The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity by Julia Cameron

Summary

  1. With some simple but not easy routines, Cameron helps train creativity to be a steady flow rather than to come in fits and spurts

Key Takeaways

  1. Morning Pages – 3 pages of land hand writing in the morning
    1. A total brain dump to get your juices flowing and to unlock the flood gates
    2. Creates a direct link with the creator within, a pathway to a strong and clear sense of self – our map to our own interior
    3. When I feel lost, I go tot he pages and ask for guidance. I pose a question to myself and write from both question and answer perspectives
  2. Artist Date – a once per week solo adventure, about 2 hours
    1. Move from broadcast to receive, from problems to solutions
  3. Other
    1. In short, theory doesn’t matter as much as the practice itself does
    2. Remember that this is a spiral path. You will circle through some of the issues over and over, each time at a different level. There is no such thing as being done with an artistic life. Frustrations and rewards exist at all levels on the path. Our aim here is to find the trail, establish our footing, and being the climb. The creative vistas that open will quickly excite you. 
    3. A word is in order here about logic brain and artist brain. Logic brain is our brain of choice in the Western Hemisphere. it is the categorical brain. It thinks in a neat, linear fashion. As a rule, logic brain perceives the world according to known categories. A horse is a certain combination of animal parts that make up a horse. A fall forest is viewed as a series of colors that add up to “fall forest.” It looks at a fall forest and notes: red, orange, yellow, green, gold. Logic brain was and is our survival brain. It works on known principles. Anything unknown is perceived as wrong and possibly dangerous. Logic brain likes things to be neat little soldiers marching in a straight line. Logic brain is the brain we usually listen to, especially when we are telling ourselves to be sensible. Logic brain is our censor. Artist brain is our inventor, our child, our very own personal absent-minded professor. Artist brain says, “Hey! That is so neat!” It puts odd things together (boat equals wave and walker). It likes calling a speeding GTO a wild animal: “The black howling wolf pulled into the drive-in…” Artist brain is our creative, holistic brain. It thinks in patterns and shadings. It sees a fall forest and thinks: Wow! Leaf bouquet! Pretty! Gold-gilt-shimmery-earthskin-king’s-carpet! Artist brain is associative and freewheeling. It makes new connections, yoking together images to invoke meaning: like the Norse myths calling a boat “wave-horse” In Star Wars, the name Skywalker is a lovely artist-brain flash. Combining both is a powerful mixture

What I got out of it

  1. I’m intrigued enough and will make it a monthly challenge at some point to do both morning pages and the artist date