Tips from The Artist’s Way

Happy Wednesday! Today is my turn to do the Wiley Wednesday post, and I’ve decided to share a bit about Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way. I’m part of an online cluster going through this book. Basically, Ms. Cameron takes us on a journey to unblock our creativity. I want to point out that this is my first time with the journey, and I’m not through. However, there were some important lessons I thought I’d like to share with everyone. So here we go!

Morning Pages. These are 3 pages written longhand every morning. It’s a way to unleash all the negative so you can let loose the creativity and get the day rolling. I’ll be honest and say I’ve had a hard time getting used to it. I don’t write a lot at once, so three pages a day is quite a feat for me! I can tell that it’s getting the job done though. There are days were I sit at my journal and whine and complain for three pages. Other days I make lists of lists of lists. If you do morning pages long enough though, you’ll eventually let loose something you’ve been holding back. To me, it’s like cleaning a wound. We all have bad thoughts/feeling/experiences that have festered. Maybe you think you’ve dealt with it and moved on, and maybe you actually have. Most of the time though, we’ve just buried it. I’ve found that if I turn on my music, sit down with my journal and just feel, these thoughts and memories come pouring out in my Morning Pages. It’s cleansing getting all that bad stuff out.

Anger. Anger is not a bad emotion, it’s actually your friend. Ms. Cameron says that anger is our fuel. It shows us our boundaries and where we want to go. It shows just how far we can be pushed. She says that anger propels us out of our old lives and into the new life we create for our self . It’s not the action, but the actions invitation. If we can harness this anger and channel it into our creativity, great things can happen.

The last thing I’ll talk about is criticism. We’ve all had criticism before, good and bad. These are her rules for dealing with it.

1. Receive the criticism all the way through and get it over with.

2. Jot down notes to yourself on what concepts or phrases bother you.

3. Jot down notes to yourself on what concepts or phrases seem useful.

4. Do something very nurturing for yourself-read an old good review or recall a compliment.

5. Remember that even if you have made a truly rotten piece of art, it may be necessary stepping-stone to your next work. Art matures spasmodically and requires ugly-duckling growth stages.

6. Look at the criticism again. Does it remind you of any criticism of your past-particularly shaming childhood criticism? Acknowledge to yourself that the current criticism is triggering grief over a long-standing wound.

7. Write a letter to the critic-not to be mailed, most probably. Defend your work and acknowledge what was helpful, if anything, in the criticism proffered.

8. Get back on the horse. Make an immediate commitment to do something creative.

9. Do it. Creativity is the only cure for criticism!

I want to once again say that these are not my ideas. This is from the incredible Julia Cameron’s book The Artist’s Way. I would suggest that any struggling artist, or maybe one like me, that’s just starting out, needs to go find a copy of the book.

I’m sending out hugs to all! I hope everyone has a happy and creative day! 🙂


7 Replies to “Tips from The Artist’s Way”

  1. Dawn, you actually made morning pages sound good which I believed impossible. I liked the listy form of your past and I really enjoyed reading it. wiley ^^

  2. Excellent post, sweetie. I’m glad that the workshop is helping you discover these things. I look forward to the journey too!

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