I first heard of The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron somewhere around 2007. Several musician friends said this book was a profound, life-changing experience.
They weren’t kidding. My life profoundly changed… for about two and a half chapters, and then I got distracted.
I’ve tried reading it many times since then. Same thing happens. It’s not the book, it’s me. I can tell the book has many great lessons, so why can’t I get through it?
“Just remember, in choosing, that we often resist what we most need.”
Ok, Julia. I get it.
Julia makes you sign a contract. I avoided that at first, but eventually gave in and signed it to see if it would work…
Nope. Then I thought… “Maybe if I add cupcake sticky flags to each chapter, I will be motivated to read on!”
Nope. hehe! This week I decided to try one last time. From the beginning. I opened the book and was greeted by an old casualty…
I started reading words that by now feel familiar, and I remembered just how much this book (at times a bit new agey) has to teach.
One of my favorite quotes–that I’ve outlined 4 times during separate readthroughs– is the following:
“Very often audacity, not talent, makes one person an artist and another a shadow artist–hiding in the shadows, afraid to step out and expose the dream to the light…”
I relate to this completely. I see songwriters around me write, write, and write album, after album, after album… Because they are not afraid. They have the courage to continuously create while some of us sit and think about creating.
Julia’s first step to “recovery” is to write Morning Pages every day immediately after you wake up. Before checking the news or phone, write three pages of longhand. A stream of consciousness.
I don’t know what it is this time around, but the amount of things that have surfaced in these morning pages over the last 3 days have been eye-opening. The process feels like letting your brain take a soothing shower. It scrubs away all the muck and gives you a fresh start for the day.
“Morning Pages map our own interior. […] It is very difficult to complain about a situation morning after morning, without being moved to constructive action. The pages lead us out of despair and into undreamed of solutions.”
I’m hoping that by posting about the book on the blog, I will remain committed to finishing it once and for all.
If not for me, for the tiny fly that gave it’s life!
Thanks for reading,