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Below are the 17 most recent journal entries recorded in Trying to learn the artist's way.'s LiveJournal:

Sunday, March 1st, 2009
8:53 am
[elle_cosette]
tweak
I revised my short story (once named "Out of Order", changed to "A Tidier, Simpler Time") that won the American Mothers contest and sent it to Country Woman magazine.

Ha ha! I love how easy that makes it sound!

This magazine requires the main character to be a "country woman" so I had to tweak it hard.I worked a long time on it, and it was still really difficult to press that "send" button. My self-doubt is my worst enemy. I kept thinking about how there are precious few magazines taking fiction nowdays, and this one publishes only 6 times a year--and doesn't always include a fiction piece...and how many people must be vying for those 4 or 5 annual slots...hopeless...and the rejection will be devastating...not worth it...

But maybe my Artist's Way study is helping, because I really did, in reality, press the "send" button.

The hilarious part is that I hope to publish this magazine story in order to make it easier to have my Zillah novel considered in order to have my Alek novel considered. It's like the old woman who swallowed a fly, then swallowed a spider to catch the fly, etc.
Friday, January 23rd, 2009
2:15 pm
[elle_cosette]
brand new
I've started trying to do the Artist's Way program again...if anyone here would like to do it with me, I've just finished Chapter One.

So far it's been a recomittment to morning pages, the artist date, and trying to stop being so negative about myself and my creativity. I've always been my own worst enemy.
Monday, March 3rd, 2008
4:11 pm
[acatsslave]
Anyone still out there?
Just wondering if anyone is still working through TAW.  Don't give up!  I've stumbled a bit  lately.  I think I'm in Week 10 now.  I've sort of been advancing a chapter about every week and a half.  I think I'm really going to finish the course this time. 

Best to all of you!
:)

Current Mood: hopeful
Wednesday, February 6th, 2008
5:29 pm
[elle_cosette]
The Artist's Date
We all know Morning Pages are the backbone of TAW. We've talked about affirmations.

The next thing is something called the Artist's Date. You are supposed to go on one of these once a week.
Tuesday, February 5th, 2008
7:56 am
[acatsslave]
Chapter 8 update...
I've decided to do Ch8 this week.  I've completed all the tasks from Ch7.  I'm totally blocking myself on one of my upcoming performances, however.  It's at the beginning of March and I will be performing seven original songs with a sign-language interpreter.  I've given my interpreter the lyrics to four of the songs, but still have not recorded anything for her to practice with.  I'm so afraid to record.  I'm also supposed to be writing three new songs for the show and I was making good progress, but now I can't finish.  I didn't do my pages yesterday... probably because I'm shutting down creatively a bit.  I'm having trouble making myself do them this morning and time is ticking away before I have to get on the road for work.  Funny, the book says that you'll avoid doing your pages just when they're the most necessary - and I know that's what's going on right now.  Wish me luck!

Current Mood: frustrated
7:49 am
[acatsslave]
Some comments of mine reposted...
On allowing myself to be a "bad" artist:

iI feel the same way. I tried to post some recordings of my music last night on myspace. I got inspired when a friend recently put up some of her old recordings. I listened to mine through and felt ok about them. As soon as they were public, I immediately started picking them apart and tore them down in a fit of frustration. It really is so hard to let go. I've been stuck on Ch 7 for about 5 weeks

From: </a></b></a>acatsslave
2008-01-30 12:01 pm (UTC)
Delete Track This

(Link)

I've been attempting to get through The Artist's Way for over a year now. I think I'm on my third time through. I was getting stuck on Ch5 for a long time. Now I seem to be stuck on Ch7.

Anyway...

Morning Pages-wise, I tend to favor marble notebooks. I keep mine under my pillow and as soon as my alarm goes off (I'm down to 15 minutes for the 3 pages by now) I just start scribbling whatever into it. I leave it home because it gets intensely personal and I don't want prying eyes to find it. The marble notebooks are inexpensive and solid and the hard back is good for writing in your lap in bed. Pens that feel good when you write are indispensable for me. If I have a scratchy-skippy pen, I won't do my pages.

Next thing I've grown accustomed to is printing out a monthly calendar, pasting it in my notebook on the first of the month and putting a small sticker I love on each calendar day that I write. It's a real motivator.

In the past, I've collaged all over my notebooks. Now I tend to favor them plain.

My advice - go with what moves you and spare no expense. The morning pages are AMAZING! I resolve most fights with my boyfriend before they even happen and I'm totally not stressed about work anymore (I used to be so neurotic it was disgusting). I've definitely felt a lot of things dislodge from my psyche since I started TAW. In fact, I'm pretty positive the book is responsible from unearthing me from a 7 year bout of depression. I'm the happiest I've ever been in my adult life and I attribute the majority of my progress to this life-changing book. Still not completely unblocked, though. I have a lot more to work through.

Just sharing thoughts in hopes I'm helping...

All the best! :)


Current Mood: artistic
Friday, February 1st, 2008
1:47 pm
[elle_cosette]
week one, part two
The next  thing the book talks about is affirmations. On this sort of thing, I am saying, ok, I'll try it. But I have to get past a mental block I have about this sort of thing. I need to learn to believe that affirmations can actually help.

1:37 pm
[elle_cosette]
week one, part one
I'm going to attempt to condense the Week One assignment for you here. But let me just say it is about 23047589 times better in the book, so if you have any access to it, please turn to page 25.

Disclaimer: This is super hard for me because it is dealing with my worst problem. Being negative about my stuff. (See, even right there I tried to write "being negative about my work" and I changed it to stuff because my subconscious doesn't want me to call it work. That sounds like something good or productive or worthwhile)

The first week is all about getting rid of negative attitudes. I need this like I need air.

Here are some common negative beliefs about artists: they are
drunk
crazy
broke
irresponsible
loners
promiscuous
doomed
unhappy
born, not made

Replace with: Artists can be
sober
sane
solvent
responsible
user-friendly (not sure what that means, haha)
faithful
saved
happy
discovered and recovered
12:35 pm
[elle_cosette]
bought it
I went to Costco and found The Book there (The Artist's Way) but I thought I'd let you know it is a nice hardback "gift" edition that includes 2of the author's other books on the same subject. So that means...it costs 19 bucks.

Just a heads up. I bought it.
Wednesday, January 30th, 2008
8:32 am
[elle_cosette]
the book, cheaper
shauna6pack says she saw The Artist's Way book at Costco!

This will definitely work better if more of us have the book.

For now, we should all be still doing morning pages. According to the author, this is the key practice of this philosophy. I haven't been perfect at doing it every day, but I keep at it.

I've even experienced a couple of moments of clear thought, haha.

In the next day or so I'll post the 1st assignment.
Tuesday, January 22nd, 2008
4:09 pm
[elle_cosette]
Remember that to recover as an artist, you must be willing to be a bad artist. Give yourself permission to be a beginner. By being willing to be a bad artist, you have a chance to BE an artist, and perhaps, over time, a very good one.

Margot: those who know me well know this is my biggest hugest problem. I can't stand sucking at things. Can I learn this? It feels scary.
Sunday, January 20th, 2008
9:05 pm
[koola]
Recovering a Sense of Safety
This week initiates your creative recovery. You may feel both giddy and defiant, hopeful and skeptical. The readings, tasks, and exercises aim at allowing you to establish a sense of safety, which will enable you to explore your creativity with less fear.
Friday, January 18th, 2008
9:09 am
[elle_cosette]
am I doing it wrong?
From page 10 of The Artist's Way:

There is no wrong way to do morning pages. These daily morning meanderings are not meant to be art. Or even writing. I stress that point to reassure the nonwriters working with this book. Writing is simply one of the tools. Pages are meant to be, simply, the act of moving the hand across the page and writing down whatever comes to mind. Nothing is too petty, too silly, too stupid, or too weird to be included.

And this thought-provoking quote:

A mind too active is no mind at all.  --Theodore Roethke
Wednesday, January 16th, 2008
11:59 am
[elle_cosette]
Stop!
From page 7 of The Artist's Way:

Stop telling yourself "It's too late."
Stop waiting until you make enough money to do something you'd really love.
Stop telling yourself, "It's just my ego" whenever you yearn for a more creative life.
Stop telling yourself that dreams don't matter, that they are only dreams and that you should be more sensible.
Stop fearing that your family and friends would think you crazy.
Stop telling yourself that creativity is a luxury and that you should be grateful for what you've got.
Tuesday, January 15th, 2008
6:37 pm
[elle_cosette]
so...well...then
Have you tried writing some morning pages yet?
If you have, how is it going? How many times have you done it?
If you haven't yet, here's a little help.
Just open your notebook, grab your pen, and write the date. There. That's easy.
Now just let your mind come out of your pen. Stream of consciousness style. Or whatever style you want. You can say what you did the day before, or you can complain about something, or you can write something secret. Just blather on for three pages. Then you can stop if you want, and save the rest for tomorrow.

The thing I noticed is that my hand gets really tired. I am not used to writing long hand any more. It also looks terrible. I noticed my hand continually misshapes the letters...too many bumps and whatnot. But oh well...because no one is going to read it.
Friday, January 11th, 2008
4:49 pm
[elle_cosette]
real paper
We'll start off by getting a notebook for your morning pages. The Grand Poobah (the author of The Artist's Way) says something magical will happen if you actually write this in longhand. With a real pen, on real paper.

So, you have two choices. Will it make you happier to either:

    1, Use an old notebook I have laying around. It will make me happy to have a use for it, It will save money, too, and even some trees.
    2. Get a brand new special notebook, one that I love to look at, touch, to smell the nice paper.

Whichever one suits you is fine...just so long as you have it ready to go by Monday morning.

If you want, you can even set aside a special pen...one that you really like and feels nice in your hand.
9:07 am
[elle_cosette]
Let's start.
Hello my dear artistic friends.

Monday (Jan 13) your brand new creative life starts. In the meantime, there is a nice, long, meaty chapter from the book The Artist's Way that you should read. If you don't have the book...no problem...this chapter is posted on the author's website as a .pdf. (I tried to copy it here but it doesn't seem to be the type of .pdf you can do that with)

http://www.theartistsway.com/?section=2&PHPSESSID=06b475d604a9d81c74cdf9a83883eb16
or, if you have the book, the chapter entitled "Basic Tools."

Read that and then come and tell us what your thoughts are.
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