What is it about August? The heat index here in Southern California rises to absurd – nay, offensive – levels and all I want to do – all I CAN do – is hole up inside. On the east coast this happens to me in February, when it’s just too damn cold and nasty outside. But on the west coast, August is the winter of my discontent.
It’s a time of creative darkness. Ennui sets in. I see things I’d like to do but can’t do because the time isn’t right. No planting, no pruning, no enjoying my back patio. Being inside feels like torture and I can’t focus long enough to get anything meaningful accomplished (hello, novel revisions, I see you there waiting for me).
Last year I had the brilliant idea to pick up “The Artist’s Way” in August. It was easily the best decision I made all year. Those dark hours of August suddenly lightened. I had a renewed sense of purpose, a sense of hope, and a sudden and welcome investment in the now.
I’m definitely feeling those August blahs right now. I have many creative projects on several burners here, but they are all just simmering at the moment. I obsessively think about them, but have yet to take action to bring them to fruition. The task seems monumental, and finding the baby steps to reach those lofty goals out of my reach.
What’s a girl to do?
I’ll tell you what I’m going to do. Julia Cameron, bless her creative little heart, made not one but TWO sequels to “The Artist’s Way.” (Seriously, BLESS HER HEART). I’ve picked up the second in the series, called “Walking in This World” and am enthusiastically jumping into Week One of another 12-week creative odyssey.
I’m a little nervous. I have extremely high expectations. My rational brain is telling me I couldn’t possibly experience the euphoria I felt at this time last year, discovering all those creative treasures that were buried inside me.
But fuck it, I’m giving it a try. I’ve reached a plateau, and I’m ready to take it to the next level. It can be challenging as a solitary creative person, to find the structure and the motivation to keep going, to reach higher levels. I am exceptionally grateful for books such as these that help me break down my process, overcome my barriers, ignite my passion and help me find my way forward.
So I’ll be Walking in This World over the next few months. I hope you’ll come with me. I’m sure I’ll be sharing insights and setbacks, triumphs and failures with you in the coming weeks.
How do you overcome creative hurdles in your life?