Sunday, March 28, 2010

The Artist's Way

So, one of my favorite writing podcasts, I Should Be Writing is working through a book called The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron together. It's a kind of workbook for unblocking creativity. I wasn't feeling particularly blocked or anything, so I'm not sure why exactly why I decided to join it, but I did. So I'm doing the exercises and stuff. I'm in week 3 of the program. There's a total of. . . hang on let me look it up. . . 12 weeks. I guess I felt like since I don't get as much writing and other creative time in as I'd like, maybe it would help me to do that.

So far, it isn't helping me get more writing done. In fact, I'm actually getting less done. The program requires me to write 3 pages (longhand writing) every morning about. . . just whatever. Stream of consciousness stuff. I usually can't even get dressed in the morning before kids and cats and husbands (okay, just the one husband) need me for something, so I moved the page writing to evening. But evening is when I usually sneak in the little bit of writing I already did. So now I'm writing what feels like pointless ramblings (the book assures me it isn't pointless) instead of working on my novel, or my newsletter, or my blog. Not loving the program yet.

Another problem I'm having, is that it's difficult for me to view myself as an 'artist'. That label doesn't feel like it fits me. I write about alien fish and robots, and sew quilts that are made to snuggle with, not be hung on walls. Yet I feel like it's strange that the name should bug me. Artist. Fine. So what? Don't know why I don't like it.

But I shall plow forward with this thing for a little while longer at least. If I gain any great insights that I feel are worthwhile, I shall come and report in about it. If any of you have ever heard of this book, or gone through the steps, I'd love to hear your thoughts about it.

3 comments:

Amanda Borenstadt said...

Yeah, you're an artist. You're still thinking like we did as kids- that an artist is a person who paints a thing that you hang on the wall and nobody's supposed to touch it.

I think an artist can mean a person who makes things appealing, even everyday things. Pretty quilts and cute toys are artwork. Jewelry, clothes, a painted flowerpot, or even painted fingernails- all art.

Stories are language art. Alien fish and robots- art for sure! :)

karabu said...

I dunno. I considered my grandpa an artist and he painted signs. But I guess he also painted pretty things that hung on wall that we weren't allowed to touch, so you may have a point there after all. Humm. . .

Amanda Borenstadt said...

It all depends on how you define it. There was a discussion on my online writers crit group about what makes a writer. Do you have to be paid to call yourself a writer? How often do you have to write to be called a writer? What's the difference between a writer and an author? Blah blah blah...