Recently I’ve taken on yet another project. This one is meant to help me with all current and future projects. I was inspired by Erika at A Tiny Rocket
when she said she was going to do a blog-a-long (my word, now given freely to the world… you’re welcome*).
I have signed on to working through The Artist’s Way for the whole 12 week program. I will be honest and say I started this a while back, which may have been obvious from my Happily Wasted posts… but I will be posting the week updates here with little notes about how I felt about each week.
Before I start with Week One I’m going to introduce some tools (as Julia calls them) that are a big part of these 3 months…
3, hand written, pages about anything and everything. You can whine about how life is unfair or about how blocked you are or about how the wall is white. You could write the same word over and over until something comes up, you could start a story, but the point is to get pen to paper and have words come out. Any words. This is about quantity and repetition, not quality.
Artists dates is a time you spend with yourself, not with anybody else, and you explore something. It could be walking around an exhibit, going to a new restaurant, taking a long walk or hike, jumping rope for 20+ minutes, seeing a movie you’ve been wanting to see, browsing a record store… anything.
But they have to be by yourself and they have to be enjoyable to you.
Now, without further ado, I give you week one!
Week One: Recovering a Sense of Safety
In week one the lessons are centered around finding a safe place for the part of you that likes to create. It’s about treating yourself well and very nicely. It’s about finding the source of negative thoughts and banishing them. It was also about creating affirmations. Something I have definitely struggled with in the past.
My favorite quotation:
You are not dumb, crazy, egomaniacal, grandiose, or silly just because you falsely believe yourself to be.
I highlighted this sentence in remembrance of the things I use to tell myself, about myself, in high school and the beginning (and possibly) end years of college. I was always sure that I was crazy and I needed to keep my depression in check so they wouldn’t lock me up. I didn’t want to see psychiatrists because I didn’t want to know what they had to say. I wanted to be able to work through everything without them and/or drugs.
I also thought I was incredibly dumb for a long, long time. It didn’t matter what my grades were (mostly A’s and then some B’s in later high school years and through college as I started to let go a little bit) or how fast I could catch on to new concepts or how I connected things. It didn’t matter how many of my teachers applauded my efforts, it didn’t matter. I still felt like there was something about me that was dumb.
I don’t know when it changed by sometime in the last few years I have moved away from both of these things. I’ve let myself have room to be me, I’ve given myself the okay to go see a counselor, I’ve given myself room to breathe. I’ve been able to understand (sometimes, most times) why people keep me in their lives and even fight for me to stay around when I’m being horrid. I’m starting to allow myself positive thoughts about what I do and who I am.
Being here now I can’t even fully remember the feelings of those times. That’s a huge relief and I think something I need to remember on the hard days. There has been progress, there will be more progress and one day, things will get really good, just be kind to yourself.
Listing 3 champions of your creative self worth.
This assignment said to look back in life and find those who really stood behind you no matter what. Who have your back through thick and thin and know how to be constructive with their input.
Beth Elisa Harris
These women (look at that, they are all women) each have their own way of really helping me out when I need it. Yes there are more people that fit the bill of my champions but they only asked for three this time. 🙂
At the end of every week there is a check in:
1. Morning pages: I did 5/7
I love the morning pages, though I don’t always love the “morning” part of them. I’m really wondering what effects would come of doing night pages before bed instead. Or maybe I’ll do the longer pages at night and one morning page when I wake up to start things going. Not sure yet, working on this week by week. Just don’t wake up early enough to get them in and then get ready to go places.
2. Artist Date:
I took myself to sushi and wrote my
Morning Afternoon Pages there before heading off to my first Holga Camera class! I took some time to pet a kitty that was walking around by the parking lot and then told the two little girls that came up to take over my job of petting her because I had to go. They brought her some food as well.
3. Issues with the week:
Like I said before, morning part of morning pages is hard, writing 3 pages by hand every day about anything is not. Will have to figure this all out as the weeks go on.
Other issue was working on the weekly tasks for hours some days and not at all others. Need to find some balance!
So far I love this. I am having some issues with the whole “God” aspect. With a capital G and such. I’m a spiritual person but I’m more of a Mother Earth type then a God type. Cameron addresses this and so I’m doing my best not to put up mind blocks when I read certain things.
I have yet to decide if my creativity is really unlocking but I do feel myself working on different projects. In fact, I did put together two different polaroid collages, of my own polaroids and made the time to buy some frames for artwork I’ve bought over the years.
I guess I’ll just see how everything goes week to week…
Have you ever worked on The Artist’s Way?
*pretty sure someone has used the word already… just felt special for a second