For as far back as I can remember I have loved to write. I have loved to read. I have read books that made me want to write and I have read books so great that I felt I could never write a book as well and so wanted to just give up on the idea all together. I have had great teachers who have given me a love for great writing. I have had teachers who inspired me to be a great teacher. A life-long love of learning may be something you are born with - or it may be something that is cultivated along the way. I miss formal academics. I was not a great student in high school (okay, understatement); but college and the discovery of some wonderful authors inspired me to want to learn in a way I had never experienced before. I became a dedicated student and that has stayed with me.
I grew to love great books, and great writers made me hunger for more. I now own a veritable library and probably won't quit collecting any time soon.
When I became an artist later in in my life I was introduced to a book that fundamentally changed my art, my perspective, and in many ways changed my life. I know, when you hear someone say that something "changed their life" I know your skepticism seems to come out of hiding. So, hear me out...
At the second art show of my baby art career, a complete stranger walked up to my exhibit and after a brief exchange, asked me if I had ever read The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron. He said, "I think you would really like it." And so, I bought the book.
The Artist's Way is a twelve week program for aiding you in discovering or recovering your creative self. Perhaps you haven't "lost your creativity," or perhaps you don't think you could ever have a creative side to your life. I didn't think I needed help in my
creativity, but I was at a definite crossroads in my personal life and for some reason, this book struck me as just the remedy my soul needed. I am a person of faith so it wasn't that I was looking for God - but even a person of faith may need to exercise to gain strength in their physical body, so now, what I realized was that I needed a different kind of strength - I needed to learn how to exercise or how to work out, my soul.
I did every single thing I was asked to do in the book - Every creative exercise, every journal, every project. I did the program just like I was supposed to - and - a real metamorphosis happened in my life. My creative life was changed, my emotional life was changed, my awareness of how change takes place was heightened... and many significant changes were brought about in my personal life because I took the time to examine them in depth. I may have been more desperate than most in my quest, and so my results may have been more extreme - but I am happy to say I got exponentially more out of it because of the effort I put into it.
I share this to say, we each have a story, maybe even a book, that is waiting to be birthed out of us. I am on a new quest this year. I want to distill the experiences in my life. I want to be able to say: This. This is what it has been about for me. Every life is unique, but every life can learn from other lives. My story will be different - but it will be mine - and in a way - it will be yours - because, in reading it, you will take it with you. What will your book say? What is your story? Let's tell our stories together.
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