The Artist’s Way: Chapter One

11 Oct

Penguin Badge!I almost didn’t write this post.

I’m trying to do one chapter of The Artist’s Way per week, and Friday was the last day of chapter one.  I felt excited about starting chapter two, but I wasn’t satisfied with my progress in chapter one.  I didn’t go on my artist date and I didn’t do anywhere near as many tasks as I wanted to — some of them really appealed to me, so shouldn’t I take an extra week and do them?

No.  That attitude is why it’s so easy for me to start things, yet so difficult for me to finish them.

What tasks I did do, I found very helpful.  I started doing the morning pages, and I did them every single day.  (I’m using 750 Words and I cannot recommend it enough.  It’s easy, it’s secure, and it’s fun.  I’ve already achieved the penguin badge, which makes me happier than a small arrangement of pixels should.)

I also created a set of apothegms for myself, which I’m finding tremendously helpful.  I’m sure this list will change as my goals change, but right now each of these motivates me and reminds me of what I’m trying to do.

  1. I can do this.  It’s a simple statement of faith in myself and my own abilities; I’ve used it several times on the blog.
  2. I am focused and well-disciplined.  I’m trying to remind myself of the importance of focusing and that exercising a little discipline gets things done.  I added the modifier “well” because I don’t think it’s all about will power, or being in control — discipline can become abuse.
  3. Progress, not perfection.  The reason I’m writing this post instead of remaining stuck on chapter one.

Camilla helped me find a group that is working on their own The Artist’s Way project and I found After the Artist’s Way, a blog that I’m really enjoying.

So no, I didn’t accomplish everything I though I should in chapter one, but I did accomplish some worthwhile things.  It’s time to move on and see what I can accomplish in chapter two.  Besides, I can always go back and try those tasks any time I like, any time it feels like the best way to make progress.

***

Does anyone else have any experience with The Artist’s Way?  Any blogs on the subject I should try?  Do you have any affirmations that are particularly helpful to you?  Tell me all about it in the comments!

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3 Responses to “The Artist’s Way: Chapter One”

  1. blurofwoodsmoke October 12, 2011 at 3:52 AM #

    I’m on week 6 and I am still very grudging about affirmations. When I was a teenager I used “I can learn to do anything” which was helpful at the time because it emphasised working hard on something and not having to be perfect straight away!

    I do like the morning pages and I’ve mostly managed an artist’s date even if it is rather squeezed in sometimes! I’m enjoying blogging about the Artist’s Way – I think it forces me to do the summary every week which I would probably leave out otherwise.

    Good luck for the rest of the weeks!

    Kate

  2. Camilla October 11, 2011 at 1:23 AM #

    I often post my daily affirmations and a basic principle on my blog, artbycamilla.blogspot.com You are welcome to take a look and “borrow” any that work for you! (I rewrote Julia Cameron’s basic principles to be more in line with my own beliefs) Just use keyword search tag Affirmations to see them all together.

    Try to set a goal of just doing ONE task from a chapter. That is what I did at first, and now I find myself completing more than one as time has gone on, and I’ve gotten used to the process and journey of The Artist’s Way. I start chapter 8 today! Hooray! I should have started reading on Sunday, but I’m a little behind. Keeping up with Morning Pages though. Need to think of a cool Artist’s Date for this week. Hmmm…..maybe photographing beautiful fall colors this afternoon :)

    Glad you found our little group online! Welcome :)

    • Jill October 12, 2011 at 12:05 AM #

      I saw your affirmations when I was linking to your blog and I enjoyed them!

      I definitely find coming up with an artist’s date the most difficult part — why is it so hard to think of something fun and creative? Which is exactly why I’m benefiting from this program. :)

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