Week 12 Sunday Task: Moving Forward

This is the last day of the workshop. Give yourself something -- a thank you card, a cup of tea, an evening in with a favorite show, whatever you like -- for coming this far and doing all this work. Take some time to plan an artist's date or something relaxing and enjoyable for next week.

You can use the comments or your own journal to assess what worked for you and what didn't, what tools you'll carry with you and which ones you'll leave behind. Will you keep doing morning pages, or use that time for something else? What concepts were useful to you, and which ones were a hindrance? The answers are different for everyone.

Finally, share one thing you learned with someone you trust. It doesn't have to be either profound or complimentary -- "Julia Cameron is full of it," "12 weeks is too damn long for me," and "[personal profile] rejectionchallenge is the worst host" are all valid insights. It can be personal or general, it can relate directly to your creative projects or not.

Last morning pages, unless you decide to keep doing them! Did you get them done today?

Week 12 Saturday Task: Review and Affirmations

Review your negative beliefs and affirmations from Week One, if you still have them. How many are the same? Have any of them changed?

Write a few affirmations about next week and the weeks after.

Did you do your morning pages?

Week 12 Thursday Task: Quick Mending

Take a look at your current areas of procrastination and any creative U-turns you might be making or on the brink of making. Do some quick mending if you need to; make a list if you feel like it.

Did you do your morning pages?

Week 12 Wednesday Task: A Container

Select a container for your fears, hopes, resentments, dreams, worries -- anything that keeps you up at night. Cameron calls this a "God jar" and suggests that you can put worries in the jar and say "God's got it."

Mine is a small square box called The Box. I wrote some worries down and put them in The Box, which has been decorated with a large frowny face. Old worries will be burned or turned into poems at the end of three months (and then I'll decide whether the box is still useful or not).

Decide how best to use your own container, what to name it, how to interact with it. When this week ends, all the tools revert to you, to leave on the table or take home.

Week 12 Tuesday Task: Almost the End!

We're almost to the end! Where will you go from here? Are you relieved that the workshop is coming to a close, or worried? What are you going to do the first day of Week 13?

Write down any resistance, angers, fears or doubts you have about going forward from here. You can share them in the comments or keep them to yourself.

Week 11 Sunday task: An Encouraging Letter

Today is my sister's birthday! Happy birthday, M!

"Write and mail an encouraging letter to your inner artist. That sounds silly and feels very, very good to receive. Remember that your artist is a child and loves praise and encouragement and festive plans," says Cameron. If your artist isn't that kind of child, or isn't a child at all, include the things your artist will like.

If you do this exercise, do send this one through the post so you can open it later. If you don't have the postage or time, you can PM me with your letter and address and I'll mail it to you.

Don't forget the morning pages!

Week 11 Saturday Task: Portable Poem

**Pre-posted**

Copy a favorite poem, quotation, prayer or song that you find encouraging. It can be the one from Tuesday, or a different one; it can be by you or by someone else. Fold it up, or if it's small enough, copy it onto a business card. Carry it with you for a while.

Did you do your morning pages?

Week 11 Friday Task: Plan One Week

*Hey, Artist's Wayfarers -- I'm pre-posting Friday and Saturday because I'll be away from the Internet all weekend. Sorry for the inconvenience!*

In your new notebook (or your old one, whatever) plan one week's worth of nurturing actions -- one concrete loving thing you can do for yourself every day for the next seven days. For this one, you want to be realistic, and stick to your schedule.

Did you do your morning pages today?

Week 11 Thursday Task: Honest Changes

How have you changed since beginning this workshop? If you did the Life Pie exercise, you can review it to see if it's shaped the same, or use your own criteria to inventory for yourself how you've changed and not changed.

List five ways you may change as you continue.

Did you do your morning pages today?

Week 11 Wednesday Task: A Special Notebook

Acquire or set aside for yourself "a special creativity notebook." If you're tired of buying things, it's ok to set aside a stack of paper and maybe put some stickers on it if you want. Number the first 5-10 pages. If you did the Life Pie exercise in Week 2, give one page to each category. If you didn't, devote each page to an area of your life that is important to you.

"With no thought as to practicality, list ten wishes in each area. All right, it's a lot. Let yourself dream al little here."

Did you do your morning pages today?

Week 11 Tuesday Task: Words in Your Mouth

For this week, Cameron suggests that you record your own voice reading the Basic Principles (see Spiritual Path Week 00) and a favorite essay from her book. You might prefer to select your own favorite poem or essay from a wider library of sources. You can make several recordings of favorites or just one. Cameron's idea here is that you can use this recording for meditation.

I can't really stand the sound of my voice. so I might have a friend record some favorite poems and an essay for me instead, if I were going to do this task. If you like it, go for it.

Did you do your morning pages today?

Week 10 Sunday Task: Bottom Line

Set a bottom line.

Make new rules about how you interact with your habits and blocks. Stick to them for at least one week.

If you regularly spend long hours researching for projects you find it hard to begin, can you limit research to a particular part of the day? If you spend a lot of down time on websites that are refreshing and fun, but swallow up more of your time than you'd like, can you make a rule about when you have to stop reading, or which evenings are for recreational reading and which have to be free?

If you're a freelancer, do you routinely undervalue your time? (I have a terrible habit of under-reporting my hours so as to be a “better deal.”) Don't do that if you can avoid it.

What other rules can you make?

If making a bunch of new rules doesn't work for you, try another task from this week: List three actions you could take to nurture or comfort your artist. Then do one of them.

Did you do your morning pages today?

Week 10 Saturday Task: Small Victories

List five small victories of the past week. List five small victories of the past five years.

Did you do your morning pages?

Week 10 Thursday Task: Tell the Truth (Again)

Tell the truth about your creativity-blocking habits. Didn't we do this already? Cameron ask us to do it again. What do we enjoy or get out of them? What about them nurtures, entertains or sustains us? What makes them worth it?

What can we preserve about our habits and relationships while making room for more creativity? What do we have to let go?

Did you do your morning pages today?

Week 10 Wednesday Task: Touchstones

Make a quick list of things you love -- happiness touchstones for you. Cameron's touchstones include "River rocks worn smooth, willow trees, cornflowers, chicory, real Italian bread, homemade vegetable soup, the Bo Deans' music, black beans and rice, the smell of new-mown grass, blue velvet (the cloth and the song)"

Don't worry about your touchstones making you look good or saying good things about you; stick to things you really love. Draw one of them or make a book or post the list somewhere where it can remind you.

Did you do your morning pages today?

Week 10 Tuesday Task: Something Nice

Make three nice promises to yourself, and keep them.

Do one nice thing for yourself every day this week. It doesn't have to be anything huge. Just something for yourself.

Sub in "kind" or other suitable word if you don't go in for "nice."

Did you do your morning pages today?

Week 09 Sunday Task: Artist Totem

EVERYONE. I am so sorry. I got busy and then I got tired and then I spent several days forgetting what day it was and not wanting to do anything but watch whole seasons of television in a single day. I'm sorry! I don't think you missed anything life-changing, I hope?

Anyway, I'm back and here's Cameron's task for today.

Choose an object to be what Cameron calls an "artist totem. It might be a doll, a stuffed animal, a carved figurin[e], or a wind-up toy." Choose something you feel protective and fond of. Give it a place of honor and don't harm it. "Honor it by not [being cruel to] your artist child."

My object for this exercise -- I'm not really on board with "totem" -- is a plastic toy figure of Evil-Lyn (it's really spelled like that) from the old He-Man cartoons. I associate her with a Mary Sue character of mine whom I feel protective toward* and who has, typically enough of a Sue, more than her fair share of hidden darkness and hidden strength. I've had it for a long time, but today I took it out of a tucked-away shelf and put her on the windowsill behind my desk. I don't know if it will actually help me to have a tie-in toy from the 80s in my line of sight, but I'll try most things once.


*I use the term Mary Sue with affection; I am 100% in favor of them and I think Cameron would be, too.

Week 09 Wednesday Task: Imagine Your Goal

Remember last week when you wrote down your dream and true north? Now imagine it. Details are good. More details are better. Write down your goal. In the present tense, describe yourself achieving your goal. If it feels right, read this aloud to yourself daily and/or post it above your work area.

Did you do your morning pages today?

Week 09 Tuesday Task: Morning Pages!

Read your morning pages!

Cameron suggests doing this with highlighters in hand, one to highlight insights and one to highlight actions needed. Do not judge your pages or yourself.

What have you consistently been complaining about? What have you procrastinated on? What have you allowed yourself to change or accept?

Don't be thrown by black-and-white thinking and reversals: "it's a great job, it's a terrible job", etc.

"The morning pages have allowed us to vent without self-destruction, to plan without interference, to complain without an audience, to dream without restriction, to know our own minds. Give yourself credit for undertaking them. Give them credit for the changes and growth they have fostered."

Week 08 Friday Task: Perfect Day

This is actually four related tasks from the book, combined into one for your convenience.

List twenty things you like to do. (If you listed these before, you can recycle that list!). Answer these questions for each:

Expensive, cheap, or free?
Alone or with somebody?
Job-related?
Physical risk?
Fast-paced or slow?
Mind, body, or spiritual [if that distinction makes sense to you; ignore it if not!]


Using that information, plan a perfect day in your life as it now is.

Then plan a perfect day in your life as you wish it were, no restrictions whatsoever.

Choose one festive aspect from that latter ideal day and allow yourself to live it. Maybe you can't live in Rome yet, Cameron says, "but you can have a cappuccino and a croissant" -- or write a poem, read a book or part of a book, choose a free wallpaper image, or listen to music that makes you think of Rome.

Did you do your morning pages today?