Artists’ Way

If we’ve ever spoken for more than 7 minutes, I’m likely to have brought up the Artists’ Way by Julia Cameron.

I thought it was worth trying to explain what and why it is. If nothing else, this should make me more able to articulate its importance in the future.

So what is it all about:

  • It’s 12 weeks
  • It’s about artistic discovery and recovery
  • There’s a themed essay every week focusing on an element of recovery (e.g. recovering a sense of safety, identity, power etc)
  • There are excercise around each weekly theme
  • You write three pages of nonsense or not nonsense every morning (known as the morning pages)
  • You take yourself out for an Artist’s Date, alone, once each week

What you get out of it:

It somehow develops a sense of clarity of who you are and what you want. It gives an abundance of ideas of things to make and it helps you get out of your own way to make these things happen.

Don’t just take my word for it. In a Facebook post in 2012, bestselling author, Elizabeth Gilbert says:

“Three times in the last decade I’ve committed to doing The Artist’s Way’s program, and each time I’ve learned something important and surprising about myself and my work.”

She is humble enough to admit:

“Without The Artist’s Way, there would have been no Eat, Pray, Love.”

I have previously been through the Artist’s Way process as part of a group and found it extremely inspirational to share the journeys of others. It also provided accountability so that I did the excercises.

If you’d be interested in going through the process in the summer, I’m likely to start a group in Manchester. Please drop me an email (embriarmusic@gmail.com) if you’d like to join me.

Thanks

Em x

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Dunedin: The other side of the world

I am apparently c.18,958 km from London, but it feels like a million miles.  New Zealand is providing the space and calm that I had hoped for.  London’s antidote.

There has been such a wonderful combination of waterfalls, shells and bumblebees.

The beauty of Milford Sound was particularly humbling.  The fjord’s mountains torn apart by the glacier are still pouring out glacial waters from their wounds via waterfalls.

It was the exposed rock of the mountains that knocked me down like a chiseled rugby player.  Such big, rugged beauty.

This has meant that words and melodies have found their way into voice memos in my phone by way of my mind.

My Franz Josef epiphany told me to be ready for Nashville. I am complying by recording some of my “pop” songs.  These are songs that I would love another artist, preferably Rihanna, to sing.  I would hate to be talking to someone in Nashville who could assist with this dream and then not be ready.

These are songs that I have written over the past 5-ish years.  I’m collaborating with my former self and making edits that she would not have tolerated at the time of writing those songs.

Dunedin is the perfect location for this.  I have my own space as, happily, I’m not in a dorm room while I’m here.

The city of Dunedin is very Scottish.  It is based on Edinburgh and had a lot of Scottish settlers from 1855.  There are some nice bars and coffee shops, but not loads else to do.  Again, perfect for writing.

Thanks for reading, again!

Em x

P.S.  When researching Dunedin I found this awesome article about an 11 year old boy raising money for a charity that helped when his little sister was in hospital receiving cancer treatment. She has recovered now but, as a thank you, he’s going to pogo up the world’s steepest street:  Baldwin Street, Dunedin.