Tuesday, May 11, 2010

the Artist's Way - Week One - Day One

Week One - Recovering a Sense of Safety

Most artists run into resistance when attempting to follow their artistic dreams. They are stirred toward shadow work, which is more stable. They end up working in the shadows of their true dream: teachers, newspaper directors, or even writing coaches. You must learn to nurture your artist child.

You must be willing to be a bad artist, to become a good artist.

Negativity can kill your artist child; you must protect him/her and shut out the negative energies around you. You’re not crazy to dream, but you may be scared to follow.

Affirmations will help you allow yourself to follow your dreams.

Pick an affirmation. Such as, ‘I am a great writer.’ Say or write this down ten times. You’ll hear your subconscious screaming negative thoughts. Write them down. These are blocking you. Change them to the positive. Do this each day after the morning pages.

Tasks for Day One: Morning pages: three pages of long hand stream of consciousness writing, and Affirmations.

You are welcome to post any tasks you wish or to comment on your progress. Each day I will post a new task for that day. Enjoy the journey.


Anonymous said...

Took me twenty minutes to do my morning pages this morning. This afternoon I did my affirmations.

I wasn't sure exactly what to do here but what I did was begin with an affirmation. "I am a great writer." As negative thoughts interfered, I wrote them to the left of my affirmation and continued until I got to ten.

My negative thoughts turned to "but I don't know where to begin and but I lack the time to do the writing". So tomorrow my affirmation will be, "I will make the time to write and I will begin at the beginning."

Don Augustyn said...


This comment might get a little long, so, sorry, but it illustrates exactly what you said in the day 1 post regarding artists running into resistance when attempting to follow their artistic dreams and maybe it can be of help to you.

In high school, I took electronics instead of art. Mistake #1. Then I went to electronics school after graduating. But while there, I began doodling out of boredom. The doodles evolved into large pieces of art and by the time I graduated school and got a job in electronics, I knew I really wanted to be an artist.
So I left a secure job and started out at the bottom in screen printing. I made it into the art department of one place and after seven years at various jobs, I ended up airbrush painting.

A totally cool job.

I left there to pursue electronics and then engineering, thinking that would be more secure and someday I'd have a better chance at getting married than if I was a starving artist. Mistake #2.

Well, I got a job in engineering, didn't get married, and after six years, I got laid off.
Did I pursue art afterwards? No.
Another mistake.

I got another engineering job, this time taking a $14000 pay cut, and got laid off after two years. Did I hear the call? No.
Mistake again.

I got a technician job and after a year and a half, (just a month ago), got laid off again.

Three jobs... three layoffs.

During a conversation about it all, my girlfriend said, "Maybe God is trying to tell you something."

So I decided to take graphic design classes. Even though it will be less money, more uncertainty, and I'm back at the entry level, it will be something I love doing.

Then I had the idea to make a collection of all the artwork I've done since the beginning. (As you may have seen on my blog).
That idea has gotten me working on new drawings and learning the software and has revived the creativity that was stifled at the electronics jobs.

I'm still not sure at all whether this will amount to anything, (I'm encountering resistance, as I did when I decided to write too), but the one thing I know for sure is that if I don't pursue it, it truly never will.

So I guess the lesson is that even though it makes no sense to anyone else, pursue the dream. Even if it's late in life, still go for it.

Hope this helps.

Anonymous said...

Don, Thank you for posting this. I wish you well on your journeys. Resistance comes from many sources, I feel I provide my biggest resistance with doubt, but I'm working on that.

Anonymous said...

This was a good exercise. I hate hearing the little voice of doubt and fear whenever I try to use positive affirmations. Just have to keep working through them until I can't hear them anymore.

Anonymous said...

Susanne, I think we will always hear them. We just have to learn to ignore them.

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