I asked for and received The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron for my birthday last month. I first heard of it years ago, and knew that literally thousands of people swore by it. I suppose something finally fired up in the back of my mind and made me want to delve deeper and start making more meaningful art. (...Muchly influenced by my Creative Warriors journey I think!...) I've started having thoughts like, "I deserve to explore the creative part of myself! Using all the resources available to me!" I started reading the book straight away after receiving it. It consists of a twelve-week course of assignments and activities designed to work through blockages and open up your creativity.
"Twelve weeks!" I thought, "there are 10 tasks in the first week alone! I should allocate about a month for each 'week', just to be safe."
Before the course even starts though, the Introduction specifies that there are two compulsory activities: firstly The Morning Pages, and secondly the Artist Date.
Firstly, the Morning Pages. I had reservations about whether I could commit to writing three whole A4 pages, every day! I decided to try doing it for one month. To be honest, some of the tasks in Week 1 were a bit confronting for me, so I thought starting with just the Pages would ease my way into it. Then I planned to start the course proper after the month had passed and the Pages habit was (theoretically) ingrained.
Catch: the thing about getting up half-an-hour early every morning just doesn't work for me! I googled to find out other people's experiences, and was reassured to find out that there seem to be as many approaches to Morning Pages as there are creatives out there. I spent the first week experimenting with different times of day and quickly landed on 7pm. It's not first thing in the morning, and it's not last thing at night, the times that most other people seemed to choose. One of the habits I'm trying to kick is not comparing myself to other people though! 7pm fits into one of the few available free timeslots in my day, and it works for me.
And guess what? I'm proud to say I've been doing my Pages for just over a full calendar month! Perhaps it's because I enjoy using the beautiful pens and paper. Perhaps it's because the book told me to, and my Inner Child is obeying! Perhaps it's because on some deep level, I'm finding the combination of having some time alone and writing out my thoughts to be relaxing and therapeutic. I can't say I've come to any earth-shattering epiphanies (so far!), but I've noticed a few subtle changes in myself. I have fewer doubts when thinking of starting a project or practice. I'm more open to starting the Artist's Way course proper. I've start reading The Fluent Self blog again after a long hiatus, and am actually following some of the principles this time. Yup, I've been calling on Metaphor Mouse, having imaginary conversations with different parts of myself, and I'm thinking of starting a Book of Me. Self-improvement can be fun!
All photos taken by me on walks around the city last Summer.