Hello, Loyal Readers! I read a Self Help Book! And I liked it. There’s no shame in reading self-help books. Right?
The Artist’s way is a recovery oriented approach to creativity. It is, essentially, a twelve step program modified for use by artists—from writers, to painters, to musicians, to anything in between. Each week there is a thing on which to focus and a series of exercises designed to restore healthy attitudes toward your creativity.
Why I Picked It Up:
Recently I noticed I wasn’t writing anymore, and when I was, I wasn’t having fun, not like I used to. I was worried, and of course worry turned into pressure on myself to write and enjoy and impress people. And despite all this pressure I wasn’t producing work, which was the damnedest thing of all.
I had seen The Artist’s Way at the bookstore and perused it a bit months before I actually picked it up.
A Bit About Recovery:
Working in mental health as I do, the big push lately is to veer away from “treatment” in favor of what’s called “recovery.” The theory here is that treatment is passive—people treat you, or they treat your illness while you sit back and take it. On the other hand you are IN recovery, and you’re always the most central, active part of your recovery. Treatment implies there’s an end to this, but we all know that there are some things that have no “cure,” and thus no end. But it’s always possible to “recover” something. And the recovery model can be applied to any life changes anyone wants to make, which is part of the key to its being so effective.
Upon completion, and indeed during the course, I felt very good about my creativity, and I even started writing—and enjoying writing—again. I also, as I suspect some of you may notice, started drawing and even painting again. That’s part of the reason posts here have been a little thinner, but I’ve found the joy in what I do, and I feel more genuine in defining myself as a writer.
I still haven’t found the courage to make the leap into full-time artistry—trust me, I’m getting ready to jump, but the cliff is high and my worries for financial survival are pretty well founded, I think. The book tells us this is a simplistic matter, do what you love and the money will come to you, but I suppose I don’t have faith enough to make a blind leap. I will leap one day, though. I promise it.
So how about you? Ever tried a self-help book? Does recovery work for you? Feel like you need something to restore your faith in… whatever? Leave a comment and tell us about it!