Monday, June 16, 2008

Recovery

Oh there’s no pulling the wool over your eyes, eh?

I think the plan is to gather information now, find out who the characters are, and then write, write, write over July while I’m in England.”

No, you say, get on and write now. Caught procrastinating again!

*****
I’m reading ‘Floor Sample: a creative memoir’ by Julia Cameron. Yes, THAT Julia Cameron: Julia ‘Morning Pages’ Cameron, whose ‘artist date’ is an essential for when the well feels empty. Flicking through The Artist’s Way in my final year of my fine art degree rescued me from a horrible and lingering ‘I can’t do this’ crisis.

I’m about two thirds through it and I really can’t put it down. She’s fascinating. Brought up a catholic she sought “a personal God … I wanted a God as intense and personal as my spiritual questioning. I wanted a God who just plain liked me.” She had a doomed marriage to Martin Scorsese – doomed essentially because she was an undiagnosed alcoholic and admits “I confused alcoholism with creativity.” She got sober (of course it wasn’t as easy as I’m suggesting) and draws parallels between reliance on a higher power working to help bring sobriety as well as helping to bring other things, such as ideas. Told by her sober alcoholic friends to consider God her new employer, she should appeal to Him for ideas.

Now I don’t have a faith – not a religious faith at all – but I am aware that faith … in myself or my ability or something - is crucial to being able to write or make art. I guess you could call it ‘confidence’ or ‘self belief’ but I don’t, it’s most definitely faith – I have pretty much zero confidence in my creativity. I think it’s also the subconscious rather than an external being (not that God has to be external – maybe that’s why He’s different for everyone) but it’s made me think harder about asking for help for the things I want to solve.

It’s also made me realise that ‘on flicking through The Artist’s Way’ isn’t really good enough. I am going to try to do the twelve weeks course from start to finish.

14 comments:

Helen said...

If you start now, I'll restart now. I haven't written properly (fiction wise) in months. Maybe even this year. I am going to try and write at least a hundred words today - what about you? (I know your day is a lot further ahead than me - but still.) Or we could try a thousand words before Friday?

Pacha said...

Another book I have to buy in order to ensure I write too!

Go for it JJ! The book sounds inspirational...

JJ said...

Helen, you're on. I'm a'coming over to yours now to shake hands on it.

Pacha, it is a good one and I'm fairly sure it'll help me to do it.

Helen said...

I've done 103...going to have a break now, but hopefully will do some more in a bit.

JJ said...

I'm going now. I just need to get off here...

Yvonne said...

Very interesting post. I struggle with my confidence in my writing too - I've found my lack of confidence actually gets worse when I've let it stop me from writing. It's a vicious circle sometimes. Just keep going JJ, you will find confidence in your ability the more you write.

Lane said...

Damn. Another book I need to buy. I really like JC and this one sounds a goody.

Keep going JJ

JJ said...

I managed 155 words. This brings my total up to 229 words: better than no words. Thanks Helen. Will try the same again tomorrow.

Helen said...

JJ just saw you had added to the new blog. Do you know how excited that made me?!!

SpiralSkies said...

Julia Cameron's books really are the ones I'd have if they became rationed.

I must pull my finger out of the writing abyss too. Thanks for the Writer's Way reminder X

marmiteandtea said...

Hey thanks for dropping by. The book sounds really good and well done on writing something today :)

Carol and Chris said...

Good luck to you and Helen!!

C x

Angie said...

This week has been a dreadful self-confidence low for me too. I like Helen's challenge - very doable, but motivating nonetheless! Well done on getting those words out. :)

wordtryst said...

When anyone mentions Julia Cameron I feel a (totally undeserved) glow because her agent, the one who sold The Artist's Way after others told Cameron it wouldn't sell, is also my agent! And this agent read my manuscript, loved the story, loved my writing - and sold the darned thing! That is still so incredible to me that I haven't been able to internalize it yet. Yeah, that confidence business is a real problem.

Anyway, I'll add Floor Sample to my wish list; Way is already there. I've read only one of her books, Letters to a Young Artist, which my mother bought me thinking she had picked up Artist's Way.