In order to try and aid myself with my aims/resolutions for this year, I’ve decided to try and work though a creative self-help book called The Artists Way for a 12-week duration.
I did attempt to do this last year, but true to form, I ducked out at around week nine, so thought I’d give it another go as if nothing else it should get me out of the flat a bit. If I do as I’m told :-).
The book tends to be aimed at people who have too many other things going on in their lives to be creative or those who are ‘blocked’. Time clearly that isn’t my problem, so I fall in the latter category.
From a creative perspective, apart from a bit of cooking, this blog is the only thing I write, but believe me, it’s more than I have done for quite some time now, and the only thing I’ve stuck at for a long, long time. That said, I would ideally like to earn a living from being creative in some capacity (yes I know, me and the rest of the blogging world), so I need to try and resist taking the piss out of this before I’ve even gotten started, and give it a proper go as I need all the help I can get.
Whilst the book claims not to have any particular religious message, methinks it doth protest too much. It is very God centred (the Christian variety), and there is a none-to-subtle push towards the reader forging a relationship with him/her/it. This might jar with some people, but it doesn’t bother me. The man upstairs and me know each other of old, so as long as no bible clasping, wild eye evangelists pester, attempt to chuck holy water at me, or make me sing groovy new hymns (‘cos Jesus loves rock’n’roll!) I can just about cope.
So. Week 1 is entitled ‘Recovering a Sense of Safety’ and is focussed on enabling your creative child to feel safe enough to come out, addressing negative beliefs and where they come from and helping the reader appreciate and accept themselves for who they are.
Please. Don’t vomit. Show some stamina, this is just the fucking start. I haven’t even gotten to the affirmations yet.
I won’t bore you with an amateur book review, but at the end of each chapter there are some exercises to complete prior to the next week/chapter. This week I had to list what my inner negative voice says about my doing this course and change them to positive statements, remember and write about who picked on me and quashed my creativity when I was at school, write…..
Oh God, this is so embarrassing.
OK, I’m only going to tackle the essentials in list form, as it seems the least cringeworthy thing to do, rather than boo hooing all over the page over some fat bitch that used to steal my Love Hearts, or some smelly snot gobbler who tore my Bay City Rollers poster or something.
- Morning Pages
This has to be done very single day and basically consists of grabbing a pen and paper the second you wake up (in my case the second after one cat or another bounces off my chest with a happy little chirrup demanding his breakfast) and writing 3 pages of anything that comes into your head.
The first line tends to be ‘Charlie, you little shit!’ or a variation of this, followed by, well pretty much more of the same, i.e. 3 pages of post sleep, pre-tea vitriol. Mornings really aren’t my thing…..
Did I do it every day? I did actually, maybe not for 3 pages, but I did something every day.
2. Artists Date
This is a weekly task where you have to trot off somewhere on your own (Ha! A busman’s holiday for me) and have some quality creative time. The first helpful example in the book is going to a shop and buying coloured stars, sequins or ‘tiny dinosaurs’, just for fun. WTF?
There are no prizes for anyone who has guessed that I didn’t do anything, but you’re right, i didn’t. Unless you count my weekly schlep to Sainsbury’s that is. But well done. Give yourself a gold star or something…..
These are positive things that you have to write about yourself in order to change any negative belief patterns. You have to write them out numerous times, like lines and read them to yourself of a morning. This week mine are……
OK, stop. Look, I really cannot do this in front of you, which is odd really given that (a) I’m anonymous (b) We don’t really know one another (c) there isn’t that many of you anyway, but this is all so predictable and derivative, I can’t even bear to type it out.
Here’s the deal; what I will do, once a week, is share anything interesting that comes from working on each chapter for as long as I stick it out this time, and then it’s not too painful for either of us.
What I will share with you from this week are my ‘Imaginary Lives’. These are five jobs that I might have done had I lived a different life.
The first career choices that sprang to mind were:
- Writer (original)
- Tarot Reader
Right, so first thing in the morning, it’s off to the Job Centre for me then! Aunty C will be pleased.
Welcome to my nightmare, only 11 weeks to go……