Book Club – The Artist’s Way – Chapter 11

24 Aug

We are nearing the end of The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. This week we are on Chapter 11 – Recovering a Sense of Autonomy. What I got out of this chapter was that first of all – claim being an artist. Say it out loud. And realize that being an artist may require a different set of rules to live by. Remember that you make art and need to pursue creativity in order to live. As Julia says ‘creativity is oxygen for our souls’. As artists we create because we have to. We do not know any other way. We do not understand those who do not have that need to create.

There is also a sense of spirituality that goes along with creativity. No matter what your belief system might be, the spiritual nature of art is part of what drives us, part of what directs us. Embrace it and let it be part of you.

There is also our physical side that we need to nourish. Our body and our mind are connected. There is a section in this chapter on how we need to keep our body moving in order to keep our mind focused. As creative people we spend a lot of time inside our heads! We forget about our bodies. Exercise and sports can help us. Either by letting our thoughts wander and release, or by releasing endorphins into our system. Perhaps it just lets us get out of our head and into our art. Or maybe it helps us be more in tune with our art. All I know is that I do so much better when I can get out there regularly and walk. I love walking and I truly do feel that it helps me focus more and let go of all the clutter in my head.

There was a section in this chapter about creating our Artist’s Altar. An altar is a place to represent your art and what brings you joy and happiness and feeds your creative soul.  For most of us at book club, we really felt like we didn’t need a specific altar to celebrate our art and creativity. We felt like our studios could really be classified as an altar, or even our entire homes. These places are filled with our art and our inspiration and things we love. We kind of felt that we didn’t need that one particular place to be an altar. But perhaps you do. Perhaps an Artist’s Altar is a way for you to find focus for your creativity. A space for your own rituals and meditations. Maybe I will create one anyway and see how I respond to it.

The tasks were quite interesting again this week. One that I found quite compelling was the Special Creativity Notebook. You are to number pages one to seven. Each page has a heading: health, possessions, leisure, relationships, creativity, career, and spirituality. Then list 10 wishes in each area. Don’t worry about being practical, just list your wishes. This is a great exercise to help you focus on your desires for your life. What wishes did you list? I admit I did not come up with 10 for each category, but I did list 6 or 7 for each one. I thought it was quite revealing as to what I did really want from each of these. Hmmmm.

There were also several tasks relating to nurturing yourself and taking care of yourself. A way of being loving to your own self. What can you do in the next week, or the next month, or the next year, to nurture yourself and make yourself happy? Create a list of special things and then schedule them.

We also had quite a good discussion regarding addictions and family dynamics. And how those issues can play into our artist’s blocks or our creativity. We decided there was no such thing as a ‘normal’ family. 🙂

As always, we discussed morning pages and artist’s dates. Some of us are doing them and some of us aren’t. Are you? What are you discovering about yourself?

We only have one more week for book club. Chapter 12 is Recovering a Sense of Faith.

In this final week, we acknowledge the inherently mysterious spiritual heart of creativity. We address the fact that creativity requires receptivity and profound trust – capacities we have developed through our work in this course. We set our creative aims and take a special look at last-minute sabotage. We renew our commitment to the use of the tools.

See you next week for the final chapter of The Artist’s Way!


Let Your Inner Artist Out To Play

Blue Twig Studio

One Response to “Book Club – The Artist’s Way – Chapter 11”


  1. Book Club – The Artist’s Way – Chapter 12 « Blue Twig Studio - August 31, 2012

    […] Book Club – The Artist’s Way – Chapter 11 ( […]


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