Week 9, Day 2 of The Artist's Way
Today, let's tap into the endless supply of productive energy that comes from our creativity at play.
As artists, grounding our self-image in military discipline is dangerous.
In the short run, discipline may work, but it will work only for a while. By its very nature, discipline is rooted in self-admiration. (Think of discipline as a battery, useful but short-lived.) We admire ourselves for being so wonderful. The discipline itself, not the creative outflow, becomes the point.
Over any extended period of time, being an artist requires enthusiasm more than discipline.
Enthusiasm is not an emotional state. It is a spiritual commitment, a loving surrender to our creative process, a loving recognition of all the creativity around us.
Enthusiasm (from the Greek, “filled with God”) is an ongoing energy supply tapped into the flow of life itself.
Enthusiasm is grounded in play, not work. Far from being a brain-numbed soldier, our artist is actually our child within, our inner playmate.
Our artist child can best be enticed to work by treating work as play.
Paint is great gooey stuff. Sixty sharpened pencils are fun. Many writers eschew a computer for the comforting, companionable clatter for a solid typewriter that trots along like a pony. In order to work well, many artists find that their workspaces are best dealt with as play spaces.
Remember that art is a process. The process is supposed to be fun.
For our purposes, “the journey is always the only arrival” may be interpreted to mean that our creative work is actually our creativity itself at play in the field of time. At the heart of this play is the mystery of joy.
(The Artist's Way, 2016, p. 153-154)
Read the following out loud with purpose and intent:
I am energized by the playful process of my art.
I embrace my inner artist and let go of the need for strict discipline. I choose to tap into the flow of life and the energy of enthusiasm. I approach my creative process with a playful mindset, treating my work as play and remembering that the journey of creating is the ultimate destination. I trust in the power of joy to guide me in my artistic endeavors.
You have already done work with naming your goal and identifying true north. The following exercise asks you to fully imagine having your goal accomplished. Please spend enough time to fill in the juicy details that would really make the experience wonderful for you.
Name your goal: I am _______________________.
In the present tense, describe yourself doing it at the height of your powers! This is your ideal scene.
Read this aloud to yourself.
Post this above your work area.
Read this aloud, daily!
For the next week collect actual pictures of yourself and combine them with magazine images to collage your ideal scene described above. Remember, seeing is believing, and the added visual cue of your real self in your ideal scene can make it far more real.
“It don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that swing.”
– DUKE ELLINGTON
What is one way you can be more playful today?
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