I’ve been perusing my bookcases this past week, specifically the shelf with the “writing” books. I come back to them time and time again, for reference, for exercises, for inspiration. Two came off the shelf for closer inspection: The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron, and Writing the Wave, Inspired Rides for Aspiring Writers by Elizabeth Ayres.
I have delved into both books before, many years ago, but not in too much detail. They were two of those “one day I will…”, but that day hadn’t arrived in earnest. So with the itchy fingers leading the way, I brought them out to nudge that “one day” closer.
The Artist’s Way is one that I have tried to start several times. It is “A Course in Discovering and Recovering Your Creative Self” – a workbook first published in 1992. Twelve weeks of “unblocking the artist within”. The main two concepts are “Morning Pages” and the “Artist’s Date”. The first is a daily stream-of-concious hand-written three pages, then second is taking your “inner artist (a child, Cameron calls it) on a playdate.
Over the years, I have tried to do the Morning Pages, but the idea of writing three pages by hand first thing after getting out of bed always put me off. Now that I have children, it seemed even more daunting. However, I want to get into the habit, especially if I’m to work through this twelve-week course, so I have allowed myself the stipulation of timing. In other words, I don’t have to write my three pages upon rising. Rather, as long as I do it once a day, sometime during each day, I will meet the requirements. I am giving myself a trial this week, to see if I can develop the discipline to do this.
The other book, Writing the Waves, is also like a course, or a class, with step-by-step exercises and lectures. I am to read/work through it in order, not to skip ahead, so I can’t say much more on this one. Will keep you posted.
All of this to keep my fingers busy and to stretch my mental muscles…