12 minutes put me almost 30 minutes late to work.”

“Of course, I find a crazy-cool PDF of TAW assignments after I spend yesterday free-handing a bunch of stuff. Since I've already been spoiled that the entire process is to keep working the steps...maybe I'll use it for next time.”

“Of course, I find a crazy-cool PDF of TAW assignments after I spend yesterday free-handing a bunch of stuff. Since I've already been spoiled that the entire process is to keep working the steps...maybe I'll use it for next time.”

I wonder how Nikki is doing. I sure hope these next 12 weeks aren’t a waste of time for either of us.


Day 2:

Man…the last few minutes of today are dragging along. OH! I have some exercises I can knock out.


Day 3:

Just found myself thinking on the drive home from work:

I’m a little ashamed that “I’ll go to the museum” came before “I’ll go to the Cat Cafe” as an artist date idea.

I’m a little ashamed that “I’ll go to the museum” came before “I’ll go to the Cat Cafe” as an artist date idea.


Day 6: 

I went on a bonus artist date today, mostly because with business travel next week I don’t know how much time I’m going to have. But in doing so I found both a small art gallery just a few miles from my house AND came across the most on brand art exhibit I think I have ever been to  

IMAGE.JPG

Ended up going to see the new Predator movie with a friend. And it likely may just be a placebo effect, but I really liked it. Unlike most movies that I go to where I pick them apart super harshly, this one actually made me laugh and I walked away feeling good about it.


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