Artist’s Way Check in: Week 10

Standing in her own power

There has been some resistance this week (if that is what you call the complete desire to do anything else but this), and then yesterday there was an emotional breakthrough with some old family patterning and suddenly I was much more inspired. I then realised that the task I had been avoiding actually took less than five minutes!! In my head it seemed it would take so much longer.

Actually in light of reviewing the chapter for this post it is ironic that I had so much resistance when the overview talks about dealing with toxic patterns that we cling to that impede our creativity.

The chapter starts out discussing the blocks we use to stifle our creativity such as food, alcohol or busy-ness.

There was a bit of journaling this week, and perhaps some of the resistance was being honest about how close to home some of it was. However, the tenet of the chapter was about not only acknowledging the blocks we use to sabotage ourselves, but also to come up with strategies to aid ourselves and treat ourselves with compassion.

This chapter also deals with creative droughts, fame and competition and how we can twist these to stifle our own creativity. The chapter then deals with the other side of that and what are the touchstones and practices we can hold onto. I found this week quite challenging but it could have been other stuff going on.

TouchstonesThe quotable quotes from Julia Cameron in this weeks chapter are:

We turn to our drug of choice to block our creativity whenever we experience, the anxiety of our inner emptiness. It is always fear – often disguised but always there – that leads us into grabbing for a block.

As we become aware of our blocking devices – food, busyness, alcohol, sex, other drugs – we can feel our U-turns as we make them. The blocks will no longer work effectively. Over time, we will try…and ride out anxiety and see where we emerge. Anxiety is fuel. We can use it to write with, paint with, work with.

The phrase “I’m working” has a certain unassailable air of goodness and duty to it. The truth is, we are very often working to avoid ourselves, our spouses, our real feelings.

Even an hour of creative work/play can go a long way toward offsetting the sense of workaholic desperation that keeps out dreams at bay.

In any creative life there are dry seasons….We feel we have nothing to say, and we are tempted to say nothing. These are the times when the morning pages are most difficult and most valuable. During a drought, the mere act of showing up on the page…requires one footfall after another to no apparent point….For all creative beings the morning pages are the lifeline – the trail we explore and the trail home to ourselves.

In a creative life, droughts are a necessity. The time in the desert brings us clarity and charity.

Art needs time to incubate, to sprawl a little, to be ungainly and misshapen and finally emerge as itself.

There have been times this week when doing the morning pages was the last thing I wanted to do, and they have been filled with feelings of being stagnant and stuck and not going anywhere. General blahness, and then some processing as things happened. What I credit morning pages with is that I acknowledged those feelings every day on the page, and by the end of the three pages I was working towards potential solutions or things I could do, which definitely is an improvement over just moping about those feelings but not doing anything productive. The feelings did last for a good few days, but I suspect they may have lasted longer had I not shown up on the page every day.

And this week is done!!  Two more weeks to go.  :)

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4 thoughts on “Artist’s Way Check in: Week 10

  1. Crikey Natasha – that looks like a hard week but is shouting out to me, I’m on one of those cycles at the moment and I don’t seem to be able to get off, your post has really given me some food for thought as I consider breaking my new ones. You don’t realise what we do to block our creativity until its written very clearly in black and white – thank you for your honesty, let it be known that it has helped me and hopefully was the welcome ‘therapy’ you needed to see things more clearly.

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