It’s been maybe ten years since I first had an Artist’s Way experience. For some reason, I had the book on tape. I remember trying to listen to it and just hating it. I did a lot of scoffing as she talked about GOD (Good Orderly Direction) and other aspect of spirituality and creativity. I didn’t realize I was so separated from my creative self. I was always a creative person. I crafted. I cooked. I wrote. There was nothing in my daily life that would suggest I was a blocked artist.
Then my life fell apart. We lost our family home to a fire. We lost so much more – security, dreams, and our community. We ended up moving because trying to find housing in our tiny little town proved to be impossible. I felt so disconnected to everything. My family was in crisis and it was all I could do to get through each day.
Then a friend announced she wanted to do The Artist’s Way and would anyone be interested in doing it with her. She could start an online group and we could talk about each chapter. We could check in with each other and be supportive. Things were changing for me so I took the opportunity. I borrowed the book from the library. Before the book was due, I was at a used book store looking for a copy of my own. Since then, I have done the process several times. Once more with my friend and once with my husband (who now owns his own copy).
I’ve been struggling a little bit this year. My creativity has been the one thing that has made many of the days bearable. But I know I am not feeling that great connection like I should be. It does come and go but this year has been such a hard year for so many reasons.
I had the opportunity to read one of Julia Cameron’s new versions of The Artist’s Way – It’s Never Too Late to Begin Again. The only two things that disappointed me was that, being an e-book, I was not able to follow with the 12 week program before the book expired and that I was a little too young for the examples so I didn’t quite connect to the book as much as I would have liked. But it reminded me of all the things I desperately need to do to care for myself. (I want to note that the one thing she added in the book that I really wished she added to the new version of The Artist’s Way is the daily walk.)
This all brings me to a package that arrived in the mail recently.
They were so beautiful, I nearly cried. While I love the actual book, I’m stunned by the journal. It feels almost sacred as I hold it in my hands.
And it’s mine. Normally, I’m not a big advocate for companion books because they feel unnecessary but this book, I don’t know, just feels special. Maybe because it was what I really needed more than anything this holiday season.
I love that the contract is at the beginning of the book. Typically, I handwrite a copy and try to make it feel all official but this, this is official. I know I didn’t date it and that’s because I signed it to show it off. I plan on starting after the new year and it didn’t seem right to date it early.
There are 21 lined pages for each week. Each page has a quote or a bit of inspiration on it.
Each week is summarized at the beginning of each section. I like this because I really think that to do this best, you need to re-read bits of each chapter throughout the week.
Then there is this. A section for the Artist Date. I hate to admit that I often cheat with my Artist’s Date. It’s like I can’t quite make time for it so I say something like – oh I stopped in at the crafty section of Walmart while I was shopping so that counts. Or I drove by the park and I was alone in the car so that works. Or maybe I count the time I worked on a project because I was doing something creative.
But this not only has you sharing what you did but you have to reflect on it. I’m thinking that this might change that whole game for me.
I know this is getting lengthy but I really wanted to share this with you. I am so excited for the start of 2017 – my clean slate. Because it starts on a Sunday, I am going to take the time to really focus on starting it right. I will be taking time off between Christmas and New Years (no blogs, sorry) but I will be using that time to prepare for January. Come January 1st, I’ll be opening The Artist’s Way 25th Anniversary Edition and remembering the wonderful journey I have been on. I invite you to join me.
(Clicking on the picture takes you to Amazon)