Are you blocked in your creativity? Julia Cameron’s book Walking in This World is a great book for artists struggling to find their creativity again. I am reading her book and posting articles about what I have read on Wednesdays. I have 7 more weeks to go. I invite you to read along with me, do the tasks, the walks and make comments on my blog about your experiences, opinions, etc.
This week I read “Week Five – Discovering a Sense of Personal Territory”. After reading the title, I immediately thought the chapter was about artists making a space for their creativity and then telling others to “Keep Out!” But, the reading wasn’t like that at all. Julia Cameron starts out talking about the relationship between creative energy and sexual energy. She stresses that as artists we need to be aware of relationships and how they affect our creativity. In essence, we need to notice which relationships suck the life out of us and which ones nurture and encourage.
Something you can do is think back on your creative journey. When were you the most excited and passionate about your work, your creating, writing, painting, sculpting, etc.? Think about all the relationships in your life at that time. Were you in love? Did you have a support group of artist friends? Did you participate in functions or classes that gave your creativity a lift? Spend some time doing a little detective work.
One task in the reading is to finish fill in the blank phrases to help you sort through where certain relationships fit. Then Julia asks you to write a love letter to yourself. That was interesting. Seeing the world at a slightly different angle can really give you a different perspective. Another interesting task was writing a letter to yourself as if you were your best friend and giving advice on what you need to change in your life to get your creativity back. I have to admit that I did not do that task. It is on my list.
Another part of the Week Five reading was titled, “Stop Being Nice, Be Honest.” Artists often push back their creative desires to care for others. It is as though all things are of greater importance. When that happens the artist in you becomes resentful, furious, pouty, sullen, depressed, or withdrawn. Then we go through the “I’m being selfish” mode with a little guilt added. As artists we are spiritual people and want to living a life God wants for us. We think, “What could be more ‘Christ-like’ than serving others?” Then we pile on more guilt. What a vicious cycle!
I think it is all about balance.
We need to use our talents to serve. Some of those talents involve being creative in some way such as writing, painting, sculpting, singing, playing a musical instrument, etc. God blessed us with talents and it is our job to use them. We need to set aside time for our creativity and to be honest with others when we are working. Not only are we working, but we are doing something that is important.
Julia Cameron said, “As we woo our artist with our focused attention and private time, it will reward us with art.” That is encouraging. So, let’s get out there and woo our artist! Spend some time this week thinking about your creative energy, relationships, honesty, and your creative journey.
I hope that you will come back and join me next Wednesday as I write about “Week Six – Discovering a Sense of Boundaries”. Please leave comments. I would love to hear from you.
If you want to read the previous articles I have written about Walking in This World, click on the links below.
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 Six – Discovering a Sense of Boundaries
Week Seven – Discovering a Sense of Momentum
Week Eight – Discovering a Sense of Discernment
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