Hello and welcome to this Artist Way check in Week 4. The Artist Way is a book written by Julia Cameron that is meant to guide artist and creatives of all walks of life through a 12 week process of self discovery and unlock of your creative freedom. If you’re curious to know more about it, check out my blog where I describe the different components of the 12 week journey and tools included in the book.
The weekly check ins in this blog answer the questions Julia asks to put your progress into perspective. I added the weekly tasks to the list and categorized the questions as follow:
- Morning Pages:
How many days this week did you do your morning pages?
- Artist Dates:
Did you do your artist date this week? What did you do? How did it feel?
- Weekly Tasks:
I added the weekly tasks here.
- Check In:
Did you experience any synchronicity this week? What was it?
Were there any other issues this week that you consider significant for your recovery? Describe them.
Without further a do, let’s have a look at these weeks’ check ins!
- How many days this week did you do your morning pages? 7/7
- Did you do your artist date this week? What did you do? How did it feel?
BURIED DREAMS, AN EXERCISE
As recovering creatives, we often have to excavate our own pasts for the shards of buried dreams and delights. Do a little digging. please. Be fast and frivolous. This is an exercise in spontaneity, so be sure to write your answers out quickly. Speed kills the Censor.
List five hobbies that sound fun.
- Carpet making
- Roller skating
- Crayon drawing
- Paper mache
- Bead embroidery
List five classes that sound fun.
- Video / Photo film and editing
- Book club
List five things you personally would never do that sound fun.
- Climb high mountains / long hikes (I would but don’t have the condition yet)
- Skydiving free fall by myself
- Busking (I want to do this but it’s daunting)
- Serious musical theater or improv (Same as the previous one)
- Gymnast or Circus (I’m worried about getting injured)
Volunteer at animal shelter
List five skills that would be fun to have.
- A new puzzle
- A pet
- Someone or something to clean after me when I craft, hehe
- iPad for Procreate
List five things you used to enjoy doing.
- Dressing up
- Watching movies
- Jumping rope
List five silly things you would like to try once.
- Hoola hoop
- Baking mexican breads
- Interpreting / Teaching
READING DEPRIVATION, AN EXERCISE
Reading deprivation casts us into our inner silence. a space some of us begin to immediately fill with new words — long. gossipy conversations. television binging. the radio as a constant, chatty companion. We often cannot hear our own inner voice. the voice of our artist’s inspiration, above the static. In practicing reading deprivation, we need to cast a watchful eye on these other pollutants. They poison the well. Take the next 7 days off from reading and outside chatter.
- Environment: Describe your ideal environment. Town? Country? Swank? Cozy? One
paragraph. One image. drawn or clipped. that conveys this. What’s your favorite season? Why? Find an image of this or draw it. Place it near your working area.
Maybe a colonial cute looking town with nearby access to nature walks and artsy shops with private comfy little areas, cafes, and community. Georgetown, Ipoh, Malacca. Cottage? Tiny house.
My favorite season used to be autumn in Mexico. In New Zealand, it’s summer for sure. I also like mid-late spring when it’s warm enough but lots of flowers.
- Time Travel: Describe yourself at eighty. What did you do after fifty that you enjoyed? Be very specific. Now. write a letter from you at eighty to you at your current age. What would you tell yourself? What interests would you urge yourself to pursue? What dreams would you encourage?
Dear 26 year old me,
I’ve done lots of slow travel, connecting with like minded people, connecting cultures together. Inspire people with my way of thinking. Doing and attending art and cultural workshops. Having a balanced (plentiful) life. I’m healthy, mentally able, content, relaxed on a property with plants, trees, animals, colorful things. Colonial, rustic, cozy and with lots of pets.
You’re doing a great job. You have grown so much and understand so much about life and keep growing and expanding your understanding. We became a cultural anthropologist, social justice and behavioral psychologist and kept traveling the world, helping people learn and understand themselves and each other. You’ve done so many things, art, theater, dance, you name it! People love you. We’re still active and in good health. Thanks for taking care of yourself when you were young.
Keep the good work! You’re on the right path.
Love, 80 year young you
- Time Travel: Remember yourself at eight. What did you like to do? What were your favorite things? Now. write a letter from you at eight to you at your current age. What would you tell yourself?
I like singing and want to be a singer! And dressing up, don’t forget to dress up! Wigs and toys. I am so good at so many things and I want to try everything! You better do all the things and have many animals! I want a farm and a greenhouse and a retirement home, animal shelter and an orphanage all together so that they keep each other company! I also want to be a gymnast and an athlete and a child star. I can sing better than the kids on the tv. Don’t know what people see in them.
- Environment: Look at your house. Is there any room that you could make into a secret. Private space for yourself? Convert the TV room? Buy a screen or hang a sheet and cordon off a section of some other room? This is your dream area. It should be decorated for fun and not as an office. All you really need is a chair or pillow. something to write on. some kind of little altar area for flowers and candles. This is to help you center on the fact that creativity is spiritual. not an ego. issue.
- Use your life pie (from Week One) to review your growth. Has that nasty tarantula changed shape yet? Haven’t you been more active? less rigid. more expressive? Be careful not to expect too much too soon. That’s raising the jumps. Growth must have time to solidify into health. One day at a time. you are building the habit patterns of a healthy artist. Easy to do. List ongoing self – nurturing toys you could buy your artist: books on tape. magazine subscriptions. theater tickets. a bowling ball.
- Write your own Artist’s Prayer. Use it every day for a week.
- An Extended Artist Date: Plan a small vacation for yourself. (One weekend day. Get ready to execute it.)
- Open your closet. Throw out — or hand on, or donate — one low – self – worth outfit. (You know the outfit.) Make space for the new.
I gave one of my best friends a stretchy blouse and it was really perfect because it’s a stretchy shirt that would last her for when her belly grows from her pregnancy! It was nice to give something away and tick it for this task but then she gave me this news. It was quite wholesome and symbolic in a way. Also (synchronicity) considering the same day or day before, at work we’ve been talking about the idea of nannying for the winter.
- Look at one situation in your life that you feel you should change but haven’t yet. What is the payoff for you in staying stuck?
- If you break your reading deprivation, write about how you did it. In a tantrum? A slipup? A binge? How do you feel about it? Why?
Yesterday (Thursday) I put on a podcast while I was cooking. The day before I felt a bit of withdrawal and my period was coming. I did so well the first couple of days and I’ve been continuously doing other things that are good for me and Jono so I didn’t want to be so hard on and I gave myself a break. Jono and I started watching the Crown. I didn’t count the media I watched with Jono because that was time shared together but at this point I also don’t want to be too hard on myself.
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