The Artist’s Way Basic Principles, Redux
One of the most valuable practices I’ve ever taken up was following the 12-week course of The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. I would recommend it to literally anyone, regardless of whether they consider themselves artists or not.
One of the few criticisms I might have about it is the reliance on an anthropomorphized “creator” in much of the writing, which resembles, for me, the Judaeo-Christian God. While there’s nothing wrong with that – some of my best friends are Judaeo-Christian! – it doesn’t resonate well with me.
Luckily, she invites people to re-write the principles and the “Artist’s Prayer” to suit your own beliefs. As mine are more in line with Soto Zen/Taoist practices, this is the version I created and use as a touchstone.
- Creativity is the natural order of life. Life is energy: pure creative energy.
- There is an underlying, in-dwelling creative force infusing all of life – including ourselves.
- When we open ourselves to our creativity, we open ourselves to the universe’s creativity within us and our lives.
- We are, ourselves, creations. And we, in turn, exist to continue creativity by being creative ourselves.
- Creativity is a power the universe provides us. Using our creativity is our way of powering the universe in return.
- The refusal to be creative is self-delusion and is counter to our true nature.
- When we open ourselves to exploring our creativity, we open ourselves to the universe: our natural intended behavior.
- As we open our creative channel to the creativity in the universe, many gentle but powerful changes are there to be noticed.
- It is safe to open ourselves up to greater and greater creativity.
- Our creative dreams and yearnings come from a universal source. As we move toward our dreams, we move towards aligning ourselves with the universe.
Addendum: as mentioned, Julia Cameron also recommends you re-write the “Artist’s Prayer.” While I have done that, I found that the best example of this done by the writer Ellen A. Wilkin, and I highly recommend reading it.