Sure I felt active but when I really thought about how I spent each day, I realised I was really treading water. Doing the same things that I had enjoyed five years previously – admittedly different subject matter but essentially little change . . . I was in my comfort zone. Doing things I knew and understood. Day after day. I felt that if I took no assertive action to change things, my life would roll on and in five years-time, I would find myself in exactly the same place.
I realised what had really gone missing was my creative mojo . . .
It was about this time I heard of a new system to boost creativity – developed by Julia Cameron called “The Artists Way”. Actually it wasn’t so new, the book being written back in 1992. Originally turned down by a book publisher, Julia Cameron published the book herself – typing, photocopying and selling through a local bookstore. It has now sold millions of copies worldwide and is in the top one hundred self-help books of all time. Well how about that for believing in yourself?
So what did I learn? Well I learnt to put aside my fear that I couldn’t do stuff. Letting perfection get in the way of just giving something a go. I love this quote from Julia Cameron . .
“I have learned, as a rule of thumb, never to ask whether you can do something. Say, instead, that you are doing it. Then fasten your seatbelt. The most remarkable things follow.”
But perhaps my biggest breakthrough was to unblock my hesitancy in writing. My habit of creating a sentence, re-reading it, correcting, changing, writing the next sentence re-reading, correcting . . . and so on. One of the daily exercises, and I mean every day, was journal writing. You are required to write (and I mean handwrite) three pages every morning, as soon as you awake.
Well after three months it sure cured my writers block – I find I now write more naturally and with a flow that better connects my thoughts and ideas. In short, I now found myself enjoying an exercise I had previously anguished over.
If you find yourself in a creative slump, think about giving the Artists Way a go – it may be the cheapest three month course you have even undertaken – and just possibly the most powerful.