“But do you know how old I will be by the time I learn to really play the piano / act / paint / write a decent play?"
Yes . . . the same age you will be if you don't.” Julia Cameron
Since childhood I have been a creative person, with a love of the visual arts. I've also been inspired by the coursebook The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron, for most of my adult life. This amazing 'tool book' for helping to unleash creativity is useful for creative people and 'blocked' artists alike, whether that be visual artists, musicians, writers etc. For a variety of reasons people may have self limiting beliefs, as well as a perceived lack of time to be creative. The Artist's Way helps to unpick this. Some people may have not discovered their creativity yet and this book can help a creative journey to unfold, through it's wisdom and encouraging exercises.
''As blocked creatives, we like to pretend that a year or even several years is a long, long time. Our ego plays this little trick to keep us from getting started. Instead of allowing ourselves a creative journey, we focus on the length of the trip. ''It's such a long way,'' we tell ourselves. It may be, but each day is just one more day with some motion in it, and that motion toward a goal is very enjoyable.'' Julia Cameron
''Q: What is creativity?
A: The relationship between a human being and the mysteries of inspiration.'' Elizabeth Gilbert
Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert reminds me very much of The Artist's Way, as both have a similar ethos and intent to inspire us to tune in to our creativity. Although Big Magic is not a coursebook like the Artist's Way, the author also shares stories of her own creative path and both books portray the message that we are all creative and have a unique voice and gift to the world. They are fantastic sources of inspiration.
''Water seeks its own level and water rises collectively.'' Julia Cameron
I meet with some friends regularly to discuss our creative processes and achievements. These meetings are inspired by The Artist's Way and originally we supported each other through the journey of completing the exercises in the book. I find that witnessing each other's creative paths is a hugely valuable tool in itself. The sharing of the ebbs and flows is very encouraging. Wonderful opportunities and ideas have been dreamt up or seized upon and achieved, partly as a result of sharing our thoughts and experiences. Certainly from my perspective our meetings give us focus and confidence to branch out in extra ways that have been encouraged by our solidarity.
I believe fear is what seems to hold most people back from being creative, for whatever reason; fear of failure or being rejected, fear of the unknown and even fear of being successful. The Artists Way and Big Magic highlight this and give us insight to help overcome it.
''What if I fall? Oh, but my darling, what if you fly?