Creativity as Self-Care

Our September's Women’s Share explored using creativity as a tool for self-care, here I talk a little more about our book of the month The Artist’s Way.


When I am busy, time for creativity seems to be the first thing to go and yet it is something I find hugely relaxing and enjoyable. It makes me happy, so why is it that I find myself mindlessly watching TV in the evening, tired and brain dead wondering where all the time goes? This summer I wanted to change this cycle and bring creativity back into my life. I read about The Artist’s Way and decided to give it a go.


The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity is a 12 week course written by Julia Cameron an American author, filmmaker and playwright.


The course includes two basic tools: morning pages everyday and the artist date each week.


Morning pages


Morning pages are three longhand pages of writing first thing in the morning when you get up. They are not intended for any eyes but your own and are a stream of consciousness, a place to release and clarify thoughts, feelings, apprehensions and excitements.


“Working with the morning pages, we begin to sort through the differences between our real feelings, which are often secret, and our official feelings, those on the record for public display.”

The Artist Date


The artist date is a once a week date with yourself doing something creative that interests and inspires you. The important thing is to plan ahead something for yourself, by yourself. The artist's date can be anything from drawing outside, to reading a book in a park, or going to a shop and trying on clothes you wouldn’t usually wear. The idea is to bring back play and imagination into your life.


“An artist date is a block of time, perhaps two hours weekly, especially set aside and committed to nurturing your creative consciousness, your inner artist.”

The two then play into one another, the morning pages transmits and the artist date receives.


“Doing your morning pages, you are sending out - notifying yourself and the universe of your dreams, dissatisfactions, hopes. Doing your artist date, you are receiving - opening yourself to insight, inspiration, guidance.”

The self and spirituality


The Artist’s Way at its core is a spiritual exploration and some people find this challenging, whether that’s the use of prayer or the term God. However, Cameron explains how you do not have to be religious to use prayer or access a sense of spirituality.


“When the God is used in these pages, you may substitute the thought good orderly direction or flow. What we are talking about is creative energy.”

In The Artist’s Way creativity is a spiritual act, but this can be defined by you. The core idea is connecting with a flow of energy, the same idea we practise in yoga and like yoga to be creative you also need self-discipline and self-reflection. This is a confronting process but a hugely powerful tool in self-care.


You can learn more about Julia Cameron's work in our September collection for Self-Care below:


Book: The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron

Podcast: Julia Cameron on Happy Place by Fearne Cotton

Album: Framed Space by Jonny Nash & Suzanne Kraft

Poem: Don’t hesitate by Mary Oliver


Interested in starting The Artist’s Way alongside like minded others?


In 2023 Vara will be hosting monthly meets in the form of Julie Cameron’s ‘creative clusters’ to support one another through The Artist's Way.


Register your interest here!


Book on to next month's Women Share below!








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