The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron is a 12 week program to unblock your creative self. The subtitle of the book that contains it all, calls it a “spiritual path to higher creativity.” I started it last year, but, life got in the way, and I never finished it. I loved it and felt its absence when I wasn’t doing it. I tried to pick up where I left off, but I was so out of sync with it I decided that I needed to start from square one. I also thought it would be fun to share my experience here week by week.
So that’s what I am doing.
And I’m thinking you might want to join me.
Of course, you probably want a little more information about what it entails, so let me help you out.
What is THE ARTIST’S WAY?
In its most basic form The Artist’s Way is a book written by Julia Cameron. However, once you start reading it you come to understand that Ms. Cameron did not intend this to be a passive reading experience. There are assignments, or tasks, to work through as you read the book. The book is separated into weeks rather than chapters, as Ms. Cameron believes we should tackle each of these sections one week at a time. She’s serious about the transformation she believes this book will take you on, if you work on it as a program. In her own words she describes mission as:
“I teach people to let themselves be creative.”
If you think (or know!) that you may be getting in the way of your creative self, then this is worth a shot, because
“No matter what your age or life path, whether making art is your career or your hobby or your dream, it is not too late or too egotistical or too selfish or too silly to work on your creativity.”
Julia Cameron believes that
“creativity is our true nature,”
and she is serious about us all finding our way back to our creative selves. Here are the titles of each week (each chapter) of the program, as she designed them, to guide us:
- Week 1: Recovering a Sense of Safety
- Week 2: Recovering a Sense of Identity
- Week 3: Recovering a Sense of Power
- Week 4: Recovering a Sense of Inegrity
- Week 5: Recovering a Sense of Possibility
- Week 6: Recovering a Sense of Abundance
- Week 7: Recovering a Sense of Connection
- Week 8: Recovering a Sense of Strength
- Week 9: Recovering a Sense of Compassion
- Week 10: Recovering a Sense of Self-Protection
- Week 11: Recovering a Sense of Autonomy
- Week 12: Recovering a Sense of Faith
So… there’s a lot of recovery going on.
What Are The Commitments In Doing THE ARTIST’S WAY?
Looking at it as a whole, the program may seem overwhelming, but as far as I can see, there are only three weekly commitments:
- Read the week’s chapter.
- Write your morning pages.
- Go on your artist date.
The last two, morning pages and artist date, may be new terms to you (they were for me when I first read The Artist’s Way) but they are, I believe, the secret to the success and popularity of this program. I will explain each in another blog post, but, for now, I want to give you an opportunity to read about it from Julia Cameron herself.
Get The Book!
If you are curious, I challenge you to go get the book and check it out. I will be sharing my own experience here from week to week (and invite you to also), but I do not count what I am about to write here from week to week as a replacement for the original text. So, head to your library, or local bookstore, to grab a copy. If you are an amazon book-buyer I am an affiliate for them, so I get a commission from the sale of the book, if you use any of the Amazon links on this page, like the one below.
I found The Artist’s Way after a severe pummeling of messages from the universe that I needed to do so. This book is, by no means, new. If you mention morning pages or the artist date in a group of artists, chances are at least half the room will have heard of them, and nearly as many have tried them in one form or another. Some people swear by them, others may not have seen the point. My thinking is, it’s worth a try! Let me know in the comments if you have tried The Artist’s Way or are curious to do so now. If you’re on twitter and want to chat about it, find me @NV_Rivera, and use #TAWtalk (for The Artist’s Way talk). If you are new to The Artist’s Way, and still not ready to make the book-buying plunge, tune in for my post next week describing the morning pages and the artist date.