Finding my Way With The Artist’s Way

Over the past month I have had moments where I almost get back into a writing flow. Then I sit down, try to do the work, and quickly give up. It’s been frustrating!

After much thought, I have begun to understand that I am, for the first time in my life, dealing with… (duh duh duuuuuuh)… Writer’s Block. I always thought writer’s block was when you couldn’t think of anything to write. There are lots of things to write, I’m just no longer sure there’s any reason to bother. 

Even my imagination isn’t helping. One way I used to fall asleep easily at night was to start imagining a story. Before long sleep would take me. But now when I try to do that, I quickly revert back to thoughts about my own life. I used to spend about 80% of my time in my imagination as a kid, and now I can’t get it going at all. 

Imagination drove stories and hope for me. I could see the possibilities of life out there, and they made for good stories. But as I’ve been worn down by life, the possibilities seem less and less. 

For the past two years I have gone to work, while others were paid to stay home. And for the past two years I have stayed home, while others went out to play with little regard for the role that might have in transmitting a virus that was deadly to some. So all work, and no play, has led to a blocked me. Covid, my finances, my age… all are working against me, and my ability to see possibilities. 

In trying to figure out how to combat this situation, I pulled out my copy of The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. I had first used it in the 90s. It had survived my yearly culling of books, and still sat on my shelf. I decided it was time to return to the program. It mentioned that you could do it on your own, or with a group of people, and suddenly doing it on my own seemed empty. I got a group of friends and we invited a few others, and we now meet weekly on Zoom to discuss what we’ve learned and the progress we’ve made. It’s so fun to share this journey.

We’re on week one, and already I feel a lightening of spirit and a sense of play I’ve been missing. I bought a paint by number kit, which I know isn’t really artistic, but it’s something I’ve never done as an adult. Also purchased, some watercolor and acrylic paints to try to make some original art when the paint by number is done. My final purchase… decent snow boots so I can take walks even when it’s cold and snowy. Imagining doesn’t feel quite so futile. It feels like there are things I want to accomplish. It feels like maybe I could accomplish them. I’m finding my way with The Artist’s Way.

Have you ever had writer’s block, or whatever art you practice? What did you do to get out of it? If you’re blocked now, give The Artist’s Way a try.

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