A Thousand Words A Day

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writing: _ Christian Writers _ _ NaNo _

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Location: Columbus, Ohio, United States

Reader, writer, podcast listener, and TV watcher. And real nice guy.

Wednesday, February 12, 2003

More from Julia Cameron's book "Walking In This World." One of the things I like about the book is the subtitle: A practical guide to creativity. I like the left and right brained contradiction (or use) of practical dn creativity at the same time. One of the aspects I like about the book is the combination of groundedness and airy-ness that the book portrays. As I reported earlier, the book mentions three techniques that Cameron expounds upon more in previous books. Even though I am consiering getting those books and mining them for the details of what she is talking about, I figure that the review of what she talkes about in "W I T W" is enough for me to get the idea. I know from education that one does not truly understand something until they can explain it to another, so I am going to try to demonstrate my knowledge of the second of her three techniques by understanding it. Her first technique, "Morning Pages" was discussed in the previous blog. Here is my understanding / summary / review of her second technique, "The Artist's Date" (herein known as T A D).

T A D is a once a week, one hour at a time, expedition by yourself to explore something festive or interestig or intriguing to your artistic consciousness. She calles is "assigned play," as opposed to M P which are "assigned work." I wonder if my browsing at the library in a haphazard, let one thing lead to the other, be open to notice whatever you notice sort of way would count? She refers to art generally, including music, the graphic arts, as well as the writing arts, and I do wonder if this particular tip would apply solely to the writer specifically and not the entire genre of the artist. But I will explore the tip more fully before I am ready to finally pass judgment on the technique. She does specifically talk about this tip as a way of gathering images, which I guess I could transfer into gathering ideas and gathering dialog bits and gathering plot devices and gathering knowledge via research. But it is supposed to be fun, and there is supposed to be a serendipitous aspect of this as well. To create, we have to dip into our reservoir of images (and again I would expand that definition to include such things as dialog bits, ideas, plot twists, fragments, pictures, expressions) and that we need to fill that up in order to have a pool from which to draw when we need to. It is an interesting idea, and I wonder if it would require a bit of a change of my button down, organized, accountant style mind. But of course maybe that style of thinking and lving and being is what has held me back and made me cautious about my writing and changing that would be a powerful influence on me to increase the quality and quantity of my writing, to say nothing about the confidence I feel regarding my work. Again, she refers to it as play, although she notes that since it is play it does not follow that it can be ignored because it lacks seriousness.

The technique is designed to open the mind to an awareness of what is around us and what is available for our use. She talks about what I spoke of before, that synchronicity picks up when T A D is employed. She refers to it as an uncanny knack of being in the right place at the right time. I do this at libraries often, browsing aimlessly and finding things that are helpful. I wonder if the Internet could be used in the same way for the same manner. She wants other things involved in these A D's, but it would be a struggle for me to seek out and find other modes of participating in T A D's. But if I commit to it, then I need to find other ways than libraries to do this, and then of course I also need to make sure that my trips to the libraries and / or bookstores are determined as T A D's or non T A D's beforehand. In other words, I make 5 trips a week to libraries and / or bookstores to do things that seem like T A D,s, so I need to make sure that I change those trips into more task oriented and fixed on doing particular things, and then save my browsing and serendipitous moments for those once-a-week trips when I have an hour and I determine before the fact that this particular trip qualifies as T A D.

She expects reactions like mine, inthe sense that she recognizes that there will be self sabotage and that there will be resistance. This is the kind of real life work that I appreciate in Cameron's book. She recognizes that we walk in this world, and not some crazy plain in the ethereal and ephemeral and super spiritual, but that where we walk is THIS world. Our inner artist, to use her words, is greedy and volatile and vulnerable and is subject to easy distraction and easy discouragement. It wants to be nurtured and cared for in an undivided manner, when there are other things that it needs in order to prosper in the long run. According to Cameron, T A D is one technique that allows that inner voice to speak loud and clear to you in a manner that it desires. So for one day a week you can give this voice the undivided attention it requres and the outlet for all it has to say to you. It will speak to you of dreams and difficualites all a variety of other things that we would rather not think of. But they are valuable, as well the positive and helpful and guiding things that will be spoken.

I need to work out the details and maybe even read more about this one, but I am intrigued, and I considering it.


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