Balance,  Thriving

The Artist’s Way Reflections

Today on the blog we are doing something a bit different because, over the past twelve weeks, together with five others, Dani and Claudia have been participating in a Creativity Cluster following The Artist’s Way. In this book Julia Cameron shares insights into how to live your best life and let your inner creativity shine through. While committing to twelve weeks of small changes in our lives hasn’t always been easy, overall we have found the experience to be positive.

For twelve weeks we met for one hour on Mondays. During the week between meetings we agreed to read the chapters and carry out that week’s task. In this post we are sharing thoughts from us and some of our Creativity Cluster members and where you can find more about them. If you have any questions, leave them in the comments and we’ll be glad to get back to you.

Dani

When Claudia gifted me a copy of The Artist’s Way for my birthday earlier this year, I never imagined all that would come out of it. In a slightly out-of-character move, I got talking with Simone of The Life Inspiration File about working through it together and before I knew it, our collaborative course was in the works. More than anything, I am grateful to have undergone this experience with the support and consistency of the six other members of our Creativity Cluster. I tend to take on things like this by myself but I have to admit that twelve weeks is a long time and I very likely would have quit (or fallen so far behind that months passed between chapters) and I’m really glad that I had our group to keep me accountable and help me complete the course in the way it was intended to be completed.

If I could pass on any words of wisdom to others considering taking on The Artist’s Way, it would be this: First and foremost, do it. I think there’s something for everyone in this experience—whether you consider yourself a ‘creative’ or not. Secondly, stick with it—even when it feels like nothing’s happening. I was very resistant to the morning pages and I wasn’t feeling magical about my Artist’s Dates most of the time. Still, towards the end of the course when Julia Cameron prompted us to look back at an earlier chapter, I was surprised to find that I related very much with the mixed emotions, specifically the combination of relief and tension, we might feel as a result of undergoing this transformation.

I had been dealing with other things in my life and had been attributing my feelings to that, but now I’ve come to see that a lot of the changes that have been popping up in my world could very well be due to my commitment to this course. It feels incredible to say that this one little book could have led to such transformation, but I really think it has. The thing I’d want others to know, though, is that I didn’t feel that way while it was happening. It would have been really easy to have given up at some point along the way and missed this opportunity and so I’m grateful to my Cluster for keeping me on my (Artist’s) way.

Author Website: https://www.danijnorwell.com

Instagram: @dani_j_norwell

 

 

 

Simone

It is extremely difficult for me to summarise how much of a positive impact this The Artist’s Way experience has had on me – not only on my creative life, but on my life in general.

I was a little terrified when Dani and I began bouncing around ideas of the potential for doing The Artist’s Way alongside each other, so that we could provide each other with accountability and support, and offer a shoulder to lean on through this somewhat challenging process. Then, when she suggested extending it out to include others and form a creativity cluster, I was even more terrified. I remember thinking: ‘What have I gotten myself into?’ I’m a shy introvert and normally like to do things on my own, on my own terms, quietly in the background and not making much of a fuss.

But, doing this process as a group with all these wonderful people has been an amazing blessing, and has turned this experience into one that has truly been life-altering. Being forced to explain myself week after week – what I thought about the chapter, how I went with my Morning Pages and Artist’s Dates, what was bothering me that week, what other things had popped up that week that maybe needed a little more attention – to a group of nurturing people has made me so much more confident in myself as a person. I was always met with compassion, love, and some really useful practical ideas that I just would not have thought of by myself. My world has now expanded so much compared to pre-The Artist’s Way, and I feel like it is now brimming with abundant possibilities. Doing this course in this way was really exactly what I needed.

My favourite quote from The Artist’s Way – although, I have many favourites – is: ‘Leap and the net will appear’. I am so glad that I leapt and ‘did’ The Artist’s Way in this way, and found such a wonderful, supportive, cushiony net in the process.

Life Inspiration File Blog: https://www.lifeinspirationfile

Instagram: @lifeinspirationfile

Catriona

I had always meant to read The Artist’s Way but I’d been putting it off since I wanted to ‘do’ it properly. The right time never comes along so when Dani, Claudia and Simone proposed this collaborative approach I knew it was the accountability I needed.

I can’t say I followed every task and requirement of the book to the letter, but taking the time to reflect ‘out loud’ with the group each week gave a sense of momentum and progress regardless of whatever other demands life was throwing up. More importantly I found a new creative community that became an important touchstone in my week.

I highly recommend this group approach to The Artist’s Way and I deeply appreciate the gentle and honest way that Dani, Claudia and Simone facilitated it.

Web: thefrustratednester.com

Instagram: @thefrustratednester

 

Felipe

First, I want to say thanks for you [Dani and Claudia] and Simone while promoting The Artist Way and for all support and help during these twelve weeks. I loved it so much!

Talking about that course, it is hard to review it in only one or two paragraphs, because beyond the reading, there were amazing weekly check-ins, where I acquired lots of thoughts from our lovely group. I loved talking with everyone and as they were from different countries, I could learn a lot about their culture and the way they think about many things. So, this diversity of thoughts added something special to each meeting.

Finally, I want to share that The Artist Way made me more fluent in my writing skills and it showed me how to have a different view about some barriers which could block my creativity. In addition, it is not something only for artists, thus it can help anyone who wants to improve their creative skills as I assume it’s so important for thinking differently to have a better life.

Thanks again to all my friends who were with me on this journey!

Vig

The Artist’s Way is best walked with Artist Friends.

Years ago, when I first heard of the work by Julia Cameron, I read the book and got on my way with The Morning Pages. The Morning Pages soon fizzled out, I never made it on an Artist’s Date and can’t remember doing a single Task. Still, I sensed The Artist’s Way was important to my growth and wellbeing.

When Catriona, my memoir accountability partner, mentioned she was doing an Artist’s Way cohort, led by Dani and Claudia of Sincerely Spain and Simone of Life Inspiration File, I was super keen to join them. I’m so happy I did.

I don’t think anyone should do The Artist’s Way on their own. Not only did it kick start my Morning Pages again but—because we meet online every week—I reread The Artist’s Way with intention, did some of the Tasks and had a lot of fun on all kinds of Artist’s Dates. It was all thanks to the group, holding each other accountable for getting the most from the twelve-week course.

The most enjoyable part was the amazing, wholehearted and supportive weekly calls we had. Knowing how much I’ll miss our weekly check-ins, I’ve decided to do the course again, starting in February 2022, with an all-woman Artist’s Way cohort. If you’re reading this, you’re more than welcome to join me: (course now closed).

Thank you so much, Dani, Claudia, Simone and Catriona for inviting me to join your wonderful Artist’s Way group. It’s been an excellent journey.

Instagram: viggleeson

Facebook: VigGleesonAuthor

Claudia

I first heard about this journey years ago and have been adapting bits and pieces of it into my life ever since. I’ve borrowed the book from the library a couple of times and, after gifting it to several people, finally bought myself a copy. After giving the book to Dani, and she started bouncing the idea of a creativity cohort with Simone, we decided to put out a call for action for anyone interested. The Creativity Cluster was born and I am so grateful for it!

While I’ve read through the chapters before, this is the first time I’ve properly sat down to complete the activities in each section. I think this twelve week course is for anyone and everyone. There is no need to think you are an ‘artist’ as creativity appears in our lives in many different ways. I was also reminded time and time again about how we live our lives and how I can improve my day to day. For me, taking this journey with this lovely group was an amazing way to do it. I enjoyed it so much that plan to do it again!

2 Comments

  • andreebourgeois@gmail.com

    I did the Artist’s Way about 7 years ago when my wife gave it to me for Christmas. I found it to be a most rewarding experience. More recently, I had been feeling a bit down and "stuck" in pandemic life. I had the fleeting thought that I should start writing morning pages again, but hadn’t turned that thought into action. Not long after, I read here that y’all had planned to do The Artist’s Way collectively. I still managed to drag my feet until I saw a sponsored Instagram post of how The Artist’s Way is a perfect use case for a particular digital notebook. Yet another sign of synchronicity from the universe.

    I’ve been doing morning pages again for about 9 weeks now, and it has been tremendously helpful in freeing-up mental space to process life’s challenges whether they be creative challenges or any other variety. Thanks to you all for your inspiration.

    I must confess that I have not been as disciplined in the other associated tasks like artist’s dates. And when you are able to do those things in conjunction with morning pages, it is a much richer experience. But I strongly endorse the practice of morning pages as a creative tune-up, even if that is all you are able to do.

    • Sincerely, Spain

      Thank you so much for sharing your experience with us as well Andrée! Getting insight into how different people participate in this journey is one of the things we love most about the Artist’s Way.
      We hope you have the chance to dive back in (if that feels like the right thing for you to do) to the other tasks in the book soon!
      Sincerely,
      Dani and Claudia

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