The Artist's Way & La La Land

Week 1: Recovering a Sense of Safety

For years and years I've thought about starting a blog. As a writer and artist and all-around sensitive and thoughtful person, I've always felt like I had a lot to share and say.

I've held myself back though, for fear of doing it wrong, and a little bit because I was afraid of being vulnerable.

However, it's time to bite the bullet. I am doing the Artist's Way 12-Week Program, and sharing this journey seems like a great way to launch my "creative & spiritual lifestyle" blog (at least I think that's what it'll be).

I want to keep this simple. I will do the program and post about it here and on my Instagram weekly. If you'd like to follow along or join in, please do! You can buy the Artist's Way Starter Kit here. For a brief description of the program, click here

Outside of the reading and exercises, there are two primary components to the program:

1) The Morning Pages - basically 3 pages of handwritten stream-of-consciousness writing every morning.

2) The Artist's Date - basically 2 hours of creative alone time every week.

The topic for Week 1 is Recovering a Sense of Safety. In the book, Julia Cameron encourages us to confront our negative beliefs or "blurts" and convert them to positive affirmations. There's also a lot of talk about "shadow artists" (careers near what you actually want to do - like a musician who becomes a musician's agent).

This week I had a nasty cold and fever, and as usual for me, I felt like I was failing before I'd even begun.

These lines from the book became the focus of my week:  

"Remember that in order to recover as an artist, you must be willing to be a bad artist. Give yourself permission to be a beginner. By being willing to be a bad artist, you have a chance to be an artist, and perhaps, over time, a very good one."

For my Artist's Date, I saw La La Land by myself. That movie deserves all of the Golden Globes in the world. The acting, cinematography, writing, all of it, was excellent, but more than that, I couldn't get past how resonant it was, not only to my life, but to the Artist's Journey too.

Here are my favorite lyrics from Emma Stone's "Audition" song:

Here's to the fools who dream
Crazy as they may seem
Here's to the hearts that break
Here's to the mess we make (34-37)

I often feel heartbroken and like I am making a huge mess... and I am sure I seem crazy to so, so many people.

But I know I am not alone in this madness. I have friends and family with creative dreams as big (if not bigger) than my own, and my new MeetUp group is full of struggling artists and creators.

As a recovering perfectionist, allowing myself to be a bad artist is difficult. Take this blog post, for example, which I am posting much later than I wanted and less thought out than I had originally planned.

And yet, I posted it anyway.

I feel like a bad artist, but after this week, I can't help but think that maybe, just maybe, that's good.