The Artist’s Way: Week 12

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The final week of The Artist’s Way program. Find out how I’m feeling after 3 months of creative recovery.

The Artist’s Way is… finished.  Well, I’ve finished the book.  Developing your creativity is never finished. But I’ve come a long way since the beginning the book 12 weeks ago.  When I began, I was overwhelmed.  I’d just lost a baby, I was incredibly unhappy with my job and I was just having a really hard time finding my way.  I knew something needed to change but I didn’t know where to start or how to take the first step.  But once I started writing things slowly started happening.  The first thing I noticed was my performance at work.  Before I ws struggling to get anything done.  Small tasks seemed to take me hours.  I barely made deadlines.  I could not concentrate.  Then slowly that changed.  Soon I was getting things done with time to spare.  I was finding it easier to concentrate  and just feeling less stressed out.

artists way week 12 book

My morning pages were working.  Three pages is a lot and it was just want I needed.  I got it all out before I started the day.  By the beginning of month two I was moving beyond just healing and working on growing as an artist.  Instead of dwelling on the bad I was looking to the future.  Writing about projects I want to work on, brainstorming problems and venting about challenges.  Don’t get me wrong, most of my writing is pretty boring:  planning my day, listing the stuff I need to get done and even planning meals.  But occasionally, great ideas pop through the mundane daily chatter.  Spilling the boring stuff makes room for the crazy stuff.

the artists way week 12 terrarium 2

I definitely got the most out writing morning pages, but the Artist’s Dates are a habit I hope to keep up as well.  Forcing yourself to play is so good for you!  It’s kind of like exercising.  When I exercise my body I feel better and get more done, despite the time commitment.  An Artist Date is like exercising your creativity, I’d always have little breakthroughs after an artist date.

the artists way week 12 terrarium

So where does this leave me now?  12 Weeks later?   I’m going to keep writing my Morning Pages.  I might get a smaller notebook but I’m going to try to keep it up.  It’s just been so good for my mental health.  At least for another 3 months.  I’ll try to do Artist’s Date’s but I have a feeling those will be more of a challenge.  After struggling to get them done during the course, I’ll settle for one or two a month, but we’ll see, maybe I can do more.  For my final week, I made a terrarium.  I bought this cute book called “Tiny World Terrariums” and decided to make my own.  It was a great project to do on my front porch on a sunny Sunday afternoon.

If you’re thinking about trying it I have a few pieces of advice.   First, skip ahead in the book so you can plan for the big activities.  I skipped the Reading Deprivation but I think if I’d known about it ahead of time I could have made some plans to make it happen.  Second, give yourself a lot of time for the course.  I squeezed it in between a college class and a lot of projects on this blog.  I wish I’d given myself more time to really dig in.
So that’s my experience with the Artist’s Way.  It was immensely valuable for me.  Healing and fun.   I loved it so much I’m planning on doing it again in the future.  I’m not sure when… I think I’ll know when I need it.

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