Monday, February 23

it's the start of something, i can feel it

Rumblings. I feel rumblings. Good ones.

I was recently blessed with a few extra hours in my day and because of that decided to start reading "The Artist's Way" by Julia Cameron. This was one of the many books I bought in college because it was on the syllabus, but never got around to actually reading. Now, nearly 7 years later, I've picked up with every intention of following through this time.

This morning was my first stab at it. It's basically a 12 week course on "discovering and recovering your creative self." Yes, I know, it sounds a bit hokey. But it's really not. There's a reading for each week, a daily writing assignment as well as a weekly tasks and a required "artist date." Four months of trying to figure out where my creativity went, how to get it back and how to nurture it.

The reading this morning for the week was about "shadow artists." The idea that so many people who truly have the ability to be artists, lack the confidence to actually realize that and so become shadow artists, "unable to recognize that they themselves may possess the creativity they so admire... shadow artists often choose shadow careers - those close to the desired art, even parallel to it, but not the art itself." {pg 27}

Many of the weeks activities at the end of the chapter relate to identifying negative beliefs about yourself and your art and turning them into affirmative statements. I like to think of myself as pretty confident, but when I really started to think about myself in relation to my art I realized that I have a very difficult time coming up with positive thoughts. I'm usually critical of my own work and tend to undermine it without even realizing that's what I'm doing. Even the compliments I do get, I invalidate by saying, "Well, they're not a trained eye. They don't really know what they're looking at. They would think anything looked good. If they knew what they were talking about they would realize this is crappy work." Okay, maybe I DO have somethings I need to fix about my thinking.

So I walked away from this morning's little study session ruminating on these quotes:

"Creative recovery is like marathon training (hey! something I CAN do). We want to be great - immediately great - but that is not how recovery works. It is an awkward, tentative, even embarrassing process. There will be many times when we won't look good - to ourselves or to anyone else. We need to stop demanding that we do (what? I don't do that... noooo). It is impossible to get better and look good at the same time (whoaaa... revelation)." {pg 29}

"Give yourself permission to be a beginner." (this is hard for me. i want it to be perfect right off the bat) {pg 30}

"To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong." ~Joseph Chilton Pearce


kristin noel said...

I think you've inspired me to post the picture of my latest knitting horror. I thought I had a good idea for a pattern, but it is all wrong! I was so down on myself this weekend for not getting it right. Thanks for passing along the encouragement!

lindsay michele said...

Isn't it amazing how easy it is to say negative things to ourselves?

Here's to celebrating mistakes!

Lauren said...

Great post. Inspiring and thought-provoking. I'm always so negative on myself too; kudos to you for making the effort to see yourself in a true light.

Lightandshadow said...

Wow, Lindsay - this sounds awesome! I think I may have to go pick up this book for myself...

Does it apply to multiple forms of art (like music and writing)?

lindsay michele said...

It does apply to any type of "art." She especially points out writers, so I think it would totally work for you!