Thursday, May 3, 2012

the artist's way

Today I'm starting a series of blogs about my experiences going through the book The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron. I'll be doing this in conjunction with my friend Karen's blog, so check her's out as well because we're doing it as a team.

The Artist's Way uses two basic tools, the morning pages and the artist's date. Morning pages are three pages of stream of consciousness writing every morning to sort of get the worries out of the way and clear the my head. I'm not supposed to read them again right away, but wait for a while and then read them, I guess for some insight into how my brain works. The artist's date is a weekly chunk of time (2 hours is what she said) where I go (or stay, I suppose, but that would be hard to do with le bebe) and do stuff. Anything, I guess. Walking, concerts, museum, bowling, movie, whatever. That's going to be hard for me. I always go out either with JP or Willow because my social anxiety goes crazy in the real world. If I do go out alone, I run in and out of the grocery store. . . And even then I hate it. Maybe these dates will help with that as well.

So, Karen and I will be chronicling our journey through this book. . I'm not sure what exactly it entails. I started flipping through it and got a little freaked out, which is probably a good thing, so I'll be taking this one chapter at a time. Karen has done this before, so if you follow her journey you'll be getting not only a whole different perspective, but someone who's a great writer and a pro at this whole finding your creativity thing!

I hope to get two things out of this exercise. Mainly, I hope to learn how to write even when I'm happy and everything's going well. I've never been good at writing happy poems. My writing started as a coping mechanism, and every time I tried writing not-sad poems they ended up sappy or stupid. Secondly, I'd like to shake the writer's block that plagues me every few months. Sometimes, I can write for months and months but then I stop. For like a year. Usually, it's when I'm depressed, and not being able to write makes it worse. . . So, Julia Cameron, I challenge you to fix my creative.

In the book she asks us to sign a contract, so I will put it on here so I can be responsible not only to myself and Karen but to you all,

I, Annie, understand that I am undertaking an intensive, guided encounter with my own creativity. I commit myself to the twelve-week duration of the course. I, Annie, commit to a weekly reading, daily morning pages, a weekly artist date, and the fulfillment of each week's tasks.

I, Annie, further understand that this course will raise issues and emotions for me to deal with. I, Annie, commit myself to excellent self care-- adequate sleep, diet, exercise, and pampering-- for the duration of the course.

So, there it is. I'm not sure if I'll be posting updates or other stuff along with the weekly artist's way blogs, but I guess we'll see.

I, Annie, am signing off.


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