Creative Space with Jennifer Logue

Diving into "The Artist's Way" by Julia Cameron

January 28, 2024 Jennifer Logue
Creative Space with Jennifer Logue
Diving into "The Artist's Way" by Julia Cameron
Show Notes Transcript

Have you ever had a book cross your path multiple times, only to finally pick it up and realize it holds the wisdom you've been searching for all along? That's exactly what happened to me with Julia Cameron's "The Artist's Way."

Join me on "Creative Space" as I embark on a 12-week journey of creative rediscovery, guided by Cameron's revered process. This adventure isn't just personal though—I've formed a creative cluster with folks from across the U.S. and Canada to go on this adventure together.  Our first session was a blend of intention-setting and an introduction to the core principles of "The Artist's Way."

In this episode, I'll go over two fundamental concepts in the book: morning pages and the artist date.

And if you'd like, you can purchase your own copy of the book and do the course alongside the podcast or form a creative cluster of your own.

Here's a link to purchase "The Artist's Way."

For more on me, your host and creative coach, visit:

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Jennifer Logue:

Hello everyone and welcome to another episode of Creative Space, a podcast where we explore, learn and grow in creativity together. I'm your host, jennifer Loge, and for the next few weeks we're going to be doing something different on the podcast. You may or may not be familiar with a book called the Artist's Way, but it's probably one of the most popular books on creativity. It was written by Julia Cameron and released in 1992, and despite it being around for quite a while, I'm only now finally doing the Artist's Way itself. And what do I mean by actually doing the Artist's Way? Well, if you're not familiar with the book, it's set up as a course in discovering and recovering your creative self. So while I read the book for the first time a few months ago, I haven't actually done the course itself. It's a commitment of 12 weeks and it includes exercises and like field trip type of activities, but I'll explain that a little later. I first wanted to talk about how the Artist's Way found me twice in my life, but I guess I wasn't ready to receive it, or maybe it wasn't the right time, who knows. The first time, I was taking guitar lessons with an instructor in New York and he had the Artist's Way on his bookshelf. Randomly, after one of our lessons, he highly recommended that I check out the book. And, man, I was so closed off to the idea. I smiled and nodded, but inside I thought I don't need a book on how to be an artist. Well, later in life I found that the things we resist the most are the things we probably need the most, and I really needed the Artist's Way back then. I really needed it Then, the second time, it was when I was studying acting at Playhouse West. The book was on the reading list for advanced level acting students, which wasn't my level, but I bought the book and it sat on my shelf collecting dust. Then, in 2022, I got inspired to start the Creative Space podcast and before I started interviewing people, I decided to take a few months to write about my own beliefs on creativity. Despite working as a creative for my whole adult life, I never really stopped to think about creativity as a concept and I didn't want to have my foundation be built on other people's ideas, if that makes any sense. Anyway, flash forward to being past the one year mark of this podcast. It was finally time to read the Artist's Way, and it's so funny. So much of the book overlapped with my own experiences, although there was also a lot about creativity that I hadn't thought about. So, of course, the first thing I wanted to do in 2024 was properly do the Artist's Way, work through it week by week, do the exercises, all that stuff. So I took Julia's instructions to set up what she calls a creative cluster, which I love, by the way. It's a great word. It perfectly sums up the creative, supportive energy of the group. Anyway, we just had our first meeting this last week and I'm so glad to be doing the artist's way in a supportive group setting. We have people from across the United States and Canada, which is pretty cool, and for the first meeting we did the introductory pages of the course, which covered a lot of ground. But there were two main things I wanted to talk about in today's episode morning pages and the artist's state, or the artist's state, sorry. The main tool in the artist's way is the use of morning pages, which are done every single morning upon waking and, as Julia says, you're spilling out of bed and onto the page every morning, no matter what. You have to write three pages in a stream of consciousness kind of way. It's basically a brain dump, a means of clearing up cobwebs, the worries, the self-doubt, the bad mood, the lack of motivation, the jumbled thoughts. It's not meant to be read by anyone. The morning pages teach us to stop judging ourselves, to literally learn to just let it flow. I love stream of consciousness writing and I implement it when I'm songwriting or brainstorming a concept for work or developing a character or something. But I've never done them in the morning like this consistently. I keep a journal and that's more of a dialogue with myself, but with morning pages I have to keep my hands moving across the page without thinking, so there's no time for me to censor myself or manipulate the language in any way, and in this last few days that I've been doing it, it's been very therapeutic. I've been doing them each morning as I have my tea before I vocalize, and creatively it's a really nice addition to my morning. Now the second key tool in the artist's way is the artist date, and this is super fun. Basically, each week you have to take your inner artist out on a date just the two of you Like. On the podcast we talk about inspiration being the input and creativity being the output. Julia says we need to restock our creative pond with fish inspirational fish. So the artist date is our means of doing that. I have all sorts of ideas for my weekly artist date. I'm keeping a running list going to a thrift shop, taking a painting class, spending an hour perusing books at an old bookshop, and someone in my group actually mentioned simple things like going to a park and swinging on a swing. That just sounded fun to me. I haven't swung on a swing since I was 12, and I used to love it, so I'm probably going to add that to the list. But that's the artist's way at a very high level. You read a chapter of the book a week. You do your morning pages daily. You do your writing exercises that correspond to each chapter, like alongside the morning pages, and then, of course, you have your weekly artist date, and I'm already loving it. I decided to do it because now that I've started to write songs again, I found that I'm a bit blocked there. It was my first creative outlet and it's always the one I've been the most critical of myself in. So, creatively, I need to get out of my own way. I need to get out of my own way. So if you're feeling blocked creatively at all. I highly recommend you check out the artist's way. I'll link to it in the show notes. So for the next 12 weeks on the podcast, I'll be sharing my experience with the artist's way in each chapter. I hope some of my revelations help you on your creative journey, and that's all I have for this episode of Creative Space. Thank you so much for listening. My name is Jennifer Loge. Until next time.