Creative Space with Jennifer Logue

"The Artist's Way Week 11"—Recovering a Sense of Autonomy

April 14, 2024 Jennifer Logue
"The Artist's Way Week 11"—Recovering a Sense of Autonomy
Creative Space with Jennifer Logue
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Creative Space with Jennifer Logue
"The Artist's Way Week 11"—Recovering a Sense of Autonomy
Apr 14, 2024
Jennifer Logue

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On this week’s episode of Creative Space, we’re diving into Chapter 11 of Julia Cameron’s seminal book on creativity, “The Artist’s Way.” The focus for this week is “Recovering a Sense of Autonomy.”

There is so much to cover but there are two principles we’ll talk about: acceptance, success and the zen of sports.

One of my favorite passages from this chapter:

“If you are happier writing than not writing, painting than not painting, singinging than not singing, acting than not acting, directing than not directing, for God’s sake, let yourself do it. To kill your dreams because they are irresponsible is to be irresponsible to yourself. Credibility lies with you and God—not with a vote of your friends and acquaintances. The creator made us creative. Our creativity is our gift from God. Our use of it is our gift to God.”

If you’re interested in reading "The Artist’s Way" and/or following along with the podcast as you complete the work, you can purchase it here.

For more on me, your host and creative coach, visit: jenniferlogue.com.

Show Notes Transcript

Send us a Text Message.

On this week’s episode of Creative Space, we’re diving into Chapter 11 of Julia Cameron’s seminal book on creativity, “The Artist’s Way.” The focus for this week is “Recovering a Sense of Autonomy.”

There is so much to cover but there are two principles we’ll talk about: acceptance, success and the zen of sports.

One of my favorite passages from this chapter:

“If you are happier writing than not writing, painting than not painting, singinging than not singing, acting than not acting, directing than not directing, for God’s sake, let yourself do it. To kill your dreams because they are irresponsible is to be irresponsible to yourself. Credibility lies with you and God—not with a vote of your friends and acquaintances. The creator made us creative. Our creativity is our gift from God. Our use of it is our gift to God.”

If you’re interested in reading "The Artist’s Way" and/or following along with the podcast as you complete the work, you can purchase it here.

For more on me, your host and creative coach, visit: jenniferlogue.com.

Jennifer Logue:

Hello everyone and welcome to another episode of Creative Space, a podcast where we explore, learn and grow in creativity together. I'm your host, jennifer Logue, and, just as a reminder, we've been doing something different on the podcast the last few weeks. I'm doing host Jennifer Logue and, just as a reminder, we've been doing something different on the podcast the last few weeks. I'm doing the Artist's Way by Julia Cameron for the first time and I wanted to share the experience with you. And after this week we only have one chapter left. I cannot believe it. Last week we talked about Chapter 10, recovering a Sense of Self-Protection, and this week we're diving into Week 11, recovering a Sense of Autonomy. I'm going to touch on three core principles in this chapter acceptance, success and the zen of sports. Acceptance there is so much to accept in this section, I found myself highlighting most of it. The central theme here is learning to accept ourselves as artists, while also accepting that we all have different needs as artists for optimum flow and happiness. Cameron immediately brings up the theme of a nine-to-five. Some artists may find themselves more free to create when they work a nine-to-five job, since it may steady them. Other artists may be drained from a nine-to-five job and it's really all about discovering what works for you. We also learn that we need to accept things that are out of our control. Our work may not always sell, even if it is good. The market may be bad when our work is great, but we cannot determine our value as artists by the money we make or, in this day and age, by the amount of likes we get. There were so many great artists who died before receiving recognition. Look at Van Gogh or Emily Dickinson. Could you imagine a world without their art? As Cameron notes, as an artist, I write whether I think it's any good or not. I shoot movies other people may hate. As an artist, my self-respect comes from doing the work. One performance at a time, one gig at a time, one painting at a time.

Jennifer Logue:

Now, for most of my life, I've always felt this duty to be responsible. I didn't want the complete instability of an artist's life, but something I've learned over the years is that stability in itself is an illusion. I've learned over the years is that stability in itself is an illusion. Even that nine to five job that we think is so stable could go away in a flash. There's an illusion of control there, and for so many years I let my music die. I didn't sing, I didn't write and I couldn't figure out why I was so lost. I wrote it off as being too late for me and that chapter has closed and it's time to be a responsible adult now, with a day job. Yada, yada, yada.

Jennifer Logue:

So this particular passage in this section really spoke to me. Maybe it will speak to you too. If you are happier writing than not writing, painting than not painting, singing than not singing, acting than not acting, directing than not directing, for God's sake, let yourself do it. To kill your dreams because they are irresponsible is to be irresponsible to yourself. Credibility lies with you and God, not with a vote of your friends and acquaintances. The Creator made us creative. Our creativity is our gift from God. Our use of it is our gift to God. Wow, so powerful. Our use of our creativity is our gift back to God. Another quote from my wall and another reminder for me as I continue on my own artist journey Success In regards to success.

Jennifer Logue:

What Cameron says about creativity holds true for most accomplishments. Once you attain that goal, to keep the momentum going you have to set another goal. As she says, when we get there, there disappears If we don't keep the momentum going, we're going to stagnate. Because, as creatives, she calls us spiritual sharks If we stop moving, we sink to the bottom and we die. Sharks If we stop moving, we sink to the bottom and we die. And then she talks about what happens when we find success as artists and then are asked to repeat that success by sticking to a formula. But I think this can also apply to creatives who do client work the thing you love to do. It starts to feel like work and it becomes something that drains you rather than something that used to excite you. So it's important to take time to nurture your inner artist and do projects that will fulfill you creatively, even if it's something that isn't making you money right now and, you know, even if it's not going to make you money, but just to balance out the money-making aspect of your career with the creative aspect of your career. She also says that we don't need to overturn our entire career to keep ourselves creatively charged. Even small daily habits can keep us balanced. Like me and my morning singing and nighttime piano playing. It's something I'm able to commit to even on the busiest days.

Jennifer Logue:

The Zen of Sports, finally. I'm so glad Cameron brought this up, but she talked about the importance of moving from our brain into our physical body through movement. Now I'm the kind of person who has to be active every day. I have to work out, or I just don't feel clear and in flow. Now I wouldn't call myself obsessed with going to the gym. All I really need is 30 minutes of working out a day to get in the zone, plus incorporating as much walking as I can into the rest of the day. Yoga, running, cycling, bar these are all moving meditations for me.

Jennifer Logue:

Cameron says movement works because it forces us into the now, and I had never thought of it in that way before, but she's totally right. Then I laughed out loud at this section, because she writes about a copywriter named Jenny who runs for her soul and not her body, and I couldn't agree more, because I don't work out to look a certain way. I work out to feel good, to have clarity, to have good energy, and I always work out in the morning. So when I get stuck on an idea or just start feeling a little sluggish by the time the afternoon hits, that's when I'll go for a walk and usually the ideas start flowing again. When I was younger, I used to wish that I didn't need to work out. To be clear, I would experiment with just waking up and working on music, but that routine did not work for me. I've since accepted that my brain needs that moving meditation first thing in the morning for my creativity to flow.

Jennifer Logue:

Cameron also notes that exercise teaches us the rewards of process, and this is also spot on, although I never realized it before. When we wake up and we commit to our workout routine that 30-minute run or that 20-minute yoga session, it makes us feel good because we've accomplished something to the day already and we can carry that same energy into our creative practice each day, which also requires discipline. Anyway, that's all I have for this episode of Creative Space. Next week we'll be diving into the final chapter of the Artist's Way, chapter 12, recovering a Sense of Faith. If you're interested in checking out the Artist's Way, chapter 12, recovering a Sense of Faith, if you're interested in checking out the Artist's Way by Julia Cameron and doing the work on your own, I've linked to it in the show notes. My name is Jennifer Logue. Appreciate you taking the time to listen to Creative Space. Until next time, thank you.