rejectionchallenge: (Default)
Take a look at your living and creative space. Is there any area that you could convert into a private space for yourself? Cameron suggests hanging a sheet on the ceiling to convert the corner of a room into a “dream area.” She suggests “a chair or pillow, something to write on, some kind of little altar area for flowers and candles.”

If you already have a good private space, you can do one thing to improve it, or just hang out there for a while since you're way ahead of us.

If this isn't feasible or desirable, try improving your existing space in some way. Clear off a desk, put some flowers in a cup, stick a picture or some cards to the wall, or make some space on the floor. If all your spaces are shared, what can you do to personalize your creative time?

Did you do your morning pages today?
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Are there burdensome objects in your life? Clothes that make you feel ugly but take up space in your cupboards, textbooks from classes you didn't enjoy, research materials for a project you never finished, fabric or busted jeans kept against the day when you could afford a sewing machine, heirlooms or gifts you don't really like?

Objects like this can be hard to let go of because they represent an aspiration or a hope, but they also take up space and make us feel defeated. There will be other outfits, other fabric scraps, other books. Pick one thing that is burdensome and give it away, sell it, or toss it. Art supplies can go to after-school programs and art camps, clothes to thrift and consignment stores if they're in good condition (or to animal shelters if they're not).

If you don't have any burdensome objects in your life, look at one situation in your life that you feel you should and can change, but haven't yet. What benefit do you get from not changing this situation? Is there a small change you can make this week that will take you in the right direction?

On a personal note, today I get to do reading deprivation while minding a bookstore! I am very excited for the impending end of reading deprivation.

Did you do your morning pages?
rejectionchallenge: (Default)
Plan an extended artist's date – either a whole day or half a day, depending on your time and obligations. If you can make this happen this weekend, great! If not, plan for as soon as possible.

If you can't manage an extended date within the next couple of weeks, could you do two smaller dates in the same weekend? Take some time to think about the things you'd like to do.

Use this space to discuss your experience of artist's dates so far, if you like. What have you been doing and planning?

Did you do your morning pages today?
rejectionchallenge: (Default)
Your task today, if you're up to it (and as always, no need to say what you've done or whether you've done it), is to remember yourself at eight. (If anyone in the group is currently eight or under, read: at half the age you are now). What did you like to do? What were your favorite things? Now, write a letter from you at eight to you at your current age. What would you tell yourself?

I barely remember myself at eight at all. Myself at ten or eleven is much clearer (though significantly more of a mess), so that's who'll write the letter. Unless I invent a fictional character called “myself at eight,” which I guess I could do.

Did you do your morning pages today?
rejectionchallenge: (Default)
Your task today, if you're up to it (and as always, no need to say what you've done or whether you've done it), is to describe yourself ten to sixty years in the future. Choose a future age that appeals to you. What are you like? What did you do when you were older than you are now that you enjoyed? Be very specific.

Now, write a letter from your future self to you at your current age. What would you tell yourself? What interests would you urge yourself to pursue? What dreams would you encourage?

The original version of this task was “describe yourself at eighty” but it's positioned as a future-looking-back and I don't like to make too many assumptions. I'm planning to maybe do a “creative cluster” group later in the fall and I know at least one of the people who expressed interest is pretty close to eighty already.

Did you do your morning pages today?
rejectionchallenge: (Default)
Cameron, p. 85-86:

[A]s you look over the time you have been doing your morning writing, you will see that many changes have entered your life as a result of your willingness to clear room in it for your creator's action. You will have noticed an increased, sometimes disconcerting, sense of personal energy, some bursts of anger, some flash points of clarity. People and objects may have taken on a different meaning to you. There will be a sense of the flow of life-- that you are brought into new vistas as you surrender to moving with the flow of God. This is clear already.


Bafflement and Faith )


As a daily task for this week, Cameron suggests that you "Write your own Artist's Prayer (See pages 207-208.) Use it every day for a week." (p. 90)

An interesting thing about my edition of The Artist's Way (2002 Tenth Anniversary Edition) is that some of the internal page number references apparently haven't been updated for the new edition, so while Cameron refers to her own Artist's Prayer on p. 207-208, the Artist's Prayer is actually on p. 223 in this edition. Page number references to earlier in the book are correct, but references to the Appendix are wrong.

Whoever was in charge of proofreading at Tarcher/Putnam appears to have been sleeping on the job in general; the edition is attractively designed but the typo rate is really high -- not as bad as the worst examples I've encountered, but noticeably worse than average.

Anyway, here's Cameron's Artist's Prayer for your reference:

An Artist's Prayer )
rejectionchallenge: (Default)
Your task today, if you're up to it (and as always, no need to say what you've done or whether you've done it), is to describe your ideal environment. Town or country? Upscale or cozy? Write a paragraph or draw a picture or find an image that depicts this. What's your favorite season? Why? Draw a picture of this, or find an image to represent it. Place this near your working area.

Did you do your morning pages today?
rejectionchallenge: (Default)
It is not because things are difficult that we do not dare; it is because we do not dare that they are difficult. —Seneca

Well. . . sometimes.

For some of us, building a stronger sense of self is part of this process. Cameron says the morning pages allow us to distinguish between our private feelings and our official or public feelings. While it's common to say "it's okay" about things we don't feel entirely ok about, it can be important to acknowledge, at least to ourselves, when things are not so ok. Extreme emotions, positive or negative, can also push us into avoiding the morning pages when we need them the most.

The morning pages also, she says, show us our self, a necessary thing for the self-expression that is one important aspect of art.

What do I want? What do I feel?

Who am I?

The answers aren't always easy or fun )

An Uncomfortable Challenge: Reading Deprivation )

Don't forget to go on a date with your artist sometime this week— note that one of this week's tasks is to plan a whole day's worth of artist date—and do your morning pages every day!
alexconall: the Pleiades (Default)
Your task today, if you're up to it (and as always, no need to say what you've done or whether you've done it), is to remember yourself at eight. What did you like to do? What were your favorite things? Now, write a letter from you at eight to you at your current age. What would you tell yourself?

Did you do your morning pages today?
alexconall: the Pleiades (Default)
Your task today, if you're up to it (and as always, no need to say what you've done or whether you've done it), is to describe yourself at eighty. What did you do after fifty that you enjoyed? Be very specific. Now, write a letter from you at eighty to you at your current age. What would you tell yourself? What interests would you urge yourself to pursue? What dreams would you encourage?

Did you do your morning pages today?
alexconall: the Pleiades (Default)
Your task today, if you're up to it (and as always, no need to say what you've done or whether you've done it), is to describe your ideal environment. Town or country? Upscale or cozy? Write a paragraph or draw a picture or cut out an image that depicts this. What's your favorite season? Why? Draw a picture of this, or go through magazines till you find one to cut out. Place this near your working area.

Did you do your morning pages today?
alexconall: the Pleiades (Default)
It is not because things are difficult that we do not dare; it is because we do not dare that they are difficult. —Seneca

Cameron says the morning pages allow us to distinguish between our real, or private, feelings and our official, or public, feelings. She continues, we need to stop saying "it's okay" when officially it is but really something else is going on. Extreme emotions, positive or negative, tend to push us into avoiding the morning pages, when we most need the morning pages to process the extreme emotions.

The morning pages also, she says, show us our self, a necessary thing for the self-expression that is a vital part of art. What do I want? What do I feel? Who, at root, am I?

And it sucks finding this out, Cameron says. "As we notice which friends bore us, which situations leave us stifled, we are often rocked by waves of sorrow. We may want our illusions back! We want to pretend the friendship works. We don't want the trauma of searching for another job." We don't want to lose the mask we were wearing; it's familiar, and going about with face bare is unfamiliar and thus frightening. No pain, no gain, Cameron quotes, and adds that pain always hurts, regardless of the gain coming.

Cameron vividly describes "possible emotional pyrotechnics"—tears and laughter, giddiness and the pain of loss, volatile emotions—and then points out that the change may be more gradual. Indeed, many students of her Artist's Way say they notice no changes, when from her perspective these same people are changing rapidly. You may, she says, find yourself redoing your wardrobe, your furniture, your musical taste. "Conditioned as we are to accept other people's definitions of us, this emerging individuality can seem to us like self-will run riot. It is not."

At this point, Cameron suggests again using affirmations in the morning pages. "I trust my perceptions." "A stronger and clearer me is emerging." "I recover and enjoy my identity."

Cameron suggests an exercise, to be done as quickly as possible—write down answers as fast as you think them up:

1) List five hobbies that sound fun.
2) List five classes that sound fun.
3) List five things you personally would never do that sound fun.
4) List five skills that would be fun to have.
5) List five things you used to enjoy doing.
6) List five silly things you would like to try once.

Cameron closes the chapter with an exercise that she says is mandatory: a week of no reading.

Yes, you read that correctly. No, I'm not happy either.

Cameron believes that without reading, one will eventually run out of work and be forced to play. She's heard all the objections from people whose schoolwork or paid work involves reading, and points out that procrastinating reading for a week is common and surely one can use the same techniques that one uses to avoid reading to, well, avoid reading. To fill the time, check back with those lists you just made, or listen to music, or knit, or exercise, or cook, or meditate, or sort closets, or do watercolor painting, or talk to friends, or go dancing, or, or, or. She adds an exception for this week's tasks.

Don't forget to go on a date with your artist sometime this week—as a heads-up, tomorrow's task is to plan a whole day's worth of artist date—and do your morning pages every day!

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Twelve-week creativity workshop!

August 2014

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