Miss Pelican's Perch

Looking at my World from a Different Place

The Artist’s Way Week 2 Check-In: Just Do It

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I have reached the point in reading the book where, in my past attempts at it, I was tempted to slam shut the cover or pitch it across the room. It is not because of what the author writes, it is how she writes. Chapter 2 is titled “Recovering a Sense of Identity,” and opens with this: “This week addresses self-definition as a major component of creative recovery. You may find yourself drawing new boundaries and staking out new territories as your personal needs, desires, and interests announce themselves. The essays and tools are aimed at moving you into your personal identity, a self-defined you.” (Cameron, 41)

The problem is that it doesn’t– or at least I’m not seeing this in the text. Oh, there is useful, insightful material on writers’ block, “poison playmates, ” “crazymakers,” and other hindrances to the creative process, but if these issues serve to help us self-identify as creatives, then the author did not do a good job in bringing her arguments back to support her thesis. If I were my high school English teacher, this chapter would have gone back to the author with red comments and a request to rewrite it.

But this post is not a book review. It is a review of my progress in developing a healthy identity as a creative person. So to that end, this past week I created my own task list. This week I simply did what writers do. I engaged in activities that made me write, prepare to write or edit what I did write.

I dug back into my files and pulled out storylines and character profiles I had started and then abandoned. I set up both computer and physical project notebooks for my research and development. I also wrote several short blog posts this week.

Yes, I did stick to the program inasmuch as I did my morning pages every day, went on an artist date (see the post on setting up my creative corner) and by reviewing and writing out creative affirmations.

I can give the author some credit: since I started the program a couple of weeks ago I have seen some movement and breakup of creative blockages,. However, I wonder if this has as much to do with my own work and commitment to my creative recovery. We’ll see.  In the meantime, I’m just going to do it!

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6 thoughts on “The Artist’s Way Week 2 Check-In: Just Do It

  1. Her writing is more of the same in Finding Water. I do like the tasks, the premise, the walking, and the examples from others, quotes… and some of the “writing,” but the book was originally written in the 90’s I believe.
    Having said that… I tend to read certain parts of it with a grain of salt.
    Glad that you’re getting into your writing. Pulling out old stories, working on my writing is something I have on my the top of priorities list for this upcoming week.

    • She does provide a lot of useful information. It is just scattered and unfocused. Thanks for dropping by the blog. I am enjoying following your progress as well.

  2. When I pulled the book of my shelf recently and flicked through I found the writing style rather dated. Maybe it is that this stuff was new and exciting when the book was first published but now it seems a bit ho-hum. I still find the Morning Pages or a variation thereof can be a useful catalyst though I don’t do them every day. The artists dates are a great idea too. I visited my local gallery on the weekend and found it rewarding. I wrote a blog post about it ‘A moment of transcendence’. It didn’t really inspire me to make art though.
    Like you I am sorting and sifting through old ideas and discarding many. I have a feeling this year will bring new creative impulses though. You are a step ahead of me in setting up the sewing corner. Mine is still in the conceptual stage. 🙂

  3. I have never taken a writing course or read a book about writing or writing process that didn’t prove to be a waste of time and money. Alternatively, a good book on grammar, punctuation, and book design? THAT is inspirational.

    Everyone’s process is different. What does it for you is going to be different than what does it for me. There’s nothing more unique and individual than creativity. But, on the up side, there’s a lot of money to be made in writing books about how to write books.

  4. I agree with you 100%. Sometimes you just have to pick up the pen and WRITE and let the blocks remove themselves. I love reading books on writing by successful authors. Anne Lamott’s, Ray Bradbury’s, and Stephen King’s books on writing are the best in my opinion. Thanks for commenting.

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