The Artist's Way works with two basic tools for unlocking your creativity: Morning Pages and a weekly Artist's Date.
The Morning Pages/Morning Beading
The Morning Pages are three pages of stream-of-consciousness writing that should be done every morning as part of your creative recovery. Julia Cameron, author of the The Artist's Way, recommends that everyone do them, even if you're not a writer.
There is value in these Morning Pages. Even if you don't think you can write, you can try them, anyway. If the idea of writing just turns you off completely, go ahead and skip them, but then make sure that you do:
The Morning Beading.
Yep. Every morning, if you choose not to write, I want you to set your alarm clock a half hour earlier than normal. Get up, get over to your beads, and sit down for half an hour and bead.
It doesn't matter what you work on. If you have a project, great. If you don't have a project, just grab the first tube of beads or the first set of beads you see and start stitching. Bead for the full half-hour - don't shortchange yourself.
I also recommend documenting your beadwork, somehow. You can either print out a picture of what you did and stick it in a hard-copy journal, or post it on your blog. (This might also be a good time to start a blog, if you've been wanting to, or resurrecting your old blog!)
The point of this exercise is just to get you to your beads without a finished project in mind. (Although, like I said, if you have a project you want to work on, by all means, go for it.) It's a way of providing yourself with some accountability. Even if you just make a swatch of peyote or half an inch of a herringbone tube, you've beaded and you've connected with your beads for a little while.
The Morning Beading/Morning Pages can be used as a form of meditation. Get out whatever "junk" you have in your head. Remember to breathe. Take your beads and sit and watch the sunrise or listen to the sounds of the house coming alive around you. Just BE with yourself and with your beads.
The Artist's Date
The Artist's Date is the second tool that we will use, and we'll be pretty much sticking to what Julia says in the book.
Once a week, take yourself on a date. Go somewhere - anywhere. Go to the zoo. Go to the park. Go for a walk in the woods, or just take your camera and go on a drive. Go to your favorite museum or to your favorite cafe and take in the sights, the sounds, and the smells. Just BE.
The idea behind the Artist's Date is just to give your brain a break. By just allowing yourself some time to do nothing, you're actually allowing your creative mind to recharge so you don't get burnt out creatively.
Oh, and for your Artist's Date? No beads allowed. Not a one!
A Word About God
Yes, throughout the book, Julia mentions God quite often. The first time I did this program with a couple other folks, one of them was so offended at the mention of God that she almost didn't want to go ahead with the program.
It doesn't matter if you believe in God or a god or many gods or no gods at all. I got over it pretty quick, and now when I go through The Artist's Way, I simply imagine the Universe and all its cosmic energy as my higher power.
To be continued...