The Artist’s Way – Week 1

I decided to restart studying The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron because I wanted to see it through. When I came back from Bali I brought this book to and from with me as something to read and I never got to it until I was on my flight home from Adelaide. I’d heard lots about it, but I never actually sat down to do it and now here I am, doing it.

I’m also going to document it. I’m going to go through week by week and hold myself accountable on here for it. That way I can’t actually slack off.

I’m not blocked, let’s just get that straight right now. I have creativity in Abundance, I can happily start writing and not stop until I don’t want to, but I wanted to see how it could help me and help my clients. I would never, ever give a piece of advice out that I hadn’t tried and tested myself.

So here I am, at the end of the first week, well almost really. I’m yet to knuckle down my Writer’s Date because all I’ve wanted to do was be a recluse and sit around my apartment in my gym clothes and not have to worry about talking to another soul. So far it’s working, but I’m going to definitely try for next week, or even tomorrow night.

But in Week one we dive right in with recovering a sense of safety, Cameron walks us though the following topics: shadow artists, core negatives, beliefs, affirmative weapons and creative affirmations.

Morning pages. They are kind of the bane of my existence, mostly because I don’t journal, I really don’t even know what to do with them. So, it’s been a week of exploring them. In the past week I’ve learned a lot about how angry I am and about how I need to figure out ways to deal with things that crop up, but worst of all I also just started my cycle at the beginning of the week and I was spiralling between the different emotions, which allows a lot of self-doubt and anger leech through.

I found that while I got the morning pages, I didn’t exactly adhere to the 3 pages of writing because I know that if you give me a target like that I will not write and that defeats the purpose. I took off all expectation and just wrote. Sometimes I could get two pages, sometimes I’d get less, but I wasn’t judging. Out of the week, I only missed one day, which I say is pretty good.

Exploring these morning pages has made me wonder about journaling but not enough to actually start doing it, and I’m not bagging those that do it, it’s an amazing tool, and yeah I used a writing journal, but you’ll see that I actually use it in a different way than is traditionally used and that works for project.

I found that I am much more resilient, a fact that many have told me than I realised. I am honing my way to a practice that I want to be loving and graceful and that may mean batch writing posts, or even editing a few chapters for a client and moving onto something more. It may even mean taking breaks to write with friends, move my body or just plain old sit down and watch a show or two. In doing so I’m finding that I’m lovingly able to nourish myself with food that I love and things that taste so damn delicious.

When I get stuck, I get stuck in all aspects of my life and that makes things so much harder.

Perhaps these morning pages are doing much better than I thought they would be doing. I’m really liking it.

Here are some tips for getting through your Morning Pages:

  • Keep it simple – Find a pen you love and a notebook that’s pretty, mine’s an ombre grey/blue notebook from Typo and I have an old purple pen because purple and pink pens make me happy. It’s not that fancy.
  • Don’t judge – Just write, write about your day to come, or what hasn’t come.
  • Be patient – It might feel silly at first but you’ll hit your rhythm.
  • No one will see it – That’s right, no one but you will read it, so, go crazy.
  • Do it before you leave your bed – It makes the whole start of the day easier, but if you forget and remember when you get to your desk or workplace, that’s okay to scribble something down.

Have you read The Artist’s Way? If you have let me know in the comments below what you thought about morning pages and if you haven’t perhaps it’s something to think about, either way, leave me a comment down below.

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Mandi is a writer, reader, dreamer and is breaking procrastinating inner editors, one at a time.

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