The Artist’s Way – Week 10: Recovering a Sense of Self-Protection

Identifying Your Creative Blocks is the First Step in Self-Protection

This week, The Artist’s Way calls for us to name the poison that is holding us back on our creative path. Cameron says that we all have distractions that we use to resist the “God energy” that is trying to flow through us.

The reason why we avoid this “God energy” is because it makes us feel out of control. Creating art is a revelatory process, and sometimes we don’t like what we see and are afraid of what we may find.

Some of the possible blocks we may turn to are junk food, alcohol, drugs, sex or painful love addiction. When our creative going gets rough, it can be easier to let our drug of choice give us an out, succumbing to a food or alcohol binge, busy work or pining for the beloved who will never love us back.

Cameron encourages us to examine our urges and identify those that we turn to when we need a way out. A clue, she says, is the ones we feel most defensive about, the ones we feel that we are entitled to. These are the blocks that are holding us back.

This week, I must admit, I have been neglecting my morning pages. Rather than the usual outpouring of three full pages, I have slowed to a dribble of just a few paragraphs, a sentence or two and on one day, nothing at all.

But how can I do morning pages at a time like this has been my refrain. My husband walked out on our family three weeks ago and I need to find a job, rent an apartment and possibly file for bankruptcy. As a financially abusive alcoholic, he has left me one hell of a mess to clean up, as you can well imagine.

It’s at times like this, that the morning pages seem both frivolous and futile. How can I possibly make time for that when I should be applying for jobs, hiring a lawyer or looking for an apartment to rent? I should be doing something. I should be following the example set by the feisty heroine trope; the one that says we can all be superwomen and superhuman. The one that says we can manage the kids, the house and a soaring career all while dealing with the fallout of a catastrophic marriage collapse and complete financial ruin.

It is during these times of drought, Cameron says, that we need to keep going with the morning pages. We need to show up and press on, even though we don’t feel like it, even though we feel it is a fruitless, empty slog. The drought will come to an end, Cameron says, as long as we keep on going and don’t come to a grinding halt.

For my artist’s date, I gave myself the day off from worrying about my problems to celebrate a win. The short story anthology I have been included in has become available on Amazon. It’s called Life in the Time of Corona and chronicles the many and varied experiences of people during this difficult time.

There are some amazing stories in this collection and I am honoured to be a part of it. It is available in e-book form for under $5, I have left the links below. If you buy the book and enjoy it, I would really appreciate it if you could leave a review. It will be a great help to us writers in these difficult times and getting a bit of praise for our work always makes our day.

On re-reading this chapter and writing this post, my head already feels clearer. Rather than be an impediment to getting on with life, both The Artist’s Way philosophy in conjunction with the morning pages and the artist’s date help you to do what you need to do. A kind of spiritual “taking out the garbage,” they clear the way for better things.

Amazon US:

Amazon Aus:

Amazon UK:

and Barnes & Noble:

The book is also available in the National Library of Australia:

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