The Artist's Way Monthly Meetup Guide: Workshop - Week 3
Weeks 5 & 6 of The Artist's Way
Week 5: Recovering a Sense of Possibility
This week you are being asked to examine your payoffs in remaining stuck. You will explore how you curtail your own possibilities by placing limits on the good you can receive. You will examine the cost of settling for appearing good instead of authentic. You may find yourself thinking about radical changes, no longer ruling out your growth by making others the cause of your construction.
Page 91. Cameron, Julia (1992). The Artist's Way. New York: Penguin.
Week 6: Recovering a Sense of Abundance
This week you tackle a major creative block- money. You are asked to really look at your own ideas around God, money, and creative abundance. The essays will explore the ways in which your attitudes limit abundance and luxury in your current life. You will be introduced to counting, a blockbusting tool for clarity and the right use of funds. This week may feel volatile.
Page 105. Cameron, Julia (1992). The Artist's Way. New York: Penguin.
- How many days this week did you do your morning pages? How was the experience? Are you starting to like them- at all? Are they getting easier?
- Did you do your artist's date this week? What did you do? How did it feel? Are getting more adventurous with your artist's date?
- Did you try a week of reading deprivation?
- Did you experience any “synchronicity” during these past two weeks that surprised and/or awed you? What was your “role” in engineering the synchronous result?
“The Artist’s Way” in an Age of Self-Promotion
The Virtue Trap
The Virtue Trap (p. 96): We often find ourselves putting others’ (i.e. spouse, children) needs over our own and spending resources (i.e. money, energy, etc.) on “practical” items instead of things to nurture our inner artist (i.e. buying a couch instead of spending money on a darkroom). We don’t make ourselves the priority! Cameron suggests that putting ourselves ahead of others by carving out time for ourselves and spending resources on our creative interests is essential. Creativity is not and never has been sensible. Why should it be? Why should you be? (p. 107).
Activity: Virtue-Trap Quiz (p. 101)
- The biggest lack in my life is________________
- The greatest joy in my life is________________
- My largest time commitment is______________
- As I play more, I work_____________________
- I feel guilty that I am______________________
- I worry that______________________________
- If my dreams come true, my family will________
- I sabotage myself so people will______________
- If I let myself feel it, I’m angry that I__________
- One reason I get sad sometimes is_____________
Questions to the group: Do you think you are stuck in this virtue trap, considering it more important to put others first at all times? Cameron suggests this not only leads to a creative block, but to anger and resentment. Is this something you have experienced?
A Letter from Martha Graham to Agnes de Mille
Luxury (p. 108): It is important to allow ourselves luxury (i.e. buying a new CD every week, buying raspberries even though they aren’t on sale, buying a watercolor set). Creative living is not only about buying material things; it also requires the luxury of time, which we carve out for ourselves, and the luxury of space (i.e. your own bookshelf).
Question to the group: Is there a luxury you allow yourself? What positive effect does this have on you?
Tasks for Next Week
- Three pages of longhand writing, strictly stream-of-consciousness, every day.
- One block of time, especially set aside to nurture your creative consciousness.
Vision Board or Image File
Vision Board: Think about your creative goals and create a vision board. See this blog post for more information on vision boards: The Reason Vision Boards Work and How to Make One
Image File (p. 103): "List five desires. For the next week, be alert for images of these desires. When you spot them, clip them, buy them, photograph them, draw them, collect them somehow. With these images, begin a file of dreams that speak to you".
- Record your spending for the week (everything from big bills to small purchases) with the goal of observing how much your spending differs from your real values.
- Read/browse through Weeks 7 & 8 of The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron.
- Create something (anything) to bring with you to the next meeting.