Welcome to my series of articles about Julia Cameron’s book, Walking in This World. Week Eight is about Discovering a Sense of Discernment. I post an article each Wednesday as I work my way through the book.
Julia starts Week Eight off with a discussion about the desire for fame and worrying about the public perception of whether or not we are “a serious artist”. I think this desire has probably hit most artists if they are truly honest with themselves. I think we all have a little wish in the back of our mind to get that lucky break, to be discovered and to sky-rocket to fame and fortune.
When we obsess about fame then we get into creative trouble. We lose our zeal for creating. Julia said, “When we surrender to becoming what we are meant to be instead of trying to convince the world of who we think we are, we find our proper creative shoes and can walk in them comfortably.” I like that. That is what I want.
One task in the chapter was to make a list of 5 people you are closely connected to. You were asked to write down a creative project you could do for each person to show love and gratitude. Then you were asked to choose one project and actually do it. Since this past week was the Thanksgiving holiday, I did not have time to devote to this task. But I have done this sort of thing before.
When I moved to Hawaii and was away from my grandchildren for the first time I decided to do some projects for them. I wanted to keep a close connection with them. I was used to seeing them on a daily basis. So, I made silly birthday videos, filmed myself reading books, and even did a writing project with the oldest grandson. In one movie I made for Clayton, I fake played the guitar, sang, wore a Cowboy hat with a mask with snorkel. I looked ridiculous, but I had fun.
Making these movies has become a new avenue for my creativity. I have started making short devotional movies and am currently working on a larger project I hope to finish soon. Strange how doing a silly movie project sent me in a different creative direction.
In Week Eight, Julia also discusses how artists need to protect themselves from people that try to take advantage of them. She calls them “piggybackers.” We all know what is means to ride piggyback. Piggybackers tend to use you as they tell you how much they are helping you out. Keep that in mind when someone is offering you a great opportunity to catapult you to fame. That is where the discernment comes into play. Julia defines “discernment” as a combination of gut instinct and a little careful reportorial work. Use your intuition. Listen carefully.
Week Eight seems to be full of warnings. Julia talks about “creative saboteurs”. These people crush your enthusiasm, make you doubt yourself and your projects. Julia names the saboteurs. Don’t you just love the names?
- Wet Blanket Saboteur
- Amateur Expert
- Bad News Fairy
- and two Art Snobs – Very Important People and Very Serious People
We should steer clear of these saboteurs. So, be on the look out. Surround yourself with people that will support you and that truly want to help you. Sometime in our life we will most likely be hurt by a saboteur. So remember this quote from Julia.
“Creative saboteurs hurt us, but they can be survived.”
Next Week is Week Nine – Discovering a Sense of Resiliency.
My other articles about Walking in This World:
Week One – Discovering a Sense of Origin
Week Two – Discovering a Sense of Proportion
Week Three – Discovering a Sense of Perspective
Week Four – Discovering a Sense of Adventure
Week Five – Discovering a Sense of Personal Territory
Week Six – Discovering a Sense of Boundaries
Week Seven – Discovering a Sense of Momentum
Week Nine – Discovering a Sence of Resiliency
Week Ten – Discovering a Sense of Camaraderie
Week Eleven – Discovering a Sense of Authenticity
Week Twelve – Discovering a Sense of Dignity