Thursday, June 14, 2012

my artist's way toolkit

I bought Julia Cameron's book The Artist's Way many years ago and found it to be helpful and inspiring, in not just unlocking some more of my artistic potential, but as a guide to learning more about myself and to living a more interesting life.

I was excited to hear that her book had now been turned into an online form, and decided to jumpstart my creativity once again and give The Artist's Way a whirl. Her My Artist's Way Toolkit has all of the same features that are available in her book, plus the added benefits, once you have signed in, to read and hear daily affirmations and other inspiring sound bytes to help you on your journey.

Some of Cameron's ideas seem just simple reminders at first to take each day at a time, but they do, gently and gradually, aid one in getting in touch with their creativity. For instance, morning pages — Cameron insists that each morning you write, in longhand, three pages of whatever comes out of your head. Essentially a brain dump, it helps clear the way for more creative thinking. One of her other ideas that I have always found appealing is the artist's date. Once a week, Cameron feels that you need to go alone and enjoy something out in the world, preferably something creative in nature, like an art show. But even a day in the park will do.

I have been using My Artist's Way Toolkit for two weeks. It was nice getting back into the habit of doing morning pages, although I have to be completely honest and say that in my case they often became mid-morning pages. As a single mom of an eight year-old who also cares for her elderly mother and two cats and a dog, it was easier for me to get everybody fed, etc. first thing in the morning and then find some quiet time to do my pages. The artist's date was easier to pull off, as I already have a weekly acupuncture appointment and I could just do my date after that, extending my "me" time for the week.

The online aspects of My Artist's Way Toolkit make it tempting to do it all on your computer, as opposed to longhand. Cameron might not approve, but I think as long as a person is doing the work and taking the time to explore their creativity they will be successful. With so many people living their lives online, checking out some of Cameron's creative exercises are a great alternative to just cruising the internet or posting on Facebook. It's a great way to get in touch with your inner artist.

My Artist's Way Toolkit on BlogHer

Note: This review is part of the BlogHer Book Club. I have been compensated for my review, but all opinions expressed on this blog and in this review are my own.
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