Book Club – The Artist’s Way – Chapter 2

1 Jun

The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron

Chapter 2 of The Artist’s Way is about Recovering a Sense of Identity. Part of the chapter is really about defining ourselves as creative people – as artists. That is difficult for many people. Actually saying out loud “I am an Artist”. And once having said it, to start believing it. Whew! That’s the tough part! Let’s face it, we are  usually our own worst critics!

Some of the issues in this chapter are about poisonous playmates and crazymakers. We all know these people, and hopefully we know enough to stay away from them as much as possible. These people will drain you. They are not supportive, not helpful, not happy for your new-found creative self, and most likely will sabotage whatever progress you are making. Be very wary around these people! They will drain your new-found creative spirit away.

There is also the idea of skepticism. We are skeptical of the whole process, the idea that we can be artists, that there is a spiritual connection involved, etc etc. Can we move past that?

Our discussion group covered several topics that seemed to strike a nerve, or at least warrant extra thought and discussion. One notion was that we want to belong to our ‘tribe’ or ‘group’, but sometimes feel like we don’t really belong. We sometimes feel like those that are already IN the ‘group’ don’t want the rest of us to be IN as well. Or perhaps it is more that they don’t accept us as part of the group. There are cliques in these groups that are very much reminiscent of High School. We want to fit in with the cool kids, so we try to dress like them, talk like them, act like them, join their groups – but in the end we are still only ourselves. And that is OK! While we might care what others think, ultimately it is what we ourselves think that truly matters.

Another issue we discussed was the very common problem of people comparing themselves and their work to others. Of course it is natural to look at what we create and then look at what somebody else is creating and compare. But what often happens is we compare our own beginner works to those of somebody more experienced and professional. And that will just set you back big time! First of all, DON’T COMPARE! But if you must, at least compare your beginner work to somebody else’s beginner work. Doesn’t that make more sense? Second, it isn’t about others. It is about you and your creative journey. And it is ever so important to always keep that in mind. Whatever you do is just right for where you are at now.

We also discussed an issue with creativity and where it leads. For many people, it is just for fun and for personal fulfillment and enjoyment. We create because we want to and it feeds our soul. For other people, it is a bigger part of their lives. It is their livelihood. So that made us look at Fame vs. Fortune. How do we choose? Very often they do go hand in hand, but not always. And is the competitive nature of many creative businesses (and hobbies) worth it? Does that competition take something away from the creative process? Does it take the fun out of it? Questions to ponder.

Our group did our morning pages most days. There was a sense of rebellion about it, that it was ‘homework’ and maybe we don’t HAVE to do it, so we don’t. But mostly we did them, hoping to reach those breakthroughs and learn from the writing process. I felt I was a bit whiney in my pages, but that I would give myself a little pep talk if I started stressing or worrying about stuff. How about you? What did you find in your morning pages?

Did you go on your Artist Date this week? We all managed to get in at least one Artist Date and felt good about doing so.

What about the tasks? Did you do them? Did you like them? We all did some of them, but not all of them. We weren’t sure we liked some of the answers we got. Which is the point I think – to make you think and squirm just a bit.

We are working on Chapter 3 next. But we won’t be having a meeting until June 21st (scheduling conflicts), so we have 3 weeks to focus on this next chapter which is Recovering a Sense of Power.

This week may find you dealing with unaccustomed bursts of energy and sharp peaks of anger, joy, and grief. You are coming into your power as the illusory hold of your previously accepted limits is shaken. You will be asked to consciously experiment with spiritual open-mindedness.

Wow. That sounds pretty intense to me, so it is a good thing we have extra time to work through the chapter. I hope you are reading along and doing the work. Please leave any comments you might have here on the blog. Sharing our journey makes it easier.  What did you learn this week? What experiences did you have? Did you recover your sense of self?

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9 Responses to “Book Club – The Artist’s Way – Chapter 2”

  1. Krystyna Rawicz June 1, 2012 at 11:03 pm #

    Hello there.

    I’m finding that the material and real demands of the world are making it really hard to set an artist’s date with myself, so instead I am trying to find mini-dates – a bit like speed dating I guess. Ten minutes can be enough if I am present to myself and my surroundings. Here’s my post from my mini-date, which was ten minutes with a cup of coffee in Covent Garden yesterdayhttp://krystyna-rawicz.blogspot.com/2012/06/cafe-late-in-covent-garden.html
    Also, the best advice I ever had ( Valerie Coombes, The Black Sheep Arts Centre) was ” there is no bad art if it comes from the heart. It might be beginner art, but its only bad art if its not connected to and arising from whats going on inside you”. Great advise I think, and when I run creativity workshops with kids, I tell them that the first rule is, there is no way they can get this wrong. Its just about putting onto paper or whatever media we’re working with a representation of the shapes, colours, smells, pictures etc inside us and thenvwhen we’re finished they describe it to thd group who make their own, often very astute and insightful, observations

    Like

    • Deb Prewitt June 2, 2012 at 8:09 am #

      I tell students (and anyone who will listen) the same thing. You can’t do it wrong! That seems to be a stumbling block for a good many NEW artists. But telling yourself that, sometimes is difficult. I’m glad you are at least doing your mini-artist-dates. It is a start. We have to make the time to do those things for ourselves. A little bit here and there can go a long way.

      Like

  2. Krystyna Rawicz June 1, 2012 at 11:07 pm #

    Whoops that link didn’t show up properly!

    http://krystyna-rawicz.blogspot.com/2012/06/cafe-late-in-covent-garden.html

    Like

  3. Krystyna Rawicz June 1, 2012 at 11:11 pm #

    If you’d like to see some of the work thd kids did, you can find it here!:

    http://moneystowncreativity.blogspot.ie/?m=1

    I was just blown away by the interior worlds made visible of even very young (7 and 8!year old) kids

    Like

    • Deb Prewitt June 2, 2012 at 8:11 am #

      We should all spend more time around children to remind ourselves of what is possible. Those kids are amazing.

      Like

  4. Sonja Milojevic June 2, 2012 at 3:38 am #

    I enjoyed reading this. Very helpful, even thou I’m not reading the book. 🙂

    Like

    • Deb Prewitt June 2, 2012 at 8:10 am #

      I was trying to write for both those who are reading the book as well as those who might not be reading. So I’m glad you were able to enjoy it.

      Like

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  2. Book Club – The Artist’s Way – Chapter 4 « Blue Twig Studio - June 29, 2012

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