By Ann Minnett
I used to set my alarm for 5:00 a.m. to allow a couple of hours for writing before going to my fulltime job. At least one week of my annual vacations was set aside for nothing but writing. I started my first novel over one Christmas Break because I COULDN’T NOT START IT. I became a writer on fire.
What inspired me to stop tip-toeing around the literary pool and jump into the deep end? The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron.
The book/workbook guides the reader through a twelve week self-study to access the artist within that might have been squelched along the way. Cameron revised the book in 2002 and has since developed a cottage industry surrounding the book’s teachings, but I can only speak for the 1992 edition. Anyone who yearns to paint, write, sing, or create art of any kind should read this book and work through it with a group of like-minded others. An actor and aspiring writer were my study partners. We met weekly for twelve weeks to discuss what we had learned about ourselves, our motivations, and what was keeping us from beginning. Revelations all around!
I’m looking through my tabbed and scribbled copy now. (Buy the paperback book because you’ll write all over it.) What stands out are the written prompts exploring what censors me from expressing myself. I’m thrilled that my notes reveal the extent to which I’ve shed those burdens of self, yet some of the underlying fears of the artist’s exposure still niggle at me. From what I’ve learned, that’s common.
I have no stake in The Artist’s Way, but if you have a desire to create art and feel unable to commit, read this book with others who feel stuck. Discuss what you discover. I guarantee you’ll view yourself and your art with new eyes and hearts.