Until recently, I used to largely view creativity as a talent that some individuals are born with. Either you have it, or you don’t- as simple as that. As a self taught artist, I fully understand that an innate ability for creativity is not enough on its own. In order to improve your creative endeavors, it takes a HUGE amount of commitment, practice and time. But what if there were other ways to improve your ability to be creative? What if the answer was hidden away inside yourself, just outside of your conscious grasp?
In the summer of 2013, I felt like I was falling down a dark hole. I was working in a job that gave me no satisfaction, and I hadn’t picked up a paintbrush in longer than I dared to remember. My life was zapped of the creative outlet that I so desperately craved. It was only when I finally realised what I was missing and took decisive action to change this that I began to feel much better 🙂 I started painting almost every day, and shared my work for the first time with others via social media sites. It was through one of these sites that I was told to read ‘The Artist’s Way’ by Julia Cameron. I was encouraged and intrigued by the comments I had read about it, so I decided to follow the advice. I bought her book with the best intentions in the world to read it immediately, but life got in the way. I changed jobs and moved to a new part of the country. So it sat under my bed, forgotten for eight whole months gathering dust in the dark, with the rest of life’s unloved clutter.
Four weeks ago I discovered it once more, picked it up, made a cup of tea and sat down to read….and I am immensely glad that I did. Essentially, at face value, it is a 12 week course. A self help book which teaches techniques and exercises to assist people in gaining self-confidence in harnessing their creative talents and skills. Prior to this book, I had never picked up a self help book in my life- they simply did not appeal to me so I had limited desire or time to read them. But this book is much more than that, and from the first paragraph I was hooked. I felt like Julia Cameron had beautifully and accurately outlined the feelings of frustration and emptiness I had experienced the previous year. Not only this, but she explained them in a way I don’t think I could ever have realised on my own.
Her book is split into chapters for the 12 weeks of the course- each chapter is a week, and within each week is an enlightening introduction and a list of manageable tasks. I have only been following this course for 4 weeks, but I cannot recommend it enough. I have already experienced a noticeable change in my attitude and creative confidence and I am thoroughly enjoying the little tasks that Julia sets for her readers each week.
I wholeheartedly encourage you to read it.