The Artist’s Way: kickstart your memoir

Hands up who’s seen this beauty before?

Following the advice in this book helped me generate the creative energy to write the first draft of my memoir.

The exercises in the book helped me keep up momentum as I turned my first draft into twenty seven thousand billion subsequent drafts, a competition entry and finally a publishing deal.

I love this book so much I wrote a blog post about it.

Summary version: Get book, follow advice in book, write own book.

Long version below:

Advice from book #1: Artist Dates.

Last week I had my first artist date for ages. I sat in a garden cafe, wrote in my notebook and looked up frequently to see if anyone noticed how creative I was.

It wasn’t until I finished my kale smoothie and my vegan, gluten free, fun free cheesecake that I realised I could have photographed them with the book to record my date.

While I squandered the opportunity to humble boast on Instagram about drinking kale, I did not squander the creative vibes afforded by my artist date.

An artist date, as suggested in the book, is a where you carve out a chunk of time, that’s just for you, to do creative stuff. The book more eloquently describes them as “a block of time…especially set aside and committed to nurturing your creative consciousness, your inner artist.”

I used my artist date to write about The Artist’s Way for the blog posts which I was definitely and absolutely going to do every week.

And then it took me over a week to edit and upload the blog post, because lordy does it feel like there is no F%^%ing time to finish ANYTHING let alone make time to write.

Who has time for writing?? Eg: when you have to resentfully scrub the shower for a rent inspection (this week), or spend hours at the children’s hospital to have a foreign object removed from child’s ear (last week), etc etc etc.

You could fill all of life with work, life admin, housework and other stuff and it feels like THERE IS NO TIME to nurture your creative side …unless you get your hands on this book.

It won’t magically make more time in your life. But it will make you feel better about leaving the house looking like it’s been ransacked (see below image). Then you can go to a café and pretend to like a quinoa smoothie while you write your morning pages.

Theo couldn’t decide on a bedtime story.

Advice from book #2: Morning pages

The foundation of The Artist’s Way is to write three pages, long hand, first thing in the morning. Stream of consciousness, just whatever comes into your head, get it down on the page and don’t stop until you fill three pages.

If you don’t read the book, or even the rest of this post, take this advice: write three pages every day.  I guarantee it is life changing.

Since I would have to get up pre-dawn to write before my three year old son wakes up (at dawn), I haven’t written real morning pages for about three years. For a while I managed to do my three pages at different times of the day, but lately I’ve felt too busy. The amazing whirlwind of publicity for my newly released memoir meant I forgot to make time to just write.  

But three weeks ago I got The Artist’s Way out of the box in the garage where it’s been since I moved house in 2019. I realised how long it’s been so long since I regularly wrote morning pages. Now I’ve started to squeeze in three pages, any hour of the day I can.

Every time I finish three pages I get the feeling of, ‘Ah!! There I am!’ There’s an expansiveness to the page that I don’t find anywhere else.

As I drove to my nine thousandth errand this week, I decided that even though I’d remembered how life changing morning pages can be, I’m just too busy to do them. But that night I opened the book on a random page and I saw this… ‘You cannot afford not to find time for morning pages and artists dates.’

Gasp!!! Is that synchronicity? Is that a bit woo? See advice #3.

Advice from book #3: Connect with your higher power.

The book does tend towards the spiritual so may not be everyone’s cup of tea.

It makes frequent reference to a higher power, similar to 12 step programs for addiction. But it’s written in such a way that you can substitute your own belief systems.

Page one says if you’re not comfortable with thinking of a higher power, to substitute “OK great creator, whatever that is,’ and keep reading.

Considering the book has just had its 25th anniversary edition launch and sold over 5 million copies, there must be a lot of people who don’t necessarily think of themselves as ‘spiritual’ but found the book was actually their cup of tea after all.

Conclusion: I highly recommend this book. You’ll go from wading through the quagmire of life to skipping through a flowering field of creative proliferation. 5 stars!

My (compostable, COVID safe) empty vessels of creativity.

Have you read or followed the Artist’s Way? Did you love it too? Let me know in the comments!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s