Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The Artist’s Way

As you may have noticed, my writings totally disappeared from this blog over the last weeks. I seem to have a full-blown writing block. It is funny, because normally I always have subjects enough. Normally anything in life seems fun enough to write about and share my ideas and opinions about. But lately, ahh... Every time I sit myself down to write, I want to run away...

Last weekend Mark, Scott and I were moving stuff from our house in Cambridge. After we were done we celebrated by going into town for some nice dinner and hanging out in Harvard Coop. This is a 4-floor bookstore that you better not skip when you are in Cambridge. Remember, to bring some money to spend on books and make sure you have enough time because you spend easily a couple of hours in there.

So, when in the bookstore Mark advised our friend to buy The Artist Way written by Julia Cameron. It’s a book that helps people to unleash their creativity. It gives first some information about the activities used to help you unblock, like writing daily morning dairy notes and taking yourself out on a artist date every week. Then it asks you to commit to a twelve-week activity plan that will take you ca. 10 – 12 hours a week. The writer proclaims that this system works for all kind of artists. It doesn’t matter if you are a writer, singer, potter, painter etc.

Week one is all about finding your negative beliefs and changing them into positive ones. Then you are asked to repeat the new beliefs as affirmations every day. Hmmm, does that sound familiar in some way? I think I like it! Mark suggested to Scott that we could start this project together and I thought that it would be a good idea. I really do not want to stay stuck much longer!

Yesterday I dug the book out from one of the boxes that we just moved into the house and I started reading. While reading I realized that I better start immediately! My live has been a little chaotic lately, and bringing back some structure in my life and thought processes is a great idea! So, I wrote a contract with myself and signed it:


I, Iris Tuomenoksa, understand that I am undertaking an intensive, guided encounter with my own creativity. I commit myself to a twelve-week duration of the course.
I, Iris Tuomenoksa, commit to weekly reading, daily morning pages, a weekly artist date, and the fulfillment of each week’s tasks.
I, Iris Tuomenoksa, further understand that this course will raise issues and emotions for me to deal with.
I, Iris Tuomenoksa, commit myself to excellent self-care -- adequate sleep, diet, exercise, and pampering—for the duration of the course.

Signature and date (7/6/2010)

(example contract used from The Artist’s Way book)

Doesn’t this sound as a sweet and fun process for myself? This morning I started my first daily exercise in writing. And afterwards I wrote this short article to you. Tonight when I see Scott after which I hope to have my first active co-participant for the next twelve weeks.

How about you? How is your creativity these days? Is it easily flowing or are you holding yourself back a lot? Do you believe you are an artist? What does it mean for you to be an artist? What do you do to develop or expand your creativity?

Please know that I would love you to join in this 12-week endeavor. It’s an act of love towards you by giving yourself the opportunity to expand yourself in new ways while being lovely guided by the writer Julia Cameron.

With love,    Iris

Click here for an Ebook version of The Artist's Way


  1. The only book I have by Julia Cameron is "The right way to Write - An invitation into the Writing life" - I'll start looking at it next week - It sounds pretty similar - only it's about writting and not creativity in general.

  2. Iris: I'm not sure if this is the same book, but I remember reading something a long time ago that recommended (as an exercise to foster creativity) writing on paper with your non-dominant hand, and I remember being completely amazed by what I came up with when I used my left hand to write.

    Anyway, good luck with unleashing your creativity; I must say I certainly have missed your posts.

  3. Hi Joy, that is a book she wrote later. I'm wondering if it also has a twelve week plan? Keep me posted!

    Sree, no it is not about writing with your other hand. It has more to do with writing every morning when you wake up your thoughts as a stream of consciousness, without stopping to criticizing it afterwards. Instead you put them away where no-one can read them. This will help you to get your creativity out without judging it all the time. (she calls it quieting the censor). Then from this quiet place you will start to bring out or of the artist in you...

    Maybe I will write with my other hand as a follow up on this project! Thanks for supporting me! XXX


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