from the bookshelf of
Barbara Jean Hicks
I remember a minister friend once asking me what I wanted out of life. I answered without hesitation. “I want to be a co-creator with God of something beautiful.” I didn’t make the connection at the time, but several years earlier I had read The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity by Julia Cameron (Putnam 1992), in which the creative process is described as “forging a creative alliance, artist-to-artist, with the Great Creator.”
“People frequently believe the creative life is grounded in fantasy. The more difficult truth is that creativity is grounded in reality, in the particular, the focused, the well observed or specifically imagined...
“Art lies in the moment of encounter: we meet our truth and we meet ourselves; we meet ourselves and we meet our self-expression. We become original because we become something specific: an origin from which work flows.
“As we gain—or regain—our creative identity, we lose the false self we were sustaining. The loss of this false self can feel traumatic: ‘I don’t know who I am anymore. I don’t recognize me.’
“Remember that the more you feel yourself to be terra incognita, the more certain you can be that the recovery process is working. You are your own promised land, your own new frontier…”
TO THINK ABOUT:
1) The concepts in Cameron’s book are powerful. If your creative batteries need recharging, now may be the time to read or re-read it—actively, including doing Morning Pages and keeping Artist’s Dates with yourself.
2) The book is also conducive to group reading. Talk to your critique group or another group of creative friends about going through the exercises together.
3) Have you read The Artist's Way? Did you use it as a workbook, doing the exercises? Did you do it alone or with a group? What was your experience--positive, negative, neutral? Share with us!