Creative Space with Jennifer Logue

"The Artist's Way Week 10"—Recovering a Sense of Self-Protection

April 07, 2024 Jennifer Logue
"The Artist's Way Week 10"—Recovering a Sense of Self-Protection
Creative Space with Jennifer Logue
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Creative Space with Jennifer Logue
"The Artist's Way Week 10"—Recovering a Sense of Self-Protection
Apr 07, 2024
Jennifer Logue

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On this week’s episode of Creative Space, we’re diving into Chapter 10 of Julia Cameron’s seminal book on creativity, “The Artist’s Way.” The focus for this week is “Recovering a Sense of Self-Protection.”

There is so much to cover but there are two principles we’ll talk about: fame and competition.

One of my favorite quotes from this chapter: “The desire to be better than can choke off the simple desire to be. As artists we cannot afford this thinking. It leads us away from our own voices and choices and into a defensive game that centers outside of ourselves and our sphere of influence. It asks us to define our creativity in terms of someone else’s.”

If you’re interested in reading "The Artist’s Way" and/or following along with the podcast as you complete the work, you can purchase it here.

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

Show Notes Transcript

Send us a Text Message.

On this week’s episode of Creative Space, we’re diving into Chapter 10 of Julia Cameron’s seminal book on creativity, “The Artist’s Way.” The focus for this week is “Recovering a Sense of Self-Protection.”

There is so much to cover but there are two principles we’ll talk about: fame and competition.

One of my favorite quotes from this chapter: “The desire to be better than can choke off the simple desire to be. As artists we cannot afford this thinking. It leads us away from our own voices and choices and into a defensive game that centers outside of ourselves and our sphere of influence. It asks us to define our creativity in terms of someone else’s.”

If you’re interested in reading "The Artist’s Way" and/or following along with the podcast as you complete the work, you can purchase it here.

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

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 Logue, and, just as a reminder, we've been doing something different on the podcast the last few weeks. I'm doing host Jennifer Loge and, just as a reminder, we've been doing something different on the podcast the last few weeks. I'm doing the Artist's Way by Julia Cameron for the first time and I wanted to share the experience with you and after this week we only have two chapters left. It's been so eye-opening, so freeing doing this work and I hope, in the very least, that I've inspired you to pick up a copy of the book for yourself. I'm going to touch on two of the core principles in this chapter fame and competition Fame Fame is such an important topic to cover, especially in the age of social media. I think all of us have been programmed to want that dopamine hit that comes from getting likes on whatever it is we share, even if our intention isn't to be famous. Here are a few key quotes from the opening passage of this section. Fame encourages us to believe that if it hasn't happened yet, it won't happen. Fame is not the same as success and in our true souls. We know that. We know and have felt success at the end of a good day's work. But fame, it is addictive and it always leaves us hungry. Addictive and it always leaves us hungry.

Jennifer Logue:

Julia Cameron calls fame a spiritual drug that can be the byproduct of artistic work but can be dangerous to the work, because the desire to attain and hold on to fame produces what she calls how am I doing? Syndrome. So basically, what this means is our work stops being about the work and if it's going well now we begin focusing on how our work looks to the outside world, to everybody else. So obsession with fame takes us out of the moment. Then she points out that there's never enough of the fame drug, so it creates a constant feeling of lack. Comparing ourselves to others will always want more rather than be grateful for what we've accomplished". She uses the example of reading People magazine and seeing all of the celebrities in print.

Jennifer Logue:

But this book was written before social media and man. It has just gotten so much worse Because now, apart from comparing ourselves to the super famous, with social media we have the opportunity to compare ourselves to everyone, and this can be exhausting for our inner artist. I've done quite a few social media detoxes over the last few years and I've always found that my productivity and my happiness goes way up when I stop scrolling. With less social media, I'm able to focus on my own journey and appreciate it for what it is, enjoy the progress I'm making. That, while may seem small to someone else, it's a big deal to me. But I will say there's nothing wrong with setting big goals and having ambition and holding yourself to a higher standard, but the minute your gaze shifts from the process, from the work itself, and gets into the results you've lost.

Jennifer Logue:

Cameron notes that the antidote for the fame drug is creative endeavor. She says. Only when we are being joyfully creative can we release the obsession with others and how they are doing, because while we're obsessing we're blocking our own creative flow. We also need to affirm to ourselves how proud we are of our inner artist. She suggests writing a fan postcard to your inner artist and actually mailing it, which I love. I just might do that this week.

Jennifer Logue:

The next topic competition. Now it is quite fitting that this section comes after the one on fame, because they are inextricably linked. So you pick up that magazine or you're scrolling on social media and one of your friends has a big success, something you wanted for yourself, and rather than be genuinely happy for them or think, if they can do it, I can do it too, it's possible. Awesome, you think instead, that's it. They'll succeed instead of me. Instead of me. If you're tapped into fearful energy, your mind will make you think there's only room for one of you.

Jennifer Logue:

Cameron calls competition another spiritual drug, and she notes that when we are coveting the accomplishments of other people, we get our eyes off of the ball of our own trajectory and impede our own progress. And then we start asking ourselves what she calls the wrong questions. What's the use? What do I have to offer? Why do I have such rotten luck? And questions like these are an attempt to talk ourselves out of creating and man, they are effective because I know over the years I've asked myself quite a few of those. Then we may make excuses as to why they succeeded and we did not. Oh, they had connections. Oh, they had a rich father. Yada, yada, yada. And again, these are just blocks we're setting up for ourselves to keep us from our creativity.

Jennifer Logue:

So I love this passage from the competition section. The desire to be better than can choke off the simple desire to be as artists. We cannot afford this thinking. It leads us away from our own voices and choices and into a defensive game that centers outside of ourselves and our sphere of influence. It asks us to define our creativity in terms of someone else's. Then this is another good quote. Let us concern ourselves first and foremost with what it is within us that is struggling to be born. Oh, that's a quote from my wall, I don't know about you. Then, another important point she brings up in the competition section is this the spirit of competition, as opposed to the spirit of creation, often urges us to quickly winnow out whatever doesn't seem like a winning idea. This can be very dangerous. It can interfere with our ability to carry a project to term. I was just talking about this in my creative cluster.

Jennifer Logue:

Now that I'm working with this producer on songs, I'm writing a song a week, whether it's good or bad, because there's a deadline. And this whole deadline thing I have going on has been great for my songwriting, because I can't just throw a song out if I don't think it's a great idea. I have to take what I have and make the most of it, because I'm pumping out a song a week. You know, that's it. So there was one song in the process that I absolutely hated in the beginning, but not having enough time to start from scratch again, I had to make the song work and now I love the song, you know, I think it's one of my best.

Jennifer Logue:

But Cameron says that competition can make us trash projects, our ugly ducklings, as she calls them before they have a chance to become a swan, and that was so true for me. She says an act of art needs time to mature. Judged early, it may be judged incorrectly. Man, I got started with the Artist's Way at the right time. So much of this book is hitting home and it's really helping me grow as an artist in ways I didn't even realize. I needed to grow, and I've said this before, but my only regret is that I didn't start sooner. But you know, we all find what we need at the exact time that we need it. Anyway, that's all I have for this episode of Creative Space. Next week we'll be diving into chapter 11 of the Artist's Way Recovering a Sense of Autonomy. If you're interested in checking out the Artist's Way by Julia Cameron and doing the work on your own, I've linked to it in the show notes. My name is Jennifer Logue. Appreciate you taking the time to listen to Creative Space. Until next time, thank you.