“I have learned, as a rule of thumb, never to ask whether you can do something. Say, instead, that you are doing it. Then fasten your seat belt. The most remarkable things follow.”
It’s my experience when I’m deeply committed to a creative act, whether writing, painting, arranging and decorating, designing a bracelet, or making a meal, it is meditation in action. I find a way to temporarily unplug from the “matrix.” I escape from my linear mind into the imagination where all things are possible. When we face an empty page or a blank canvas, we’re invited into the unmanifest where all things are suddenly possible. We tap into the right side of the brain.
That’s why The Artist’s Way speaks to me so deeply. I bought this book when it was first published in 1992. I skimmed it, and put it on a shelf. Then I picked it up again, after I started doing art a number of years ago. I knew I loved making art. I just needed to discover who I AM as an artist. And, reading this book inspired me to embrace that journey.
A blocked creative makes excuses for not follow the muse:
- I’m too busy to paint, write, or learn an instrument, etc.
- I can’t afford to be an artist; I need to make money.
- Maybe next year I’ll have time to start my novel.
- I’m too old to start playing piano.
- Being creative is a luxury and I can’t afford the time.
- I’ll look silly if I sign up for an art class.
- I don’t have the talent.
The excuses are endless, and the years go by as we bury our dreams of living a creative life. Our lives may feel flat and we sense something is missing. On some level, we long to express ourselves creatively, yet we don’t give ourselves permission to follow through. Often, we let fear stop us–we fear we will discover we don’t have talent, that people will make fun of our efforts, and that somehow we will fail.
Julia Cameron offers a technique in The Artist’s Way to help us remove the blocks to our creative spirit and tap into the parts of our brain where inspiration resides:
The morning pages
When you wake up in the morning, go right for your pen and notebook, and without thinking, write three pages. Don’t judge yourself or your writing, don’t think of this as “art”, don’t correct your grammar or your spelling, don’t censor yourself. Do this every morning as a tool to get in touch with that part of the brain where insight and creativity reside. This process helps us to discover what is on our minds and in our hearts, learn about our fears, and get the creative juices flowing.
“It is impossible to write morning pages for any extended period of time without coming into contact with an unexpected inner power.” Julia Cameron