The Artist’s Way and Coincidences

artistsway

 

The year has not begun well for writing, (though I did manage a couple short poems while I was up with my daughter during the night last night,) so I thought I’d talk about something tangentially related – The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron.

I picked up my old copy of the book this weekend to teach a little intro on it at my library. I pulled three sticky notes out of it. One was about a novel I’m working on editing, one was about the book itself and one was a bit of a shock. It was about the diagnosis of a friend who passed away just before Christmas. The note was roughly four years old. I had spoken at his memorial service exactly one week before.

I’ve always taken such coincidences as sign posts in the road, saying that I am where I am supposed to be, doing what I am supposed to be doing. As my friend says in his memoir, Cancer Just Is, not everything happens for a reason. But do “some” things happen for a reason? Sometimes I think yes and sometimes I think no.

I first bought a copy of The Artist’s Way in my early twenties and read through it but it didn’t really speak to me. Nearly a decade ago, when I was starting to seriously write, I took the book off my shelf and opened it again.  I didn’t remember it but as I browsed through it, it occurred to me that I could do this as a course, since I couldn’t afford to take any writing courses at the time.

I started reading one chapter every Sunday night. I would now say that this is one of the three books that changed my life the most. It opened me up to writing in a way that nothing ever had. It taught me a lot about myself. It also got me writing every single day.

One of the great things about this book is that it is not just for “artists” but rather for anyone who wants to be more creative in their thinking. Every aspect of your life can benefit from a more creative approach – work, parenting, partnering. I highly recommend it.

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