My Artist's Way Toolkit: Rediscovering the Joy in Writing
We're shaking things up this month in BlogHer Book Club! We're not reviewing a book, but we are reviewing something that's decidedly bookish. This month we're looking at a new subscription service from the creative mind of Julia Cameron. Have you read The Artist's Way and Cameron's other books? Have you loved her suggestions and recommendations but been able to quite get yourself to them? Then My Artist's Way Toolkit service (and app!) are just the thing for you.
My Artist's Way Toolkit is The Artist's Way re-imagined for the digital age. It's a web-based platform based on Cameron's previous works that combines daily inspiration, an interactive notebook, and weekly exercises and activities selected from her vast library. Once upon a time, many of us used to leave the house armed with a notebook and pen. Now many of us are far more likely to leave the house with our smartphone and tablet. It's our motivation -- and reminder -- to take a moment to cultivate our creativity every day in a format that's more friendly to our digital lives. There's even a companion app available though iTunes.
When you log in to My Artist's Way Toolkit for the first time, you'll see the My Artist's Way Contract. Some of you may be familiar with it. It's a pledge to do the daily process of morning pages. It's a promise to do artists dates every week. It's a commitment to being creative.
I'll be honest. I squirmed as I signed the contract. I love the idea of being creative and of fitting time to creativity into my life, but could I really do it each and every day? I also knew it was something I had been avoiding. I write a lot each and every day. I write emails. I write tweets. I write comments. On good days I even write blog posts. There are also days -- many days -- when I can't imagine writing just one more thing. There are days when I run out of words.
I haven't been successful at writing every day. I really do suck at morning pages. I've been far more successful at the Artist's Dates. Each week Julia sends us off on a date with ourselves. I've visited a part of town I've never been in before. I've been to a fabulous thrift store. I've bought myself some of my favourite childhood candy. Each of these dates has sparked writing ideas for me. I've made up stories about the people I met on the trails I've never travelled. I've remembered the Charleston Chews I used to buy on the way to the beach and the old schoolhouse that had been turned into a store. I made up stories about thrift store items' previous lives.
I'm still working on the morning pages, but My Artist's Way Toolkit has pushed my creative buttons. The weekly prompts, the daily reminder that I should be doing morning pages and writing for me have helped me remember why it is that I turned to writing in the first place. It's helped me find the joy in writing when I was feeling rather burnt out on the process. Thank you for that, Julia Cameron.