(Note: this was supposed to post like, last week? It didn’t post, and I didn’t double check on that. My fault. So, I’m a week behind but I’ll catch up. Sorry about that!)
This first week of the The Artist’s Way is always one of those a-ha moments, for me, no matter how many times I read this chapter. It’s a reminder of how easy it is to become what is called “the shadow artist”. (It’s also where I’m reminded while I agree with a lot of what’s in the book in terms of strategy, I don’t agree with everything!)
Anyway, this week is about recognizing that I have a big ole obstacle between me and my creative-self. It’s also recognizing it as a block and beginning the process of dislodging the freaking thing. And this obstacle, when I think of what it looks like in my mind, is huge. It’s like a craggy rock with no way to climb it safely. There is no way safe to reach hand and foot holds because there aren’t any. There is nowhere to put a safety line, and its so strong I can’t drill through it, either.
Not to mention that, surrounding this incredibly strong rock I need to get over (or by, or through), are thorns and prickle bushes.
It’s important to note that, for me, an artist block is not writer’s block. I have the ideas–the will and desire to write. I DO write! Artist’s block, for me, is different. For me, artist’s block is my inner critic and killjoy trying to tell me I’m not good enough, I’m not strong enough, I’m not deserving to be an author, and all the other negative things that crowd inside my brain.
Artist’s blocks makes me hide my creative self. This is where the Julia Cameron talks about our shadow artists and boy can I relate to that section of the chapter! I published my first book so long ago. It feels like an eon, in the publishing world. But during that time of silence I didn’t stop writing. I just hid it away, like I did for so long before that first book was published. Why, you ask? I know why. I won’t go into it here. Here, as in this blog, is about reading the chapters of The Artist’s Way and putting some of the ideas in it to work, for me.
One of the other ideas this chapter discusses is the creative recovery one must take on this journey, and that one should do this slowly and gently. One of my favorite quotes from the book is “progress, not perfection” and hell yeah, I need to remind myself of that every freaking day.
The section on blurts and affirmations is also important to me in re-reading this chapter. One of the surprises, for me, as I re-read this chapter is how fast the blurts have come back into my head. Man, oh man, do I have a whole lotta negative beliefs inside my brain. I would love to know how to get rid of them for good because seriously, these blurts need to GTFO!
It might help if I start emptying my overfilled mental barn I talked about in my last post and that I read about in The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck. Check out that book if you have just so much happening inside your mind, that you can’t think straight. I always ask myself about everything stuffed inside my head that just is, in reality, other people’s trash. Does it bring me joy? No? Then get it the f*ck outta my mental barn! (I seriously love that book. It makes me howl with laughter!)
Anyway, back to The Artist’s Way. For my weekly check-in:
- Number of days I wrote pages: 5 out of 7
- My artist date was to watch some series I’ve been putting off, and to play some video games. For some reason, video games totally provide some major stress relief for me!
- Turned blurts into affirmations, and wrote them down, in my pages
- Took a couple walks and enjoyed the fresh air, and the quiet
A few other issues came up that I think are significant in my creative recovery that I recognized. I mentioned already cleaning out my mental barn. I am of the strong belief that the stuff that crowds my mental barn go hand in hand with my inner critic, who revels in destroying my creative self. It’s intense to do this kind of mental clean-up, but it’s important. I’ve begun to feel a bit more hopeful in my creative recovery with this parallel mental barn purge happening.
What about you? Did you finish the first chapter? What part resonated with you the most? The least? Did you do your tasks and check-ins? Fill me in on your progress in the comments, if you’d like. See you next time when I tackle Week 2!