Since this blog is predominantly a writer’s blog, I thought it would be fitting to share with you what I’m currently reading.
I know I’ve said this before, and perhaps I have gone on about it a little like a broken record, but I’ve got a well-loved copy of The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron on my desk. I took myself through the program from August to November, 2014, and while you could say I’ve “completed” the program, it’s something I want to go back to again and again. It saved me.
Last summer was tough, fraught with problems I never thought I would have to tackle in my lifetime. It depleted me in every sense – emotionally, creatively, energetically. I bottomed out in August, after one-too-many rejections in my acting life. I had an idea for a book I kept trying to start and just couldn’t, I never seemed to get around to shooting new episodes of my web series “Bertie and Margie“, and I felt I had a big, steaming plate of nothing in front of me. I belong to a loosely organized gang of creative beings called the Creative Women’s Circle, where we talk about our creative projects, successes and failures, and find ways to egg each other on in our endeavors. In our meeting that month I talked about how I was working on nothing, felt like creating nothing, and had come to a total creative standstill. And I felt very apathetic about the whole thing.
One afternoon late in the month, after a particularly challenging day of doing nothing and accomplishing nothing, it suddenly occurred to me to pick up The Artist’s Way. I had had the book for 15 years, it was recommended reading in graduate school but I had never gotten around to it. That book had been on the chopping block countless times over the years when desperate circumstances found me selling books online for a quick buck, but it was always spared that fate. Some little part of me inside felt it just wasn’t time.
I’m so grateful I never let that book go.
I picked it up on a stifling afternoon in late August and began the program that very day. I could get all preachy and proselytizing here about how it transformed me in those dark days. Or you could just look at some of my previous posts like this one or this one that were inspired by the lessons I was working through at the time. I began to remember how to look at the world with joy and love again.
The Artist’s Way is an incredible resource for blocked creatives. It has been a life-saving tool for me. I honestly would never have written a novel last year if I hadn’t thought to pick up this book.
If you need a lifeline, I can not recommend it highly enough. It saved me, and I believe it has the power to save you, too, if you need it.