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As I mentioned in my Part 1 blog post, Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way is a 12-week course. I intend to blog about my take on the course as I make my way through it. I’m working my way through at my own pace so each “week” will be longer than 7 days. It’s looking more like a 6-month course for me but I’m okay with that.


Week 1: Recovering a sense of safety


“To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong.”

-          Joseph Chilton Pearce


Week 1 is about finding and protecting the artist child within you and getting rid of core negative beliefs.


“We have been taught to believe that negative equals realistic and positive equals unrealistic.”

               -   Susan Jeffers


We have untruths about our creative product lodged within our brains – negative statements that are our own knee-jerk reactions to whatever we create. We need to dispel these untruths.


To help do this, Julia Cameron recommends that you craft an affirmation about yourself - a positive statement about your creative ability. Now write it out ten times and while you’re doing this, you'll hear your inner critic blurt out objections to your affirmation. Like a stereotypical mother-in-law, your inner critic just can’t help itself. This is how it went for me:


My Affirmation                      My Blurts


I am a talented writer             Says who?

I am a talented writer             Yeah, right!

I am a talented writer             Did you read what you wrote yesterday?

I am a talented writer             Nah, you’re a fraud.


The trick now is to take these negative core beliefs and beat them to death convert them into positive statements.


My Affirmation                      My Blurts                                         Positive Conversions


I am a talented writer              Says who?                                        Kelly Fineman, that’s who.

I am a talented writer              Yeah, right!                                       Right on!

I am a talented writer              Did you read what you just wrote?      The 2nd paragraph sings.

I am a talented writer              Nah, you’re a fraud.                           I believe in myself.


After a week of writing down my affirmations (10 times everyday) and converting my blurts to positive reinforcements, I found that the blurts became less knee-jerky and my inner critic grew a little quieter. The blurts still happen but I’m learning to ignore them. Now I’m going to come up with another affirmation and see what my inner critic has to say about that.


“An affirmation is a strong, positive statement that something is already so.”

-          Shakti Gawain


I am a talented writer. Yep, that’s me.


( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 9th, 2011 04:02 pm (UTC)
I've heard good things about that book over the years. You've convinced me to buy it and try it.

I am a talented writer
Says who?
Kelly Fineman, that’s who.

...and the judges of the Writers' Digest Poetry Contest, that's who! :-)

Jun. 9th, 2011 05:31 pm (UTC)
It's having a positive effect on my creative outlook as well as helping me to find balance in my every day life. I've been burning the candle at both ends with a blowtorch for quite some time. I'm ready for a change. I hope you find the book as helpful.
Jun. 9th, 2011 07:36 pm (UTC)

This morning I did not get a call to substitute teach, so I did my morning pages, I worked for a few hours on my WIP, and now I'm reading blogs. How are your morning pages going? I think they're my favoite part of the Artist's Way. The rest is helpful, but quite hit-or-miss.
Jun. 9th, 2011 07:42 pm (UTC)
The morning pages are turning out to be surprisingly helpful. I thought they'd be a waste of valuable writing time but I find that morning pages help me process things on my mind. I've used them to clarify how I'm feeling about something, to organizing the day ahead of me and even to reason through a hiccup in my current WIP. I like that. I feel more centered. I have to say that the artist date is my favorite part so far. I love scheduling a 30-minute slot on the calendar just for me, myself and I.
(Deleted comment)
Jun. 16th, 2011 11:03 pm (UTC)
Thank you, I'll add your name to the positive conversion list. Those blurts don't stand a chance.
Jul. 21st, 2011 10:05 pm (UTC)
How the hell did I get so far behind on reading your blog? *is bewildered*

Oh. Right. I've hardly read anyone's blog in over a month. Still, my apologies.
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )


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