If you are looking for a tried and true routine to unblock your creative ideas and energy look no further than The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. For decades, artists have used the tools outlined in this book to bring life to their creativity. Last year, I completed this twelve week exercise with success in many areas. I not only tapped into unused potential, but I also uncovered hidden talents and passions beyond my understanding.
I am restarting the book during this first week of 2021.
As I looked over my 2020 accomplishments many were owed to having worked through The Artist Way in its entirety. And as I look ahead to this new year I am inspired to revisit the lessons and tasks that brought me clarity last year. In the future, this may be a new tradition–working through the book annually.
What is The Artist’s Way?
It is difficult to put into words exactly what readers find when they encounter this text. It isn’t a how-to book, a biography, or any type of prescriptive plan to help bring out creativity. Rather, it is an intense course in giving your inner artist the room to play. There is no right or wrong way to complete the course as long as you give yourself permission to be authentically you.
The book focuses on the use of two tools: Morning Pages and Artist Dates.
Morning pages are three handwritten pages first thing each day. This activity is not exclusive to writers. It is an exercise in getting things out of our minds that distract us from whatever creativity lives within us. This is stream of consciousness writing–nothing prolific or beautiful (although you will surprise yourself with the things that spew forth to the page from your own thinking.)
Artist Dates are weekly outings that participants take alone in order to pamper their inner artist child. These are intentional dates that one takes with themselves in order to better understand or unblock their creativity.
When I completed my twelve week exercise in 2020, I continued to utilize the Morning Pages and Artist Dates in my creative routine. I uncovered story ideas, a secret passion for painting, and an unbridled love of the outdoors. Morning Pages helped me to chronicle my journey and notice the ebb and flows of my natural routines. Through these seemingly meaningless daily ramblings I got to know myself better. Like friends who get together and talk about nothing, but also everything at the same time I stayed committed to the morning pages because they had given so much to me.
Artist Dates continued to be a part of my weekly schedule. Two hour blocks every weekend were set aside to go wherever the wind blew me in order to see and hear the inspiration around me.
The entire process is hinged on giving yourself permission to create and to fail. It is about being secure in your natural self and loving how you were created. I cannot stress to you, my Muse, how crucial these tools have proven to be in my own journey. Which is why I am starting the journey again. I look forward to exercises and tasks and seeing the transformation a few short months can make in my life.
What are your favorite ways to beat the artist’s block?
The Ameri Brit Mom