Welcome to Week 11 of my ongoing series on The Artist’s Way with Erin @ Flappers and Philosophers!
Erin and I are both going through The Artist’s Way, a 12-week course in self-discovery and creative recovery. Throughout the next three months, we’ll be sharing weekly updates on how it’s going, what we’ve learned, and how this process has affected our creative lives.
Week 9 focuses on Recovering a Sense of Compassion.
Obviously, this week was a bit rough for me; as I’ve discussed in previous Artist’s Way posts, it’s really hard for me to be compassionate with myself. One thing that helps seems to be treating my artistic self as a distinct, almost separate part of me. It sounds like psychobabble, but it’s a lot easier for me to be kinder to my so-called Artist Child when I see her as a separate entity, a child in need of my compassion.
Week 9 teaches us to focus on our Creative U-Turns, those moments when we abandoned a project or creative pursuit out of fear of failure (or fear of success). Julia Cameron teaches the art of being compassionate toward our past mistakes, particularly ones where we’ve set impossible goals for ourselves in order to justify our artistic life.
“The only cure for fear is love.”Julia Cameron, The Artist’s Way
Week 9 Check-In
How many days this week did you do your morning pages? Regarding your U-turns, have you allowed yourself a shift toward compassion, at least on the page?
I continued to do daily morning pages this week, although I’ve begun to fall off on actual page count. During the beginning of the Artist’s Way journey, I definitely felt like I needed the pages more. I had a lot to work through, a lot of actions I needed to take. Lately, though, I feel like things are slowly coming together; maybe it seems like I have less to say. Then again, I was also nearing the end of a giant spiral notebook this week, which usually inspires a sense of impatience in my journaling.
Regarding Creative U-turns: I’m working on self-forgiveness. I’ve taken a lot of wrong turns that I’m not necessarily proud of, but I’m also aware that each of these U-turns led me to the place I am now, which is exactly where I need to be. My biggest U-turns: giving up on revising my own work and jumping onto the next project out of fear of failure. So I’m working on developing hope for the future, but it’s admittedly slow going.
Did you do your artist date this week? Have you kept the emphasis on fun? What did you do? How did it feel?
To be quite honest, I almost forgot to do my artist date this week. It’s so much easier for me to focus on everything else I need to get done—tedious adulting tasks, cleaning, going to work, writing blog posts, working on my novel draft… but it’s a lot harder for me to purposefully take time to have fun. I stumbled into an artist date on Friday when I went to my favorite coffee shop again. I treated myself to a CBD latte and spent some time working on AW tasks—necessary reflection. Next week, I hope to plan my artist date as a priority, not an afterthought.
Did you experience any synchronicity this week? What was it?
I got to talk with one of my good friends whom I hadn’t seen in a while. This friend is someone who’s incredibly compassionate and caring and inspires me to be compassionate with myself. I let her take a look at the first chapter of my novel and she was so incredibly supportive. It reminded me that I don’t have to hide who I am, that I can share myself with people who believe in me. It also reminded me to treasure the friends I have who believe in my magic. I need them.
Were there any other issues this week that you consider significant for your recovery? Describe them.
The biggest issue I’m having right now is, unsurprisingly, time management. I’ve been trying to do blog hopping on my lunch break at work, which is really only so helpful. I’m starting to become concerned, because I’m working half the hours that I’ll be working in the not-so-distant future. I’ve been keeping a time log, but going forward I’m going to indicate the type of activity—whether it’s self-care, work-related, creative playtime, etc. Hopefully in the next couple of weeks I can become aware of where my time is going and reallocate some time to what matters.