Thursday, April 22, 2010

Creating creative community

So, though I like to think of myself as a truly unique individual, I, shockingly, am not the first to consider a way to revive my creative juices.  Not to mention, this is also not the first time I've taken a step to do it.  Have you ever heard of The Artist's Way?  It's a book by Julia Cameron.  It's been around for a good long time.  It works.

It's something that everyone, even those not aiming for a creative career, can benefit from.  It's a 12 week program that you can do on your own.  So, you can just buy the book and start the exercises.  Sounds simple, huh?  Well, one of the hardest things for me about it is that you do it alone.  It takes a lot of discipline and structure and, well,... things that aren't exactly my strong suit.

My mother, she would rock at this.  She makes lists.  She then completes them before doing anything else.  She's never tempted to just leave the list and go to a movie or sit down and vow to do it tomorrow.  She is someone I admire, hold myself up to and, of course, drives me crazy... by the way, I drive her crazy too.  Just don't tell her I know!

This book is something she would complete with gold stars and on-time.  I couldn't get myself past week three on my own.

The good news is that several years ago, I stumbled upon a woman who takes the book and facilitates a group.  We met for 12 weeks, once a week and kept ourselves on track.  Nobody beat anybody up for not finishing a task, but we did motivate one another to keep going.  I loved all the people.  The coolest thing about them is that there was a documentary filmmaker, a couple of actresses, a lawyer, and several other occupations that you probably wouldn't think would line up to spend their Saturdays digging inside themselves in the name of creativity.  It was the first time I finished it.  I didn't want it to end.

If you're in the Chicago area and this strikes you as something you might like to do, I highly recommend looking at Michel's website:

Let me repeat, you don't have to want to live as an actress, writer, director, or desire to display your feelings through interpretive dance movement in order to do something like this.  It's just fun and opens you up to other parts of you.

So, why am I babbling on about this?  Well, it was back then that I had the first thought about letting writing be an important creative outlet for me.  I have been ruminating the idea of writing a book in my brain for sometime, but my inner gremlins have really gotten the best of me.  

I'll take another time to talk about those, but suffice to say, my inner critic is pretty harsh and not much of an optimist.  The thing is, as I mentioned before, I feel better when I write.  Be it to you, the black hole of the blogging world or in my journal, or some short story... whatever.  I like it.  I do like to work with people though, and I'm hoping that over time this blog will collect others who are striving to do something that fills their soul each day as well.  If you are, tell me about it.  If you're blogging, let me know, I'll follow.  Connection and a community is a good thing.  

What are you working on?


  1. Fantastic post and a wonderful book rec. I'm excited to be a passenger on your new journey. Love you tons.

  2. PS. The long road is the best road. Shortcuts cut the important parts.

  3. You go! I'm SOOO pleased that your time in the Artist's Way class is emerging as you taking a more active stance in your creativity! And thank you for the plug. I just met with an architect today who is in the middle of my current Artist's Way class who is feeling a similar need to collaborate with others in his creativity and he said the same thing - THIS CLASS IS FOR ANYONE! You do not need to be an artist to blossom in it.

    Anyway, I wish you well in this new endeavor. Can't wait to see where it goes!

    If any of your peeps want to reach me I'm at

    xo! Michel