Hello bookish friends! Welcome back to Lady Gets Lit!
Since I started this blog in January, I’ve been trying to find unique ways to get involved in the community while also staying true to my unique interests. I’ve also been really struggling lately to figure out what I’m doing with my writing life (something I explored in my series of discussion posts about writing, which you can find here.)
Which is how I came up with an idea: doing a collaborative blog journey with one of my long-time internet friends, Erin @ Flappers and Philosophers!
The Artist’s Way is a book by Julia Cameron that provides a path toward creative self-discovery.
It can be used by artists of any sort, be they writers, painters, DIY-ers, you name it. Beyond that, Julia Cameron encourages anyone to take this journey because everyone is a creative to some extent. She encourages people who haven’t ever considered themselves creatives, people who’ve denied themselves the opportunity to view themselves as creators because it’s impractical, people who “only dreamed of being somehow more creative.”
The Artist’s Way is also a spiritual experience. While I no longer consider myself religious, the power of doing The Artist’s Way is that it’s a process of “creating pathways in your consciousness through which the creative forces can operate.”
The Artist’s Way is more than just a book; it’s a journey.
Each week, you read a chapter on a specific aspect of creativity, and participate in creative “tasks” to challenge yourself and open your mind to new opportunities. All in all, it’s a time commitment of about 7 to 10 hours a week, depending. Throughout the 12-week process, you make use of Cameron’s basic tools: the Morning Pages, and the Artist Date.
Morning Pages are pretty simple: each day you wake up and write three longhand pages of stream-of-consciousness writing. You do this before you do anything else that day, and you do it until the pages are filled, regardless of what they’re filled with.
The Artist Date entails taking yourself on a weekly date, just you. Whether it’s going for a long walk in the park, adventuring to a new coffee shop for some writing time, or even going thrifting. Ideally, you just go and do something fun with no object other than spending time with yourself.
I am actually indebted to Erin for encouraging me to try The Artist’s Way.
Erin and I have known each other online for several years (since back when Tumblr was actually friendly to writers – lol). We’ve each been through blog rebrandings, moves across the country (her from NY to OR and me from OK to PA to NY and back to OK), cat adoptions, relationships, and more.
About a year ago, Erin posted on Instagram about The Artist’s Way. I messaged to ask what the whole deal was, and she encouraged me to give it a go. Starting in May of 2018, right around my birthday, I took on the 12-week process. I’m so glad I did.
The Artist’s Way changed the way I look at my creativity, and I’m excited to do it again.
There’s something extremely powerful about making a commitment to yourself for three months. Yet, participating in The Artist’s Way really only takes a few hours a week. Although it feels daunting at first, doing morning pages quickly becomes routine. Instead of constantly critiquing yourself for the messiness of your thoughts, you learn to let them out and let them be.
Doing the Artist’s Way taught me that it’s okay to write crap sometimes, that it’s through writing crap that you get better. If you don’t create space within yourself to make messes, you will never be able to reach your full potential as a creator—which is what you’re meant to do.
For the next 12 weeks, Erin and I will both be taking the creative journey outlined in The Artist’s Way, and we’ll be sharing weekly thoughts on how it’s going on each of our blogs.
We decided to keep track of our journey on our blogs as a way to hold each other accountable and track our progress. Hopefully, we’ll inspire each other to keep up the good work, but we also hope to inspire some of you, our readers!
We would love for you to follow along and share your thoughts. If you’re feeling brave, maybe you’ll even join us in doing the Artist’s Way yourself! After all, as Julia Cameron writes, “There is no such thing as being done with an artistic life.”
Have you ever participated in the Artist’s Way? What’s a goal you have for your creative life this season? I’d love for you to share in the comments!