The Artists Way

Last Spring 2016 I started the Artists Way for the first time. A friend of mine told me he would be assembling a group of four of us. For 12 weeks we went through the book together with regular check ins once a week. The artists way consists of 4 components.

  1. Morning Pages-Every morning you wake up and write 3 (or more) pages as soon as you wake up.
  2. Artists Dates-Once a week you give yourself an hour of alone time. Whether that’s going out for a meal, sitting down and making are, watching a film etc.
  3. Reading the chapters and doing the prompts at the end.
  4. If you are doing this with a group you have a weekly check in with each other and discuss challenges and triumphs. A key part of this is being vulnerable and honest with the group as well as yourself.

Now I want to preface that this book was written in the 90’s by a white woman. Some of the language is dated, she isn’t the most inclusive and (as my friend pointed out) she’s a bit of a name dropper. I do urge you to take the concepts and apply them and disregard the rest. I encourage that with anything in life.

This Winter I picked up the book again with my dear friend who lives in California. We skype once a week and check in with one another to see how we’re doing. We also do check ins by text message about whether or not we did our morning pages. It helps keep us accountable and we also get to talk to one another when we’re struggling.

This is my second time and her first. I have been honored that she would take this journey with me as it’s a challenging course. So challenging in fact that the second time I read the book I found myself learning even more about myself along the way.

Thus far I’ve experienced feeling more confident in areas that we’re problematic before and in other areas I have found myself very resistant. There’s a section on something called reading deprivation. No reading anything for a week. No news, no internet, no social media, no reading books, and no reading magazines or the newspaper. That week is where I found myself having the biggest breakthroughs. She also goes over money, our censor, and her prompts have you engage in your creativity in fun constructive ways.

This is what my morning pages look like. They aren’t a glamorous display of me writing with a cup of tea next to me. I try my best to write them as soon as I open my eyes. I avoid picking up my cell phone. There have been times were I’ve even started to write them with my eyes closed just to get the pen moving and my wrist going. Not only have they helped with breakthroughs but I argue that they helped me immensely with my depression.
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Someone wanted to be in the photo. Sometimes I do my pages on the floor in front of my altar. yukiunnamed (5)unnamed (3)

One of my artist dates.

One of the suggestions in a chapter is the environment you live in. She talks about making your space a sacred space. It should be your own special place to exist in. I ended up purchasing a stripper pole, getting rid of material possessions, revamping my altar, and hanging up these mermaid twinkle lights.

The morning pages and the artist dates are something that I feel is a lifelong process. It’s an integral piece to my creative recovery. This is a process I would like to do for the rest of my life. I hope to see my other fellow creatives to give this a shot.

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Author:

I am a 26 year old Japanese American queer cis female who is from the bay area and currently lives in Portland, Oregon with her pitbull named Yuki. She is my pride and joy. I have been sober since 2014 and started to work in the sex industry in December 2016. We moved to Portland about 4 years ago in 2013 and have been learning how to thrive in this grey, wet, yet charming environment of Portland. Three things attracted me to this magic nook on the west coast. Tree tunnels (as I like to call them) that tower over roads swallowing you into a tube of nature, people’s tendency to look you in the eye and ask how you’re doing (with expectation of a genuine answer), and tea houses/coffee shops are a past time here. They say this is the city where 20 year olds come to retire or the city of refugee weirdos who just didn’t quite fit in. My diagnosis of Portland is the city that embraces those who love to isolate and be awkward so if hiding out in your room to geek out on your blog or simply drink tea in your room all day is your thing I suggest you check out what the fuss is about in Portlandia. Although Portland is whimsical in it’s own right it has a major amends to make to it’s citizens of color. It’s been here that I’ve learned the most about activism and politics unfortunately as a result of the city’s non acknowledgement of all of their citizens. The citizens here although progressive in it’s own way participates in it’s own subtle yet powerful microaggressions daily. The city is vanilla to put it lightly. When I am not day dreaming of sunnier days you can find me in a tea shop rambling in my journal about the romantic fantasy of hopping a train or living out of a van, admiring baby doll heads and crooked picture frames, watering my indoor plants desperately trying to learn how to have a green thumb, geeking out on astrology charts, obsessing over Michael Jackson and screaming all his songs, flooding my earphones with Princess Nokia to CocoRosie to Mac Dre to name my top favorites, going to strip clubs, crying, praying, attending pole dancing class and learning a variety of ways to make my beautiful backside bounce, holding hands, blowing bubbles, dismantling the patriarchy, writing a story, a poem or working on a zine. My blog has no rhyme or reason but you may find some of those influences as themes in within my posts. What I do hope to do with my blog is expose myself vulnerably if nothing else as an act of leaving behind a documented record of my human-ness but the truest hope, dream in fact, is to help someone out there to feel less alone. I hope that through my ability to candidly share my rawest sense of self I can help build an online community of witches, activists, freedom fighters, freaks, mermaids, pretty boys, studly girls, theys, and thems.

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