27th January 2016

Resolutions… I laugh in the face of resolutions!!

The last post I wrote, I mused over the fact that we need to get artists together and form a community of practice where we can share our ideas and experiences.  I must say, the response was considerably underwhelming… I’ve heard from a few people so we will be pushing on ahead with it anyway and let’s hope that as word gets out we get more and more people on board with us.

artists-way-1To the topic of this week’s post – New Year’s Resolutions!  I hate them… the only resolution that I firmly stick to is not to make any New Year’s resolutions.  So I was surprised this year when I decided, after several attempts, that I was absolutely was going to complete a book/course that I started back in University.  It’s a 12 week course entitled The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron (find out more about Julia here).  It’s basically a book about recovering your creative self.  I’ve attempted it a couple of times but never got much past week 2 before I’ve got inundated with work and everything has gone out the window.  But this year, I’m resolved and, like the gym, it’s always helpful to do it with someone, so I’m embarking on it with my good friend Jon Brown!

So how is it going, I hear you cry, dear reader.  Well, let me tell you.  It’s going great.  I’m having an absolute blast. It definitely feels different because, unlike before, I can include it as part of my working day – the beauty of self-employment.  There are two things I want to tell you about today that definitely have had a significant effect on my thoughts and, in turn, my writing.  One of the first principles Julia introduces you to, is the morning pages.  This is where, every morning, you write 3 sides of A4, stream of consciousness.  No editing, no going back over it – essentially developing the skill of not allowing yourself to get bogged down in your own criticisms and blurts, as Julia calls them.  These are the negative things our brain tells us that make us ineffective, for example, “You’ll never be a writer, you can’t even spell”.  You get the drift.

The other thing Julia recommends is going on an artist’s date every week.  This is where you do something that feeds your creativity.  This is about you, so you can’t take anyone with you. You can do anything that sets you off so you might spend a couple of hours revelling in nature, going to see a movie or a couple of hours in your favourite stationary shop.  For me, because of my theatre/film bent, I love to go and see a movie, sans interruptions, and just enjoy it and analyse it; what made it good or bad?  What did I love about it or what did I not love about it? And significantly for me, how would I do it differently?

I have to say, I have always been a bit skeptical about these types of things but I have been shocked this week as I have begun to realise the amount of negative things I say over myself about the things that I create and then, of course, wonder why I am not as confident or prolific as I would like to be in my creative endeavours.  So with that in mind, I am off to my bedroom mirror to repeat my affirmations “I am a confident, creative individual”.  Go on… give it a try!