Over at TweetSpeak Poetry, we’re reading Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity. The book is designed for people experiencing a creative block, like writer’s block. This week’s reading covers two chapters, “Recovering a Sense of Identity” and “Recovering a Sense of Power.”
Reading about all the skepticism, doubts, self-doubts, poisonous playmates, crazymakers and missed opportunities makes me grateful that I generally haven’t experienced any of these things. Perhaps it’s more of a case of seeing them coming and avoiding them. I do know a lot of things can influence writing, including a lot of frustrations.
Cameron suggests a short exercise to help retrieve memories and misplaced fragments of ourselves and our lives, a kind of remembering to create understanding of who we are and who we might want to be, and what happened in between. The exercise is completed 20 sentences. I did it, and I learned a few things.
So here goes.
My favorite childhood toy was: not a toy. It was actually a small red suitcase that I carried everything important in – my drawstring bag full of marbles, my plastic army soldiers, my cowboy gun and holster, occasionally a book. The only important thing that didn’t fit was a jack-in-the-box my father brought home for me from a trip to New York.
My favorite childhood game was: Monopoly. After that, it was playing army in the woods near my house.
The best movie I ever saw as a kid was: “Some Like It Hot.”I know I’m supposed to say something like “Old Yeller” or “Bambi,” but the Jack Lemmon- Marilyn Monroe movie was the one I have the best memories of.
I don’t do it much but I enjoy: hiking, like in Shaw’s Nature Reserve west of St. Louis. It has everything – trails, hills, a river, bottomlands, bluffs, wildflowers, everything.
If I could lighten up a little, I’d let myself: laugh more at work
If it weren’t too late, I’d: bike across America. Who knows, maybe it’s not too late.
My favorite musical instrument is: the violin. It used to be the piano. I don’t play either, or any other instrument, with the possible exception of the air guitar.
The amount of money I spend on treating myself to entertainment each month is: between $50 and $75. Mostly on books. Well, entirely on books. This doesn’t include things I do with my wife.
If I weren’t so stingy with my artist, I’d buy him/her: a house in the woods, or maybe a loft condo. Well, most likely an occasional ice cream cone.
Taking time out for myself is: easier than it used to be.
I am afraid that if I start dreaming:…actually, I’m not. I dream all the time.
I secretly enjoy reading: crime stories, murder mysteries and certain romance novels.
If I had had a perfect childhood I’d have grown up to be: boring.
If it didn’t sound so crazy, I’d write or make: fiction full-time. Or spend six months in India. Or both.
My parents think artists are: OK. My mother is thrilled to have a published author in the family. If he were still alive, I don’t know what my father would say.
My God thinks artists are: creating in His image.
What makes me feel weird about this recovery (from artist’s block) is: I don’t have one to recover from. I’m not exactly sure why I’m reading this book but I am enjoying it.
Learning to trust myself is probably: something fairly new.
My most cheer-me-up music is: Abba.
My favorite way to dress is: t-shirt, shorts, barefoot. Like I’m dressed while writing this blog post.
So how would you complete these sentences?
Led by Lyla Lindquist, we’re reading at discussing The Artist’s Way at TweetSpeak Poetry. The main weekly post is tomorrow, and you can check then for links to other posts on these two chapters.