“There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening, that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and will be lost.” –Martha Graham
Why do artists feel blocked?
• The whispering voice of doubt, and thus, a cloaked vision for one’s artistic life.
• The limiting belief in what’s already present in one’s life.
• The fear of [oneself and one’s art] being examined and criticized by others.
• The feeling that creating art is a waste time and/or selfish.
For me, blocked life didn’t feel all that awful. It was normal, and I was used to it. I figured all artists felt blocked now and again [and I’m guessing that’s true for most.] I knew I wasn’t where I wanted to be, but I felt like I would have my breakthrough eventually. Confession: I created decent art, though only one or two designs and blog posts felt truly valuable.
Confession: I chose to read and study substantially more than I created. It was an embarrassingly off-balance system that I had adopted as a result of my love for reading and learning. That system was also put in place because [on a subconscious level] I felt that I had to know more before I could become the artist I’d dreamt of since girlhood.
Also, I had an obsession with striving for perfection. That being said, I actually did need to read before coming home to my inner artist, but I needed the proper book! A transcendental, powerfully inspiring book, like….
Confession: The rest of this post is exclusively related to this book, I hope that’s okay. Honestly, I wouldn’t be in my current state of clarity without it.
I am certain that the Divine Creator willed this book into my life at the perfect time. From the moment I started reading, I could tell I was right where I needed to be. Confession: On second thought… I also remember thinking, “If I remain blocked, I don’t have to take the risk of creating more “bad” art. Confession: I’ve created a lot of bad art lately.”
As artists, it’s our responsibility to do the work— not to judge it. We take care of the quantity, and the Divine Creator takes care of the quality. Thank you, Julia Cameron for sharing that insight.
So, as I experienced the book, I wondered… What would it feel like to be radically creative and actually be producing art that came straight from my inner artist… What would happen? I’ll want to make art all the time, and I’ll finally be an artist who works on something entrancing every day!
Confession: I also realized that I would have to stop making excuses. I liked my excuses… they sounded important. They make me feel “sensible.” My excuses were so meaningless though! I have to check my email [and get lost on my phone in the process.] I have to do the laundry or the dishes because I keep thinking about it and it’s bugging me. I didn’t sleep well last night, so I have to take a nap before I can focus.
Creativity is far more important [on a whole new level] than and any cell phone app, any household core, any errand, any excuse that hinders your imagination. Take more time for creativity and less time [if any] for random internet scrolling.
I knew I had to break the habits that blocked me from my personal power. Inspired by The Artist’s Way, I began to nurture my inner artist artist, akin to the way I nurture my son. Confession: At first, it was a struggle because the book is mind-blowingly profound, and it calls you to spring into action and new ways of thought. It is intense, and completely different than anything I have ever experienced. Julia Cameron even prefaces the chapters with gentle cautioning of the emotions you may feel throughout the week of reading and tasks.
“Creative Recovery is an exercise in open-mindedness.” It’s about nudging the door to your soul open a bit more each day.
As I sit here now, writing in a delightful little coffee shop called High Five, I can honestly say… I no longer feel blocked!
A truth to take note of: being blocked is an unconscious tendency to do what feels safe and normal. If you’re playing your life “safe” and trying to be “normal,” you are essentially saying, “Look how small I am. I live in a state of complacency.” But of course, we are not small! Inside all of us is the graceful flow of the Divine Spirit.
“An affirmation is a strong, positive statement that something is already so.”
A main theme of The Artist’s Way is the continued use of creative affirmations. Julia Cameron came up with some of the most extraordinary affirmations when it comes to creativity, and I’ve started creating a poster of the affirmations to hang up in my studio.
Here are my favorites:
1. I am a channel for God’s creativity, and my work comes to good.
2. My creativity heals myself and others.
3. There is a divine plan of goodness for me, and my art, and my work.
4. As I listen to my creativity I am led by my Creator.
5. I am willing to be of service through my creativity.
Don’t get this book for yourself; gift it to your inner artist with the intention of beginning a essential, transformative journey. As stated on the cover, it is a spiritual path to higher creativity. And it’s for artists of all categories; writers, painters, sculptors, digital artists, and the list goes on. This 12 week course gently guides you in discovering and recovering your truest, most creative self.
There are fantastic quotes inserted on the side margins of almost every page. I write down all of the quotes that inspire me, so that I have them in my notebook and can return to them quickly, at any time. I’ll share some with you…
“Think of yourself as an incandescent power, illuminated and perhaps forever talked to by God and his messengers.”
— Brenda Ueland
“Life shrinks or expands in proportion
to one’s courage.”
— Anais Nin
“We learn to do something by doing it.
There is no other way.”
I chose Artistic Recovery.
Or really, it chose me.
I accepted the gift.
And I am blissfully grateful.
And I’ll leave you with this last quote from the author…
“Whatever you think you can do or believe you can do, begin it.
Action has magic, grace and power in it.”
P.S. If you want to purchase The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron, here’s a link for you– Follow this link!
This is an Amazon Affiliate link, so if you happen to purchase the book with this link, I do earn a small commission. I only share the most amazing products I’ve found, and this is most definitely one of them. I appreciate your support!