Book Club – The Artist’s Way – Chapter 1

25 May

We had our 2nd meeting last night for Book Club. We are reading The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. We had worked on Chapter 1 for the past 2 weeks. It was actually nice to have 2 weeks to start out. It gave us all a little more time to get into the rhythm of the book. Chapter 1 was “Recovering a Sense of Safety”. Looking at our support network, finding those hidden monsters and recognizing our supporters, but also just getting to know our own belief system and how we look at ourselves as ‘artists’.

We all had missed some days on our Morning Pages. We agreed that was OK. We were not going to experience Guilt about missing some days, or only doing 1 page instead of 3 pages, or doing our morning pages at night, or not doing them all in one sitting. Whatever and however we are doing our morning pages, is acceptable and OK. We weren’t all excited about doing them, but we were all interested in continuing with them and seeing what came of them.

We all did our Artist Dates – 2 each since we had 2 weeks for this first chapter. The book recommends at least one Artist Date each week. More if you can do it. Our choices were quite varied – visiting art stores or art galleries – going to the Antique Market – working on projects – cleaning our studio space – listening to music – going to the fabric store – and a number of other ideas. All were creative choices of becoming acquainted with our Artist self.

We all worked on various tasks that made us think and we discussed some of those various ideas. Our monsters ranged from our own selves to our parents who were not encouraging, to friends who criticized, to teachers who embarrassed us, to the idea that artistic pursuits don’t pay the bills so they are not worth putting all of our energy and time into. Our imaginary lives ranged from park ranger to belly dancer to librarian to architect to singer to peace corp to painter and many more. Now, what can we do to incorporate some of those imaginary lives into our everyday lives?

Did we have breakthroughs or issues that arose during the first Chapter? At first, most everyone said no, but then as we started discussing things, we discovered that we had in fact created some breakthroughs and did have some issues arise that we weren’t aware of before. It’s the discussions that lead you to realize such things. I think we had some therapeutic discussions and came away feeling like we weren’t alone in our concerns.

Here are some random ideas and comments that came up during the book club discussion.

  1. We need to get over the Guilt! Guilt is very powerful and it is difficult to fight it, but we have to try.
  2. We all need time alone and our own space to escape to. It makes us better people.
  3. Retirement has its issues, but that communication is the key.
  4. Discovery vs. Recovery. Which one are we truly working on? Or both?
  5. Win the Day. A concept about not having to do it all! If you do something you have won the day. If you win 4 out of 7 days you have won the week. If you win 3 out of 4 weeks, you have won the month. If you win 8 out of 12 months, you have won the year. You just have to make progress, you don’t have to do it all.
  6. There are many ways to be creative and be an artist!

So what did you learn this week? Did you complete your morning pages and artist date? Did you work on your tasks? Please feel free to share with everyone. Working together in a community of support is how we learn and grow.

Next week we will be doing Chapter 2 “Recovering a sense of identity”.

This week addresses self-definition as a major component of creative recovery. You may find yourself drawing new boundaries and staking out new territories as your personal needs, desires, and interests announce themselves. The essays and tools are aimed at moving you into your personal identity, a self-defined you.

Our next Book Club meeting will be May 31st if you want to join us.  Please continue your work on the Morning Pages (3 hand-written pages every day) and schedule your Artist Date (something creative or inspiring just for you alone) and complete some or all of the tasks at the end of the chapter! And have fun!

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8 Responses to “Book Club – The Artist’s Way – Chapter 1”

  1. Sonja Milojevics May 25, 2012 at 12:21 pm #

    I love reading these posts. They make me think about those issues you mentioned, and also about what I do as an artist, how much, how often etc. Thank you for sharing! 🙂

    Like

    • Deb Prewitt May 25, 2012 at 1:51 pm #

      Thank you for sharing Sonja. We are all connected and sharing our stories is a way of staying that way!

      Like

  2. Lorayne May 25, 2012 at 3:26 pm #

    Sorry I missed the meeting. I’ve been working on my morning pages everyday since last Sunday, but missed today.After the week I’ve had, they really helped me cope with a ton of stuff! Glad to know I’m not the only one who’s missed a day of writing. My artist date was with my garden, one of my old monsters was a creative director who always took credit for my work, then criticized the hell out me, and my imaginary life would be a Marine Biologist, working with dolphins and diving everyday.

    Like

    • Deb Prewitt May 25, 2012 at 4:13 pm #

      Maybe you can make it next week Lorayne. It is a good discussion time. But it sounds like you were doing the work anyway. A Marine Biologist would be very cool!

      Like

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