Julia Cameron’s book for creatives, The Artist’s Way, is a twelve-week study in how to build a creative life. Cameron’s process forces the artist to be creative every day. Through the Morning Pages, or a daily journaling practice, the artist gets the early morning chatter in their head out of the way so that art can be created. Weekly Artist’s Dates get the artist out in the world, experiencing an artistic moment in time, whether it’s a walk through a park or a visit to a museum. At the end of each chapter are a series of tasks relating to the topic of the chapter at hand.
What does all this do for the creative? As an artist, it helps clear your mind of the problems that could lead to a blockage in your creativity. This is important because it forces the artist to deal with issues and accept what may be holding them back. There are so many “Aha” moments, called synchronicities, that occur while working though the chapters. For example, so many creatives find themselves as shadow artists, or people who work in a field that is similar to the art they want to do, but not quite artistic. Such as the English teacher who wants to be a novelist. Those synchronicities occur throughout the book.
As you work your way through the chapters of The Artist’s Way, you may see, at first, you are only doing the Morning Pages, or you’re only doing the Artist’s Dates. You may not even be doing them consistently. It may be that you can only schedule time away from your life once every two weeks. There’s nothing saying that you have to stick to one chapter a week. You could do it in twelve weeks. Or twelve months. The important thing is that you do it at your pace and that you don’t get discouraged. This is your practice.
Fort Worth Writer’s Boot Camp has an Artist’s Way group on Facebook, in conjunction with Melinda Massie with A Side of Fabulous. We began the first chapter on January 1st. It has been a bumpy ride. I have to say, when I started promoting this online venture, I had someone try to burst my bubble on the success of it. They said, “Do people still do The Artist’s Way? I thought that was just a psychotherapy thing from the 80s.” Actually, yes, many still do, because all of the chapters are still so relevant and timeless for artists. Even if you are not a writer, the Morning Pages are still relevant to your life because they do help release those cloudy thoughts, those doubt-demons, that you have pent up inside of you.
If you decide to go on this journey, you may want to join a group. There are many around where you can meet in person or, such as our group, The Fabulous Artist's Way Boot Camp, on Facebook. We’ll be happy to have you join us!