Here I am not moving any faster than the slowest part of myself. This is awfully slow, lately. Speaking as a Type A person. But as a recovering blocked creative, if I ask myself why so slow off the mark, I find many answers. The main one lately is lack of
direction no, clarity no (what is that, anyway? Clarity! snork) decisiveness, maybe, desire yes, more so that. Distraction, loss of focus, diffusion of energy. So now it’s time to grab it back, square things up and ease forward. Welcome once again to this place where we work through ideas about the creative life and creativity and creative blocking and the creative process!
Beyond The Artist’s Way
Lately I’ve been studying up on step by step self coaching programs for creative people, looking at programs outlined in books beyond Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way. Regular readers know I have spent a lot of time on The Artist’s Way recently, over 30 posts related to that marvelous book. But let’s wrap it up with this post, shall we? And get ready to move on to something else. Possibly with a little help from you.
Wrap it Up with a Bow
The Artist’s Way program as outlined in the book seems to me a well designed program and it follows a clear sequence with a chapter by chapter outline that makes sense to me and works its way through a series of issues most creative people face at one time or another. (The rational mastermind side of my brain craves that structure, even though I tend to disregard it and hopscotch wherever my curiosity takes me once I get into a book.)
Alongside that strong organizing structure, Julia Cameron’s book offers two distinct tools (the infamous daily writing of Morning Pages and the elusive self indulgent and fun weekly Artist Date), and lots of exercises aimed at getting you to examine what you are doing and why you are doing it and exploring other ways to approach the thing. (The thing being whatever it is that you are doing or attempting to do.)
So on that level, meaning a self-taught or group experience type of class, I think it’s a great book and a big contribution to helping creative people listen better, notice better, and get on with creating. You could probably just read through it stopping willy-nilly and get a taste of some good insights.
Not sure if they would stick, though, unless you follow through with some action. Isn’t that always the truth?
The Artist’s Way is Not Enough
Despite its thoroughness, The Artist’s Way leaves some gaps for me, and I know there are many people who have tried reading it and found it “not the thing” for them. So it’s worth looking at “what else’ is out there. And I suspect we can pick and chose useful snippets from many different sources.
Picking and Choosing
With all that in mind, I’m moving along to the next book and then the next. I’ll approach these, too, with a sort of suck it up and use what you find useful, feel free to disregard the rest mindset.
Can you help me out?
In the meantime, I have yet to find another book as thorough and far-reaching and as well organized into a lesson by lesson course format offering insight in well-apportioned digestible pieces as The Artist’s Way. So if you have a favorite, and can in any way explain “why it works for YOU” by all means please let me know. I’d appreciate hearing your insights, and I suspect I’m not alone in that! You can give a shout out to your favorite in the comments or email me BarbaraMartin2 AT gmail DOT com or put a little bug in my ear — @Reptitude on Twitter.