Friday, March 16, 2007

Check-In: Balance. Check-Out: FW

Gracious Communicator by Caroline with a Creative Commons License that allows non-commercial use and further remixing provided all attributions are given and a similar license is given on new images.
Images used in this remix are all from flickr with appropriate CC licenses:

I like the fact that by using images available with remix licenses I can blog my collages without breaking any copyrights.

I've done several new images in this way this week and they are on my card blog:
I chose to show this one here because to me the orchid looks a bit like a balance.


Morning Pages

I was introduced to morning writing, not by the Artist Way, but by Dorothea Brande in Becoming a Writer. It was first published in the 1930s and explains why early morning writing is useful; she also gives a very different way of analyzing what you've done when you come to re-read your scribblings. I noticed that in one of the chapters Julia Cameron mentioned this book and having seen all the reviews of it on amazon I can see why.

I worked through Becoming a Writer in my mid-20s (over 20 years ago - gulp!) and it was very useful to me then. You might even prefer to write in the way suggested there - which is as timed writing; writing as much as you can for 20 minutes and then stopping.

For me that's the same as 3 pages, for you it might not be. Knowing how long the writing will take is a great help in making the time available in the first place.


I've just noticed Finding Water doesn't stress these - maybe that's another reason I've not warmed to it.

This week there have been plenty. The most fun one involved dachshunds - a friend I was having lunch with mentioned one she knew as a child that was called amusingly Tum-low and then after leaving her I happened on a book by PJ Wodehouse - I bought it as it was one I'd not read and when I got home I discovered it had a picture of a dachshund on the back.

Artist Dates and Walks

I had a great Artist Date this week - in fact I had two. Both involved trusting my intuition... and then checking that what I'd first got was in fact correct... very confirming... and out of it I also got a great book in one charity shop and a dinky new-to-me shoulder bag from another.

The first one involved letting my inner artist take me where she wanted to go, without telling me - she took me to the sixth or seventh charity shop up the street and straight to what she wanted - we then went back via all the charity shops to see that there really was nothing else appealing!

The second one built on this. She just took me straight in to one in particular and to the bag she wanted. I didn't argue - it was only £2.50 and I've been using it ever since.

I also had some excellent walks. I took one on Monday to cool off after a morning spent with the plasterers playing VERY LOUD music and of course writing my post about how I really wasn't getting on with Julia Cameron.

Since then I've seen a review (and another I can't remember where sorry) and had quite a lot of people mention her autobiography - Floor Sample: A Creative Memoir. You might want to check it out.


Someone e-mailed me yesterday telling me to "to take Julia Cameron off that pedestal" which I still find incredible as advice to me - did any of the rest of you think that? Am I missing something here? Just in case anyone is in any doubt - for me she is not on any pedestal.

I acknowledge that I gained a great deal from doing the Artist Way 11 years ago but that was despite her - at that time I was involved in an on-line newsgroup and she set her lawyers on to us for publishing some of the exercises on a website - despite her saying how useful it is to work in a group she tried to stop ours from operating - we finished the rest of the AW knowing that our group was being monitored by her lawyers.

Despite the lawyer thing the Artist Way was hugely transformative for me. Maybe even because of it. I took the message that something as great as the Artist Way could come to someone with feet of clay.

However, I do feel that Finding Water, as a book, doesn't have anything to offer me. It's focus is about persevering with one's work. But I'm not having any problems persevering with either my art work or my energy work - just this book.

In the last 11 years I've gained lots of different ways of communicating with my "muses" - I may start blogging some of them - whereas Julia Cameron doesn't seem to have got any new tools.

As a finisher of the Artist Way and other programmes I know I'm capable of completing appropriate courses. And now I know that I'm also capable of bowing out when its not appropriate.

Earlier in the week I thought I'd stay just because of the group but now, I realise that its not appropriate to stay when my intuition says I shouldn't. Why else were this week's artist dates all about confirming my intuition?

So thank you all very much - for all your support and all your comments - I go, not from any lack, but because that is the right next step for me. (And I will still be here blogging so its just the book group I'm leaving.)

To all of you who are still Finding Water I wish you all luck along the trail!


Leah said...

Good for you for following your intuition! I'm sad to see you go, but I understand. I wish you the best of luck on your continued journey. (and you know i'll be here reading you anyways! :-) )

Caroline said...

Leah - thanks - I haven't even had time to pop over to the Finding Water blog to "resign" - a visitor came just after I posted - and you already know - you are quick!

Leah said...

i have all the fw blogs on bloglines and i'm snowed in at work, so i saw your post pop up. :-)

Jessie said...

i'm sorry to hear that you are leaving the group, but glad to hear that you are following your heart. that is important to know how to do that! i think that it's great that you are aware of yourself and your situation in this way. we only have so much energy...and it never hurts to invest it wisely!


Caroline said...

Leah - you did it again!

Jessie - thank you too! What a lovely pair you both are.

Tinker said...

Of course, I hope you know that I'll still be hanging around whether you're in the FW or not - hope you don't mind :)
I think one of the very best things to come out of the AW group last year was finding fellow travellers - including your blog.
I'm continuing paddling along with this for now, for the group experience, finding fellow 'swimmers' and too, because so many water synchronicities keep turning up - even if Cameron doesn't stress that in FW the way she did in AW. It makes me think there's something in there I need to find still.
Oh, and for the record, I never thought Julia was up on a pedestal of yours (don't know how that person came to that conclusion from your writing). I don't think I have her up on one, either. I've been trying to get past doing that sort of idol worship thing. We're all just human beings - even self-help writers.
Great idea, just letting your inner artist guide you on your date. I may have to swipe that idea. ;-)

Anonymous said...

Good for you, Caroline. I will miss you in the group, but will still be reading your blog and may pop up with the odd question for you!
I love what you've been doing with the Soul Collage cards. Here's to you & your journey. I wish you all the very best.

Caroline said...

Terri/tinker - glad to hear you'll not desert me! And thanks for the feedback - I've not a hero in ages so was a bit taken aback and wondered if I was missing something.

Oh and do let your artist just take you - its great - I think I'll be doing a few more like that!

Suzie Q - thank you very much and yes questions are fine - (you know me too well!)

Unknown said...

Hi Caroline,

I took notes on how to make a gracious departure. You did that so well.

I saw it coming. Cameron makes this assumption that making art is difficult, that it is a torture, that one will do anything to avoid addressing it. But clearly for you (and for me) this isn't the case.

How funny what you mentioned in your comment on my "Departure" post. We signed our lease on March 8th.

I very much enjoy your Soul Collages. It's great that you are giving credit for the pieces. I wish I could spend a day seeing the world through your eyes. I'm sure it scintillates (spelling?).

Caroline said...

Potato Print - thank you very much - you've put that very well too - you are right Cameron is still in the "art is hard camp" even after all these years - thank you for that clarity.

Your move was determined a fortnight later than the weekend of my non-blog friends - I hope yours goes well.