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Here's more from Cameron on a concept that didn't get covered a in the original Week 00 posts:

This is quoting from p. 20-21 of The Artist's Way, chapter The Basic Tools.

Art is an image-using system. In order to create, we draw from our inner well. This inner well, an artistic reservoir, is ideally like a well-socked trout pond. We've got big fish, little fish, fat fish, skinny fish – an abundance of artistic fish to fry. As artists, we must realize that we have to maintain this artistic ecosystem. If we don't give some attention to upkeep, our well is apt to become depleted, stagnant, or blocked.


(p. 20)

”More )

I like the replenishment idea in general. The idea that inspiration has to be cultivated and nourished rather than being an unreliable random brainspark loosely correlated with insomnia (or whatever) is one of Cameron's most useful guiding metaphors for me.

What are some of the most useful ways of thinking about creativity for you? They can be from this book or from somewhere else. And how are the artist's dates going, by the way?
rejectionchallenge: (Default)
Here are some passages from Julia Cameron's introduction to The Artist's Way dealing with the idea of creativity as a spiritual path. You can find a brief explanation of the Spiritual Path posts here.

I've been using the blockquote format to indicate long quoted passages, but I'm happy to re-format if anyone finds them difficult to read -- just let me know!

Cameron occasionally uses ellipses as punctuation; when the ellipses are mine and indicate a cut, I'll put them in brackets: [. . .]

From the Introduction:
Names and Practices )

From "Spiritual Electricity: The Basic Principles"
The Vast Electrical Sea )


Creativity Basic Principles )

Cameron suggests returning to these affirmations daily. Use what works, and ignore what doesn't. If one or more of these statements resonates with or challenges you, try writing it down and posting it somewhere where you'll see it regularly.
rejectionchallenge: (Default)
This is the second part of a two-part introduction to the [community profile] artistsway community. The first part is here.

Julia Cameron and I are not the same person. While The Artist's Way is full of great ideas, I have a couple of major and a lot of very minor disagreements with what I've found so far, and a few more may pop up before the workshop ends. Most of them won't ever come up, but this one is kind of pervasive, so I'm putting it right up front.

I'm an atheist and a materialist. Julia Cameron, at least in her Artist's Way persona, is not.

Spirituality is an integral part of Cameron's project as she sees it -- the subtitle of the book is "A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity." Throughout, she'll be talking in terms of God / the Great Creator, and encouraging us to cultivate a relationship with this entity. She'll also assure us that we don't need to believe in divine beings to take part in the workshop, and suggests that people who are uncomfortable with her use of the word "God" should simply mentally substitute "good orderly direction" or "flow."

I'm not going to be doing that. The exercises in this book have been an enormous help to me in the past. If I thought I had to understand them in spiritual terms, however cloaked and muffled, I doubt I would have made it to Week 2 the first time around.

But what is inhibiting to one person might be liberating to another. I don't want to discard Cameron's creator-language by fiat just because it doesn't work for me -- I'd like to make sure that all of Cameron's tools are on the table, to be picked up by whoever finds them useful.

So I'll be adding weekly posts that quote Cameron directly on all things spiritual and Creatorly. These will be complete, verbatim passages, free of grumpy atheist asides or the uncharitable misinterpretations that paraphrase is heir to, and they'll be tagged with their own tag so they'll be easy to seek out or avoid. I hope that works. The first Spiritual Path post will go up later this evening and will quote from the introduction to The Artist's Way
rejectionchallenge: (Default)
Hey there! Welcome to The Artist's Way, a free and voluntary creative workshop based on Julia Cameron's book of the same name. The book arrived on my doorstep on Friday, and running a little behind, but I'd like to start the 12-week workshop today with a couple of introductions and our first weekly post.

The purpose of this workshop is to unblock the creative efforts of anyone who wants more creativity in their lives, or to feel freer and less conflicted about their existing creative pursuits. It's intended to be suitable for everyone who wants it, including people who are working artists, people with creative hobbies, and people who have avoided creativity since they were children. Every week will have a theme and daily tasks exploring that theme

In addition, Cameron has a couple of core practices for this workshop, which she encourages you to treat as non-negotiable: daily morning pages, and weekly artist's dates.

The following introduction to morning pages, artist's dates, and the community as a whole is quoted verbatim from [personal profile] alexconall's original, posted on Sep. 12th, 2013.

Morning pages )

Artist's dates )

Quoting [personal profile] alexconall again:

The morning pages and artist's date are on you to schedule. This comm will provide weekly posts, drawn in large part from The Artist's Way, on the theme of the week, and daily posts with tasks stolen outright from Cameron's pages. Cameron suggests doing the tasks that most and least appeal to you, on the principle that if it appeals to you it's worth doing and if you resist it then there's a reason and you should find out what that reason is. The weekly posts will also serve as check-ins for the previous week's morning pages and artist's date, and as spaces to discuss your progress.

Finally, Cameron insists that students of her The Artist's Way sign a contract with themselves as a commitment. Her text is below: modify it if you like, then sign and date it. Come back to it, she says, when you need encouragement.

I, ________, understand that I am undertaking an intensive, guided encounter with my own creativity. I commit myself to the twelve-week duration of the course. I, ________, commit to weekly reading, daily morning pages, a weekly artist's date, and fulfilment of each week's tasks.

I, ________, further understand that this course will raise issues and emotions for me to deal with. I, ________, commit myself to excellent self-care—adequate sleep, diet, exercise, and [recreation] —for the duration of the course.

________ (signature)
________ (date)



That about sums it up. Posts will be based on both The Artist's Way and [personal profile] alexconall's excellent summaries from last year. You're invited to comment on each day's task in as much or as little detail as you like. However, you're not required to comment or even to say whether you've done the task.

In addition to the posting schedule described above, I'll probably be adding an additional weekly item, discussed briefly in the next post.
alexconall: the Pleiades (Default)
Hello and welcome to [community profile] artistsway! Inspired by Julia Cameron's The Artist's Way, this twelve-week cyclical workshop is intended to unblock the creative efforts of anyone who wants more creativity in their lives, be they someone who has never created art outside kindergarten before or someone whose artwork is a daily part of their lives.

Cameron has three main concepts to keep in mind over the course of the workshop: the morning pages, the artist's dates, and the concept that Cameron refers to, for short, as 'God'.

'God' )

morning pages )

artist's dates )

The morning pages and artist's date are on you to schedule. This comm will provide weekly posts, drawn in large part from The Artist's Way, on the theme of the week, and daily posts with tasks stolen outright from Cameron's pages. Cameron suggests doing the tasks that most and least appeal to you, on the principle that if it appeals to you it's worth doing and if you resist it then there's a reason and you should find out what that reason is. The weekly posts will also serve as check-ins for the previous week's morning pages and artist's date, and as spaces to discuss your progress.

Finally, Cameron insists that students of her The Artist's Way sign a contract with themselves as a commitment. Her text is below: modify it if you like, then sign and date it. Come back to it, she says, when you need encouragement.
contract )

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Twelve-week creativity workshop!

August 2014

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