No matter what age or life path you are travelling, whether your creativity is your career, hobby or if it is still a pipe dream, it is never too late in life to start or restart your creative journey.
My daughter was working her way through the International Best Selling book titled The Artist’s Way A course in discovering and recovering your Creative Self by Julia Cameron when she recommended that I read it. She told me it had changed her perspective toward her creativity (photography and painting). I put it on my list of books to read one day. One year later I found a copy of it in a second-hand book store. It was one more year before I decided to read it. I was 59 years of age when I committed to working through this twelve-week course, reading the recommended one chapter each week and spending about one hour a day working through the exercises.
Are You Creatively Blocked?
The author asks “How do you know if you are creatively blocked?” Do you tell yourself:
- I’m too old, I’m too stuck in my ways, it is to late for me
- I don’t have enough money to do something I’d really love To do
- Being creative is selfish and egotistic
- Dreams are not sensible thinking
- My family and friends will think I’m silly, crazy or lazy
- Creativity is a luxury and on and on the list goes…
Julia shares how she recognized that her block (her drinking problem) would kill her and her creativity if she didn’t stop. She needed to learn to write sober or else give up writing entirely. To get out of the way and let her creativity flow through her unhindered. She started to just show up on the page and write. Now she teaches us how to discover and recover our own creativity. She says “We are all creative beings so our lives become our work of art.”
We must nurture and protect our creativity and learn ways to face the fear and guilt commonly associated with living a creative life. To speak proudly and confidently about our creativity, expressing through our actions and speech, that our creativity is a valid and respectable vocation.
The author says that we need to explore and discard the damaging old preconceived ideas we hold about creativity. Working through this book, you will experience an intense, guided encounter with your own creativity. Once you face your creative villains, champions, wishes, fears, dreams, hopes, and triumphs you can then become free to be your true creative self. You will gain increased autonomy, resilience and expectancy to move forward toward planning and achieving your creative goals.
Toward the end of the book, I fell into the flow of my creativity. You don’t have to be in the right mood. You don’t have to have every detail organised and ready before starting. You don’t have to pump yourself up to arouse inspiration. You just simply create. Whether your creation is good or bad. You just do it. Just create freely. But, along with this freedom, you need to identify and remove blocks and hazards that hinder your creative journey.
Opening up to our creativity changes it from something aimlessly bobbing about in the ocean of our life to becoming a fully functioning, purposeful part of our everyday life. Like a trained swimmer, swimming with confidence, strength and purpose. Once our creativity is unblocked, it can surpass the current limitations we hold around it. Our creativity can become like turning on the tap of a garden hose that was once blocked. Once you remove the blockage, the water flows unrestrained nourishing and refreshing all that it waters.
Many of us wish we were more creative. Many of us sense that there is more to our creativity than we are currently aware of, but we are unable to effectively tap into that extra creativity. Our creative dreams remain as dreams. Instead of our creativity churning around in our minds not being used, we want to wake up in the morning feeling excited and anticipating which tasks we have arranged to do for the day toward our creative goals. We may only have a small amount of time or we may have a large amount of time to spend on our creative goals. Either way, we want to get to the point where our creative curiosity influences every part of our life.
Do you have a sense of creative curiosity? Are you curious about exploring new creative adventures? Have you always wanted to learn how to play a musical instrument, paint, draw, write a story, start a blog? Have you ever wanted to discover your voice and sing with confidence, learn to take great photographs or learn a craft? Following your creative curiosity will lead you down the path to discovering your individual creativity.
Do you wish your everyday life was more creative? In your work, business, hobbies and in your relationships with your children, your spouse, friends and colleagues? Clearing away our creative blocks will allow our creativity to flow through to every part of our life. One of the main blocks in our creativity is that we can spend the majority of our time living for other people, supporting other people’s goals.
I realized I was doing this to avoid investing in my own creativity for fear of rejection and disapproval. I struggled with jealousy and frustration, watching other people achieve their goals while I was too busy helping to be responsible for developing my own gifts and talents. It was not fair to the other person that I was thinking these negative thoughts toward them. I was not behaving true to myself or toward them. Consequently, living in fear meant all my creative energy was sapped from over-investing in the hopes, dreams and plans of other people. I had no energy left to invest in my own creativity. I had to face my fear of rejection and the potential disapproval of others.
Setting Time Boundaries
Once we learn how to set boundaries on our time, we then make time available to work on our creativity – whether you paint, write, draw, sing, photograph, make crafts or whatever your creativity is. We must stop denying ourselves the time needed to develop and enjoy our creativity. Take back our overextended and misplaced creative energy and invest it in our own creative goals. We need to bring our creativity upfront and centre in our daily life, where once it was ignored and denied. It is not selfish, but healthy to set boundaries around our time and live a balanced life that includes our creativity.
What to Do Now?
You can do the course by yourself, form a group to work through the book together or join The Artist’s Way Facebook page. I encourage you to buy a copy of the book whether new or secondhand, download the ebook version or borrow it from your local library and work your way through the book. You can purchase the book or the online course at juliacameronlive.com.
Over the next twelve weeks, I will be sharing my insights into each week’s session to encourage you to dip your toe in the water as you decide whether this course is for you or not, or you can journey along with me each week as you work through the book yourself.
Either way, DO IT NOW. START TODAY. Remember it’s never too late to start something new in life.
Beverley Joy © 2022 of Simply Create 2 Share