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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?
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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?
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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?
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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.
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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.
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Oh wow, you guys. We are ALMOST DONE! How's everyone doing?

I very stupidly came home from a work trip and FORGOT TO POST for three days; I don't know if this counts as a Cameronian U-Turn or not. I'm really sorry either way! I'm going to go ahead and late-post Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday now :(

Cameron begins the chapter with a discussion of the importance of faith, which for the purposes of this book seems to be a mix of “clear goals” and “trust in the process.” It's important, she says, to give our ideas some space and time to grow – she compares our ideas to embryos, stalactites, eggs, and root vegetables and reminds us that being in the dark is part of the process. She suggests lots of doodling and messing around and fewer outlines for people who tend to spend a lot of energy forcing their creative work in various ways.

Trust your own sense of what works. )

In the section called “The Imagination At Play,” Cameron talks about the importance of play and recreation, the experience of remembering old long-forgotten creative activities such as dancing or painting sets in high school, and concludes that we are intrinsically creative. You can think of this in the way Cameron does, as being created for a purpose or “intended” to be something, or you can think of it as a human capability, like language, that improves with cultivation.

Slightly OT side note )

Anyway, I like this part:

We want to do something, but we think it needs to be the right something, by which we mean something important

We are what's important[.]


Finally, setbacks happen. Avoid them if you can, and don't let them crash you in any case. Cameron suggests thinking of them as a test of your resolve – I'd just as soon say “shit happens” and move on. Morning pages, if you decide to continue them, can be a tool for dealing with, anticipating, and thinking clearly about setbacks of all kinds.

Don't forget to ask for support where needed and be aware of how the people in your life relate to your creativity. Which friends will support you no matter what? Which friends will be straightforward if you need them to be? I don't share Cameron's zero-tolerance attitude toward cynics and skeptics; I think a bullshit detector (your own or a friend's) is critical to the success of any self-help program. But it's a good idea to keep track of who makes you feel bad about your creativity and set some boundaries where you can.

Since it's the last week, spend some time planning for next week. What are you going to do differently once the workshop is over? What tools will you keep?

One last week of morning pages and artist's date! Don't forget to do them!

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Twelve-week creativity workshop!

August 2014

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