Book Club – The Artist’s Way – Chapter 8

3 Aug

The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron

This week was Chapter 8 – Recovering a Sense of Strength. When I read the little chapter teaser last week, I was totally expecting something else from this chapter. The teaser talked about time being a creative block. I was expecting something about wasting time or such. But that wasn’t it at all. It was really more about how we relate time to our age and our experiences. I’m sure I’m not explaining it well. This example may help explain it.

Question: Do you know how old I’ll be by the time I learn to play the piano?

Answer: The same age you will be if you don’t.

The idea that we use our age as an excuse for not trying something new or for not pursuing our dreams is something that happens a lot.  We say we would do it if we were younger. Or conversely we say we will do it when we retire. These are just excuses for not following our dreams.

One of the ideas in this chapter is about taking action. Just do one small thing. One step today. One step tomorrow. One step the next day. Don’t be worrying or stressing about what will happen somewhere way down the line. Just take action today. You have to take action. There is no other way.

Another point was that of process vs. product. As artists we know about this. Some of us enjoy the process, some of us enjoy the end product. We all work in different ways. We all take a different route. But Julia maintains it is the process, the doing, the journey, that is important and valuable. That creativity lies in the doing, not in the done. Do you agree?

Our book club discussed how a lot of the ideas and exercises in the book are about life in general every bit as much as about art and creativity. I think they go hand in hand. If we are blocked in our art, we are probably blocked somewhere in our life. And vice versa.

We talked about our morning pages and whether we were doing them or not. Some of us are, some of us are still struggling with it all. I find that I am getting much more out of them than I was initially. There is much more depth and insight now than was there before. Are you doing your morning pages every day? How do you feel about them?

Most of us are getting in our Artist Date every week, although there are times when it is not alone. You just can’t always do your Artist Date alone, sometimes you have to take a friend or a spouse with you.  We had the usual Artist Dates, from quilt stores to museums to used book sellers. There was also a bit of art show and tell this week, which we don’t usually have, so that was fun too. Creative juices were flowing. Are you doing your Artist Date every week? Are you enjoying them? Are you feeling inspired by them?

Some of us had completed some of the exercises and tasks and shared those. The favorite task was to pick a color and write a few sentences describing yourself in the first person as the color. It was quite interesting to hear those. What color would you be?

Let me just finish with one more task from this chapter. What is your ideal day like? Does it include art, music, cooking, gardening, reading, hanging out with your family, teaching, nature, exercise, studio time? What exactly makes a day ideal for you? When was the last time you had an ideal day? I hope it is often. If not, why not? What is stopping you?

Next book club meeting is Aug 9th and we are on Chapter 9 – Recovering a Sense of Compassion.

This week finds us facing the internal blocks to creativity. It may be tempting to abandon ship at this point. Don’t! We will explore and acknowledge the emotional difficulties that beset us in the past as we made creative efforts. We will undertake healing the shame of past failures. We will gain in compassion as we reparent the frightened artist child who yearns for creative accomplishment. We will learn tools to dismantle emotional blocks and support renewed risk.

See you next week!


Let your Inner Artist Out to Play

Blue Twig Studio


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

  1. Sonja Milojevics August 3, 2012 at 12:05 pm #

    So much to think about! I agree, we shouldn’t care about our age, we should just start doing what we want to do. And the other question – process vs. product, well, I guess the product is very important for me, but equally important is the process of creating it. There is nothing like diving into the world of imagination. 🙂


    • Deb Prewitt August 4, 2012 at 8:49 am #

      Nicely put Sonja. Using our age as an excuse is no more valid than using the weather as an excuse! If we want to do it, we owe it to ourselves to proceed! Act on it! Just do it as the slogan says.


  2. Becky Shander August 4, 2012 at 5:36 am #

    I can tell you’re getting a great deal from this book…you seem open and ready to receive. Reading this book was a life changer for me too – it taught me to see (and to confidently proclaim) myself as an artist, which was a very important first step.


    • Deb Prewitt August 4, 2012 at 8:50 am #

      I enjoy this book. This is actually my third time through it, and each time it is a bit different for me. Which is what a good book will do!


  3. wyroby betonowe August 6, 2012 at 9:59 am #

    You can definitely see your skills within the work you write. The arena hopes for more passionate writers like you who aren’t afraid to say how they believe. At all times go after your heart. “In America, through pressure of conformity, there is freedom of choice, but nothing to choose from.” by Peter Ustinov.



  1. Book Club – The Artist’s Way – Chapter 10 « Blue Twig Studio - August 17, 2012

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