The Artist’s Way – Week 3: Recovering a Sense of Power

The Artist’s Way is a 12-week program designed by writer/director, Julia Cameron, to help develop creativity. The program is for creatives of all types, and has weekly exercises based on free writing, affirmations and regular excursions. Come with me as I take this 12-week course and see what I discover along the way.

The Unlikely Combination of Anger and Synchronicity Made This a Week of Empowerment.

Anger and synchronicity have been at the forefront of my journey this week in The Artist’s Way. They may seem like an odd combination, but you would be surprised how well they compliment one another.

Anger is often regarded as a negative emotion, one which arises as a lack of self-control. At its worst, anger is destructive and violent but at its best, anger is a force for self-preservation. Anger tells us when we have been wronged, when the boundaries that protect us have been crossed. Arousing physical symptoms that are impossible to ignore, anger challenges us to right the wrong that has been done to us.

Anger, Cameron tells us, is an invitation.

I have had an idea for some time about a project I would like to pursue involving a difficult incident in my life. I have put this project on the backburner because of the unpleasant feelings it aroused. Rather than face up to these feelings, I chose to tamp them down and as a result, they turned into guilt and ennui.

To avoid the discomfort that anger would bring, I told myself that my feelings didn’t matter, that I would upset too many people and that there would be possible legal ramifications if I proceeded with my project. This cop-out seemed an easier option than facing up to my feelings and speaking out.

Earlier in the book, Cameron says that it’s the artist’s job to shine a light on the dark corners that people would rather not see. Artists produce work that holds a mirror up to society, and it’s not always a pretty sight.

This week, I re-examined the project I wanted to undertake. I thought about what happened and allowed myself to see the incident for what it was, and to feel all the uncomfortable feelings of shame, betrayal and anger. Acknowledging my feelings rather than minimising them spurred me into action and I sought legal advice. It turns out that with a few small changes, there are no real concerns about my project from a legal standpoint.

That knowledge was empowering and has given me the courage to prepare for any negative reactions that may come my way. I realise that my project may be upsetting for some people, but us artists are not responsible for making everybody happy.

Cameron says that once we begin taking action to achieve our goals, the universe steps in and presents us with opportunities to help us on our way. These opportunities may seem like co-incidence but are a result of the domino like effect our action sets in motion.

This week, I had a couple of serendipitous occurrences, happy accidents I stumbled on as I progressed towards my goal of finding a home for my novel. I am new to querying, and not knowing where to find a small publisher that would be suitable for my novel, I decided to reach out to one of my Facebook writer’s groups for recommendations.

As soon as I went to the page, I found a post at the very top from a small press looking for submissions! Was it just co-incidence I found what I was looking for straight away, or did the universe put that post there on my behalf?

Similarly, I discovered an agent I want to query represents a writer I know. I asked her for advice on how best to approach the agent and she gave me some helpful tips and even offered to read my query letter.

I’m not convinced that the universe could care less whether or not I publish my novel, but this week I felt as though things were going my way. The anger that I started with earlier in the week galvanised me into action and from that action, I received help, advice and support.

Identifying what I wanted to achieve was the first important step I took this week followed by asking for help and acting on the good advice I was given given. At the end of Week 3, l feel confident is saying that I have recovered a sense of power.

Posted by naomilisashippen

2 comments

Thank you Naomi. I need to be reminded, often, that the dark parts of our lives and our psyches often yield stories and motivation that help other people. And even ourselves.

naomilisashippen

It’s amazing what you find when you start digging!

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