The Artist Way – Week 2: Recovering a Sense of Identity

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Hello and welcome to this Artist Way check in Week 2. 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 in!

Morning Pages

  • How many days this week did you do your morning pages? 

7 days but I didn’t write the 750 words every day so probably not the full 3 pages. The day that I wrote the least I did write on my blog so I guess that adds up. Also, quite a few days I wrote more than needed. I back at work so it was my first time seeing everybody after the holidays and talking to more people than Jono. I was more vocally processing things and making notes here and there about different topics like New Zealand culture that I ended up writing about it on the Saturday.

7/7 days. Word count: Mon 873, Tue 1049, Wed 615, Thu 597, Fri 224, Sat 1246, Sun 837

Artist Dates

  • Did you do your artist date this week? What did you do? How did it feel? 

I didn’t necessarily do a “this is my artist date” thing out of it (same as last week) but I did take the piano and practice for a few minutes when Jono was playing video games. I do count it because playing the piano and in general musical instruments is something I’ve never done before so even though it wasn’t a proper set up date and it was just a small practice every now and then, playing instruments is something very different and new. Jono also taught me the next two scales. For the third one, he made me try to figure it out. I picked both of those quicker than expected. 

Jono and I also had a few nights that we worked on out mushroom hats together. I’d count this if the Artist Way didn’t ask for the artist dates to be by yourself. It was really special because it’s a big fun playful project that I’ve been wanting to do for a while. Also, even though Jono’s been supportive of me and my art, we never get to do artsy stuff together. Even though I think he’s still a creative, his preferences and interests lie elsewhere. After talking to him about how I have tried to join in and participate in things he is interested and what it’d mean for me for him to participate in my things, he was more open to do things like this and this is the first big crafty project we do together. So after all that explanation, I think I will count it! Other people on youtube also advice it’s a good idea to do some of these artists dates with friends if you’re worried about going out by yourself, at least at the beginning to warm you up for later solo dates.


  • Post the Basic Principles somewhere you can see and read daily.

  • Where does your time go? List your five major activities this week.
  1. Work (Monday, Wednesday and Friday Cover Shifts) 21 hrs
  2. Writing blog and morning pages
  3. Time with Jono (Walk up Mt Kaukau, watch movies, mushroom hat)
  4. Phone and TV
  5. Getting ready for things, eating, sleeping, commuting, I guess.

How much time did you give to each one? Which were what you wanted to do and which were should? How much of your time is spent helping others and ignoring your own desires? Have any of your blocked friends triggered doubts in you?

Time, I’m not sure. Only know about work. Next week I’m doing 26 hrs so on average I do part time work. 

These weeks are mostly things I wanted to do except for work but this amount of time, with this pace and with what I’ve been doing lately are mostly things that I want or I’m ok with at least.

I’ve been prioritizing my own desires but work, media and other stimulus at home are a bit distracting.

The people at work that are doing extra roles at the moment. Also trying to balance the criticism and cynicism of my team with being more open and friendly towards other teams while still keeping grounded in mine. 

Take a sheet of paper. Draw a circle. Inside that circle, place topics you need to protect. Place the names of those you find to be supportive. Outside the circle, place the names of those you must be self-protective around just now. Place this safety map near where you write your morning pages. Use this map to support your autonomy. Add names to the inner and outer spheres as appropriate: “ Oh! Derek is somebody I shouldn’t talk to about this right now. ”

I won’t show this of course since it has specific names of people but I inserted a simple circle on google docs and wrote some names, plus names of people that I don’t really hang with too often but I’d like to.

  • List twenty things you enjoy doing. When was the last time you let yourself do these? Next to each entry, place a date.
  • Writing / Blogging – Today
  • Taking pictures / video – Today
  • Sewing – Few months
  • Singing – Few days?
  • Roller skating – Few weeks, maybe a month
  • Piano practice – Today
  • Painting – Few weeks
  • Embroidery – Maybe half a year
  • Paper Mache – A year and a few months
  • Dance – With the group maybe 2 / 1.5 years
  • Model – Few months since travel but more properly
  • Dress up – Probably few months
  • Hike – Few days
  • Baking – Few months
  • Travel – Few months
  • Watch folk dance performances – Few months, Korea
  • Makeup – Few months, Japan
  • Looking at colorful things – Today
  • Watching Disney or studio Ghibli movies – Yesterday
  • Sex and cuddling – Few days or weeks? 
  • From the list above, write down two favorite things that you’ve avoided that could be this week’s goals.
  1. Dress up
  2. Make up

I didn’t get around to doing this but I’ll do a full on dress up once my mushroom hat is done. I want to make a cape and other accessories to dress up with Jono.

  • Dip back into Week One and read the affirmations. Note which ones cause the most reaction. Write three chosen affirmations five times each day in your morning pages.
  1. My efforts matter
  2. My contributions matter
  3. I am lovable just the way I am
  4. I am industrious and reliable
  5. I am enough
  • Return to the list of imaginary lives from last week. Add five more lives. Again, check to see if you could be doing bits and pieces of these lives in the one you are living now.
  1. Violinist
  2. Gymnast
  3. Cheerleader
  4. Model
  5. Photographer
  • Life Pie

Julia asked to divide it into six pieces of pie. Label one piece spirituality, another exercise, another play, and so on with work, friends, and romance / adventure. But I knew of this app called Remente that I’ve used in the past and does this life pies. I decided to go with it because it’s easier and quicker. And I can then see the progress and compare to previous times I’ve done it.

The categories are: Finances, Love & Relationships, Health & Fitness, Career & Education, Personal Development, Family, Friends & Social Life, Fun & Recreation.

(Not sponsored!) But Remente does have a few useful features that could complement the artist way like Agenda (where you could write up your weekly tasks and Journal where you could write your morning pages if you wanted to. It also has resources with suggestions on goal setting to improve different aspects of your life and a mood tracker. It has payed features but you can use the basic ones for free.

  • Ten Tiny Changes: List ten changes you’d like to make for yourself, big or small
  1. I would like to keep piano practice
  2. I would like to get the mushroom hat done
  3. I would like to get rid of clothes and things I don’t want
  4. I would like to cultivate more and better quality relationships with friends
  5. I would like to go swimming and find more gentle workouts to do consistently
  6. I would like to get my wisdom teeth checked
  7. I would like to plan out the South American trip and check in with finances
  8. I would like to start doing chin exercises
  9. I would like to go out on another short hike
  10. I would like to meet up with some friends
  • Select one small item and make it a goal for this week. Now do that item.

Mushroom hat? This was my first choice but didn’t finish it.

I did the tasks after our Mt Kaukau hike so I meant another one after this but the Mt Kaukau hike WAS within the week 2 timeframe so it counts?

I also did get my wisdom tooth checked and removed on week 3 though! Had to be done. I’d blame my wisdom teeth for not doing some more outdoorsy stuff! but that was mostly a week 3 problem. It started giving me grief the Sunday before week 3 started.

I’d say going back to work did distract me and took me by surprise. And I was rushing week 2 because I started the week 1 tasks towards the end of it. I had a lot in my mind between the tour practice at work and thinking about cultural issues of my own.


  • Did you experience any synchronicity this week? What was it? 

Yeah, I was talking to Jono one morning about the importance of humanity over structure (creativity over structure), we concluded both are important, at least to be a whole as a human. Then we went on to watch the For All Mankind final’s episode and the final message was about that. (Video)

Also, all week I’ve been working or thinking about tour training at work and processing my own story of “biculturalism” if you please, with my half indigenous and half European DNA results and the story of Maori and Europeans in New Zealand. Then Jono, probably following the chats we had around this, wanted to watch Whale Rider, a movie about Maori tradition and it was really interesting to see and feel their culture from their perspective.

○ Were there any other issues this week that you consider significant for your recovery? Describe them.

Yeah, I felt more blocked since I had to split my attention with thinking about topics relevant to work that are also relevant to me because of my cultural shock here but that I need to learn and process individually for different purposes. Aka. For the tours and for my own understanding of it. Cultural shock and the way people navigate social issues in New Zealand is conflicting with my own world views and sense of self. Also Jono’s issues and how he processes and deals with emotions (video games is the more obvious example) is different and distracting. 

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Thanks for reading and see you next time! ♡

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Hello, this blog is written by a young artist and traveler looking to share the world from her perspective. 

“I want to share things that inspire me: Different disciplines I learn along the way and experiences I have. Hoping to inspire whoever’s reading to live a more authentic and fulfilling life.” 

This blog is about life, art, travel, folklore, culture and everything in between.

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