The Artist's Way - Week 9

So we are up to Week 9 in The Artist's Way - and our creative cluster has continued to gather and work through the book. Julia warns that around this stage of the process that many drop out, but we've managed to keep going and while we many not do every task in the book - there is a lot - we have been continuing some of us with more tasks than others, but all of us with our morning pages and artist dates.

Early on in the process we felt like there was SO much information and inner reflection in each chapter, that we felt that we were getting a bit overwhelmed. So we came to a group decision to to double up on a couple of weeks, in order to give us some more space. It is now two and a half months since we started on the 14th August. What an interesting journey taking part in this process is. For each of us we have found challenges, insights, more creativity, an unfolding in our ideas and dreams for our art or writing.

Task number 1 this week is to revisit our morning pages - to take stock, take heart and acknowledge. Have you ever kept a journal, and revisited it? While I am yet to participate in this task, I have been going back and revisiting a few of my journals and re-reading. I only wish I had done more journaling. Hopes and dreams that I had wanted to achieve were there, and now I can reflect on those dreams as I am currently living them. Other dreams I have experienced in a small way, and have yet to see come to permanent fruition, however it is quite an insight and a realisation of just how many of the dreams I journaled about, are now reality.

Julia says, "The pages have allowed us to vent without self-destruction, to plan without interference, to complain without an audience, to dream without restriction, to know our own inner minds." She also says to give ourselves credit for having undertaking them, and to give them credit for the changes and growth they have fostered. If you have done morning pages or journaling in this way, you will get an idea of what this means. If you haven't and are interested in the process... all you need do is to take an old exercise book and write 3 A4 pages each day - whatever comes into your head just write... thoughts, dreams, hopes, visualisations, plans, affirmations, ideas - there is no wrong way to do them.

Early in our Artist's Way group process our creative cluster all went together for an artist date, to a Doodle Workshop run by local artist Yvonne Kiely . We had such fun, and each one of us created a doodle and a mandala. That workshop jogged my memory about doodling, and I realised how much I miss doodling. When I used to use a telephone landline all the time, sitting at my desk chatting, I used to doodle all the time... on the diary in front of me, on pieces of scrap paper... nothing was safe. Now with my mobile phone, I never do that anymore.

But participating in that workshop reminded me of how relaxing the process is, and I remembered when I used to doodle while talking on the phone, it was also quite insightful. Doing a doodle, is a very freeing experience for our creative selves. You don't have to have a big canvas, you don't have to have a lot of time, you don't have to 'show it' when you are finished, unless you really want to that is. The benefits are many - increased relaxation, more inspiration, mindfulness... I could go on. But the best thing is that you can do doodling anywhere on a scrappy piece of paper, and you can do a few moments or a few minutes while you are on the phone.

I decided to create a new facebook group for those who are interested in doodling or zentangling to help with their creative practice. A Doodle - A Zentangle A Day - if you are interested, please join in.

If you would like to participate in a Doodle Workshop in the Port Macquarie area visit: Artist Yvonne Kiely