I don’t know how many times I’ve almost purchased The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron, so when I heard about the online, interactive Artist’s Way Toolkit, I was thrilled.
The original Artist’s Way is a bestselling book on creativity which is described by the publisher as “…a twelve-week course that guides you through the process of recovering your creative self. It aims to dispel the ‘I’m not talented enough’ conditioning that holds many people back and helps you to unleash your own inner artist.”
As someone who has had issues with perfectionism in my own writing and creativity, this idea really speaks to me. Over the years I’ve been working very hard to let go of my fears of being “perfect,” thus giving me the ability to feel more self-confident and productive, especially in my writing.
I was hoping the online toolkit would provide an easier outlet for me to use the ideas and tips from the book, because as a mother of a two-year-old with one on the way, I find it pretty difficult to finish a book from cover to cover! While the toolkit is meant to work in conjunction with the book, I did find that I still got a lot out of just using the toolkit on it’s own.
By forcing you to write everyday, The Artist’s Way exercises help to demystify the creative process by making it a part of your daily life. As Cameron says, “The more you do it, the more inspiration or “reinforcement” you find from the universe.” I’ve found if you’re constantly looking for it (inspiration), then you will constantly find it.
I found it hard to write the “morning pages” every day, especially because I’m more in the mood to write in the evenings, though I did find it was a good way to focus myself and give structure to my day. I also found it hard to complete the “artist dates” (a once a week, solo expedition to get the chance for your imagination to kick in) because I’m home with a toddler, though it was a great excuse to get out on my own and do some thinking. I really love the way Cameron describes the two, saying, “With the Morning Pages we are sending. We are notifying the Universe of our likes and dislikes. We are, if you will, telegraphing. With the Artist’s Date, we set our dial to receive. We allow ourselves to be receptive to inflow, no longer concerned with outflow.” I think the idea of sending and receiving really opens up our creative process more than if we are just focused on one or the other.
One of my favorite quotes came from an interview with Cameron in which she describes the process in saying,
“You will learn not to be fearless, but you will learn to create despite your fears.”
I hope that as I continue the journey of my own creative process that I can learn to follow this mantra and never let perfectionism hold me back again.
You can follow the online discussion on BlogHer to read more about others’ experience with The Artist’s Way Toolkit!
*I received access to The Artist’s Way Toolkit for review and discussion purposes and was compensated for the time involved in crafting the review, but all opinions and views expressed here are impartial and not influenced by the sponsor.*