artist's way reflections: week one

September 5, 2008 | 15 Comments

I’m trapped in the irony of this situation I have created for myself. Now that almost 20 others have taken up the invitation to work through the Artist’s Way together, I’m feeling the heat to be a good participant myself. Said irony is provided by this week’s topic — Recovering a Sense of Safety.

Dwelling in this irony reminds me of something that is too often true for me — the person creating this heat is me. The lack of safety I usually feel in expression and creativity comes, not from others, but from me. I have all sorts of conversations in my head about how others might hear or respond to what it is I haven’t yet said. (Case in point, I’m wondering even now how many times people will need to read that sentence to make any sense of it.) But the reality of those conversations is that, well, they happen in my head. For me, safety needs to come in caring a little less.

This reminds me of a quote by a hero of mine, Dr. Seuss, which I have mentioned before): Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.

Speaking of quotes, here are some from the first reading that have been present in my thoughts this week:

  • Nothing has a stronger influence psychologically on their environment and especially on their children than the unlived life of the parent. — C.G. Jung (pg. 26)
  • Young lawyers may be pushed toward lawyering, a talky, word profession, or into medical school because they’re so smart. And so the child who is himself a born storyteller may be converted into a gifted therapist who gets his stories secondhand. (pg. 27)
  • To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong. — Joseph Chilton Pearce (pg. 29)
  • Remember that in order to recover as an artists, you must be willing to be a bad artist. Give yourself permission to be a beginner. (pg. 30)
  • So far this week I’ve really been confronting my worst enemy – my own Critic. I’m another one who has conversation in my head about what others are going to say/think/do about something I’ve put forth. Hopefully the whole A.W. process will give me ninja skills to use against that Critic.

  • Love that quote – it’s one of my favorites, too.

    Josies last blog post..Baby Bear’s Friends

  • When I tried to think of three monsters of my past, I easily came up with two names. Trying to think of the third person who had injured my creativity, I kept coming back to myself.

    Aannas last blog post..Night Swim

  • I think safety is an enormous issue too. But don’t you find that the internet is a wonderful thing–there’s something about anonymity (sp?) that makes it easier. I don’t mind sharing my thoughts with supportive strangers, but I’m extremely picky about which of my close friends I let in to this process. This week I discovered that FEAR (of so many things) has kept me blocked for all these years.

  • Here’s my wrap up for week one. One thing I’d like other’s input on is the affirmations. Cameron suggests doing them daily after morning pages and adding affirmations to deal with negative blurbs that come up in doing the exercises or morning pages. Does anyone else have trouble with the affirmations? I just can’t seem to do them at all!

    Diane’s last post..Artist’s Way Week 1 Wrap Up

  • @Diane: I only found the affirmations meaningful when they countered a blurb I had come up with. For instance, I realized I felt really guilty wanting to make time for something childish and non-lucrative and “selfish” like writing. So then the affirmation “I am allowed to nurture my artist” made sense. But I only found that a few of her affirmations resonated with me, so I only focused on those. I didn’t do much with them, but after exploring the negatives they kind of provided a good positive to use in their place. ( I’ve written in more detail about my first week on my blog). Good luck with the 2nd week!

    ThinkingWomans last blog post..The Artist’s Way: Week One Roundup

  • Chris

    I had a great “date” with myself yesterday. I was attending a company function at a very large park where the activities were very scattered. Even though I was techinically hosting the event, I slipped away for about an hour and a half walking in the woods, took a ride on a kiddie train and got in the bumper boats. I rammed a bunch of people I didn’t know. It felt great! Best of all nobody missed me and I came home with lots of writing material.

  • Chris – that is so totally cool! We have a state fair coming up – maybe I’ll go and do bumper cars totally incognito!

  • Chris

    Do not got to a mini zoo unless it’s a good one. I included that but it was dismal and I ended up eye to eye with a depressed bald eagle in a cage. Your comment about the fair reminds me that I always promise that I’ll enter some small art item in our local fair. Once again the deadline has passed. I need to put that in my writing and figure out why I never do it.

    On a separate note, have any of you ever tried doing your morning writing with your non-dominant hand. You really do write different things.

  • does anyone have problems with cameron’s new agey feel? sometimes it’s hard for me to get past her fluffy vocabulary. i think that as i read the chapters, i resonate with a lot of what she says and the exercises really do work, but i find myself doubtful of her authority at times.

    Aannas last blog post..The Artist’s Way – Week 1

  • Aanna – I agree. I just ignore some of her more fluffy phrasing and get to the meat of what she is trying to teach. She does talk about that a little bit in her intro when she talks about God.

  • I also have a hard time with some of the flakey stuff, but I still think there’s something to it. It’s probably not the only approach to creativity.

    thinkingwomans last blog post..The Artist’s Way: Week One Roundup

  • thanks for that. i think it’s been good for me to hear how you process her perspective. i think i need to just open myself up to seeing the truth in what she’s saying, no matter how she says it. i’ve really been benefiting from the reading and the exercises. i don’t think i’ve ever read a book that i’ve highlighted more.

  • I have got through the introductions and chapter one. I have started doing my daily pages (and was surprised how easy it was to write so much!) I have yet to go on my artist date (I probably go on them too much anyway!) I tackled the affirmations by changing them to statements that suited me better and I think as I progress the wording of affirmations that I need will come to me. I easily identified monsters from the past, but didn’t want to make them all complete monsters because some were doing what they thought was best. I counted myself as a monster too.

    I found Cameron’s wordiness bothered me as I read, but I used the open mind that she asked us to have at the start and just stuck it out. I think I would benefit from having a notebook that I jot down the key concepts in as I go along. It is quite difficult to go back to find something amongst the sections.

    Good start I feel! I will blog my progess.

    Leannes last blog post..Bright and bold and brassy!!!

  • I’m finding the second week kind of fun so far, especially trying to find little bits of time to do things I like. Every day feels a little more exciting knowing I’ll have a chance to do something creative, even if it’s only for a few minutes. I’ve posted some mid-week thoughts and photos on my blog.

    ThinkingWomans last blog post..The Artist’s Way: Week Two: thoughts at midweek