As we get older we tend to express our creativity less and less. We tend to laugh less, color with crayons less, pretend less, play less and overall take less risks. We dream less.
I don’t think this is the way God intends for us to live. God is the ultimate creative being! He made the world, the universe and everything in it! And we are created in His image! So something in us will always have a desire to create – whether that’s painting a piece of art, sewing a dress, programming a computer application, cooking a meal, writing a blog post, building a blanket fort or coloring with chalk on the sidewalk. Personally, I’m ready to recover my creativity.
Earlier this year I heard about a self-directed course called The Artist’s Way.
Amazon.com’s review explains it well:
“With the basic principle that creative expression is the natural direction of life, Julia Cameron and Mark Bryan lead you through a comprehensive twelve-week program to recover your creativity from a variety of blocks, including limiting beliefs, fear, self-sabotage, jealousy, guilt, addictions, and other inhibiting forces, replacing them with artistic confidence and productivity.”
The principal tools used in the book, besides the weekly reading, are mornings pages and artist’s dates. As a simplified explanation, every morning, first thing, one spends some time writing three pages about anything that comes to mind – not “writing” just getting thoughts out on paper. Additionally, every week, one is to spend two hours observing, experiencing, enjoying something of one’s choosing, alone.
I’ve been mulling it over and deciding if this was something for me. This journey back to writing has been an interesting one that for me started back in the first grade. As I have felt a call to write more and more I want to improve my skills, increase my creativity, and ultimately, write what the Lord wants me to write.
So this Sunday I am embarking on this adventure with my sisters Alyssa and Katharine. Both of my sisters are so talented – Alyssa is an artist in grad school in New York, and Katharine is a photographer here in Northern Michigan. I’m a writer. We’re all doing this for different reasons, and that is the beauty of it – anyone can do it! Don’t get caught up in the “artist” part and think you’re not. We’re all creative in some way! For twelve weeks we’ll be writing our mornings pages and blocking out time for artist’s dates and hoping to grow in creativity and and inspiration.
If you’d like to join us, you’ll need a copy of the book (there is a good chance your local library has it) and a journal. I’m using the Artist’s Way Morning Pages Journal, but it’s not necessary – any ol’ journal will do. I will post a brief check-in post every Sunday and you can share what you’re learning in the comments. You can also find me on Instagram where I’ll be using the hashtag #theartistsway.
We start this Sunday, June 15th. If you’d like to start at the same time we are, read up to the week 1 chapter before Sunday so you understand how the course will work. Then on Sunday we will each read the week 1 chapter and go from there!
We would love to have you join us!
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[ Photos courtesy of Katharine G. Smith Photography]
Note – There is a strong emphasis in the course on the importance of connecting spiritually with this material. I think in an effort to not offend, the author, Julia Cameron, references spirituality as an important component to the course, but she leaves it open to viewing the “Higher Being” as many things… We will be going through the course understanding the triune God as our source of creativity and the ultimate Creator.