RDF Book Club – The Artist’s Way
by Julia Cameron
It has been more than a decade since I first read this book, and I still turn to its practices as a first step in reorientation when my life is tilting. I never can complete all 12 weeks of exercises – not because it doesn’t hold my interest, but because it always works faster than that. Somewhere between week 2 and 6 comes an irresistible creative burst that leads to happy immersion in a project, possibly artistic but just as likely domestic or professional.
The Artist’s Way introduces one daily practice (morning pages) and one weekly (artist’s dates). Morning pages are 3 pages written stream of consciousness as close to waking as possible. It doesn’t matter what comes out – it’s essentially a brain shower. Personally, the troubles I pour into my morning pages don’t have the power to bother me much the rest of the day. Artist’s dates are…whatever you would have done at age 10 with a chauffeured ride and 2 hours of freedom. Good stuff.
Weekly exercises are designed to help you evaluate the areas of your life that need creative solutions and to learn how to handle the critical voice in your head that can hold you back. They can be done at your leisure throughout the week, so the rest of your life doesn’t need to be on hold. Some exercises were incredibly illuminating for me; others were a snooze fest. It leads me to believe that there’s something for everyone in there.
The reason I love this book is because it’s important to be reminded that the end product of creative thinking does not have to be a work of art. This book encourages you to notice how we humans create constantly and how every area of our lives – the food we eat, our relationships, our vocations – can be enhanced by a focused creative attitude.
Written by Susan Moriyama
Susan Moriyama is our Operations Assistant. Originally from a small town in Ohio, she moved to Oregon after spending several years in Washington D.C. and Tokyo. Susan has experience working in the investment industry, as an English Teacher, Classical Dance Instructor, and a Japanese-English translator. Her diverse background gives her the ability to be flexible and solution oriented as the firm continues to grow. When Susan isn’t busy helping our team, she enjoys exploring and finding the city’s hidden gems with her husband and 11-year-old son.