Monday, November 13, 2006

12 Week Plan

Old Artist's Way doodles
Drawings scanned from the margins of my copy of The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron

In 1996 I did the The Artist's Way for the first time. I repeated it in 1997 and since then have often used the idea of a programme of this sort as a way of organising my time and activities. Most of these subsequent programmes were ones that I tested, using the self-test methods I learnt from HK. They were mostly quite different from the original.

On Saturday, to my surprise, I tested that I should start a new programme this Wednesday and, also to my surprise, it is much closer to the AW format than usual. Like the AW it is split into 12 sections each 1 week long. I've also grouped the sections into 4 sets of 3 weeks. These are the themes:
  1. Earth - Autumn
    • Week 1: 15 Nov - Safety
    • Week 2: 22 Nov - Identity
    • Week 3: 29 Nov - Power
  2. Fire - Christmas
    • Week 4: 6 Dec - Integrity
    • Week 5: 13 Dec - Possibility
    • Week 6: 20 Dec - Abundance
  3. Water - Ice
    • Week 7: 27 Dec - Connection
    • Week 8: 3 Jan - Strength
    • Week 9: 10 Jan - Compassion
  4. Air - Wind
    • Week 10: 17 Jan - Creativity
    • Week 11: 24 Jan - Embody
    • Week 12: 31 Jan - Reception
Half-way through, I will retest to see if I need to change or stop this programme. For those of you familiar with the AW weeks you'll see that the first nine are the same except I'm not calling them "Recovering a Sense of whatever". And the last three have concepts that come up during those three weeks in the AW though are not in the titles.

  • Although these weeks are inspired by the AW I will not be doing morning pages, instead I've decided to do morning doodles.
  • Every week I'll have an outing somewhere as my artist's date - I don't get out just for the fun of it nearly enough.
  • Also every week I'll test which exercises to do, some may come from the AW but I've got plenty of other sources for suggestions.

One of the things that I really gained from doing the AW was a much greater appreciation of synchronicities.

Ever since I've been noticing them more and smiling at them.

So the first thing to notice is that Christmas is coming in the week called Abundance - a neat consequence of starting now.

On Saturday after I'd tested this programme I sold a spare copy I had of Julia Cameron's The Vein of Gold through my Amazon marketplace books. I'd bought this as a follow-up to the artist's way but never really got into it. In fact I'd got two copies and I'm only selling one so I can still check it for exercises.

And as a further synchronicity on Sunday we had a leaflet through our door on the North Bristol Art Trail 2006. Apparently this has been going every year for the last 5 years but I've never been round it and never seen a leaflet for it. I'd say I'd never heard of it but I find that hard to believe!

They provide a map with all the open studios on it and we are bang slap in the middle of the map - when we come to sell our house I'll be able to advertise it as in the Heart of Art (Sorry GG I had to reuse your pun!).

This year it is running from Friday 24th - Sunday 26th November 2006 - bang slap in the middle of the week I've just labelled Identity.

Below is the odd little picture I'd drawn in 1996 to illustrate prayers being answered through synchronicities. I have no idea what the foot is about... a variation on the hand of God perhaps or maybe its from Monty Python's Flying Circus...



Caroline said...

And before anyone else mentions it this does look more like someone sneezing to me than praying...

andrea said...

Looking forward to the ride. I admire dedicated people like you who can stick to a program that can only increase the creativity. I'm such a flake.

neena maiya (guyana gyal) said...

Synchronicities. I'm trying to prove to my doubting brother that things like synchronicity, esp and so on, exist. He will have none of it :-( boo. [But at least he offered to send newspapers from England for us].

Heh, your Heart of Art is punderful.

I've bookmarked that Nt. Bristol Art Trail.

Caroline said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Caroline said...

ll struggling to really accept that as a label... the artist one, not the flake one... and today I had ate a Flake for the first time in years...

GG - maybe synchronicities don't happen to your brother - when I was with my first husband Steve there were none for me for 10 years and only 1 for him. Now if I don't get 10 a week I think something is wrong! And yes there was something wrong during those 10 years - I was with the wrong man... and I'm glad your brothers going to be sending you the newspaper!

Mike said...

Hey, Caroline's back :)

You can count me in with GG's brother though ;)

Anonymous said...

Love your doodles. Cool idea to come up with your own version of the AW. I like the idea of a morning doodle, too.

Caroline said...

MV - hi there - yes I've been slowly easing back into blogging. And I'm not surprised that you are with GG's brother - I suspect you have a pretty strong sceptic's shield around you...

Tinker - I'd love to work out how to help people personalise the AW for themselves - when I'd finished the first time I also felt I still didn't really know what to do next and none of the TONS of books I turned to helped either.

Andrea - my comment to you above got strangely mangled... what I meant to say was:

You are an artist whilst I'm still struggling to really accept that as a label... the artist one, not the flake one... and today I had ate a Flake for the first time in years... it was a Cadbury's Praline Flake - okay but nothing special so I doubt I'll have another for another 5 years...

And later yesterday I was reading "E is for Evidence" and someone, a woman called Darcy, was described as a flake. I really noticed it after all this flake stuff and THEN I realised that here was a fictional Darcy quite the opposite of Jane Austen's hero.

Joy Eliz said...

I absolutely love your AW. I did AW but half way through felt resistant because I didn't agree with Cameron.
I like the idea of testing yourself to see if you need to continue.
I get so much inspiration from your blog!


Caroline said...

Joy Eliz - thank you! When I was doing the AW the group I was in was formed around a website and newsgroup (this was before blogs!) and we came into conflict with Cameron - her lawyers told us we had to take the exercises off the website - no matter that everyone in the group had bought the book and often more than one to give away...

Caroline said...

Thanks Melba - I did write morning pages for years but I got into a real rut with them so I'm rather pleased with the idea of a different way of doing a brain dump first thing!

Anonymous said...

Morning pages were so hard for me! I LOVE the idea of a morning doodle though - doodles always make me happy!

I may just borrow your idea and try this out!!

Caroline said...

Tammy - if doddles make you happy that sounds like a brilliant way to start the day!