Renew Your Motivation

Can you finish up the year even stronger than the start?

In The Artist’s Way Julia Cameron advises you to look for synchronicity. She believes, I think, that this is the Universe or a Creator is guiding us down a path of creativity. As I work through the last few weeks of the programme, I have become more attuned somehow to this sense of synchronicity. And it’s very pleasing when it happens.

I will be writing more about the final stages of my journey through her programme in the next few weeks but I did read when you finish up, she wants you to commit to 90 days more of writing Morning Pages and at least weekly Artist’s Dates. Well on the same day I read this, I spotted Rachel Hollis is promoting #last90days. A way to finish out the year even more motivated than you started it. It felt like I just had to give it a try.

The commitments she asks you to make seem to line up well with Cameron’s ideas but the main one I am going to focus on is to give myself that hour a day. I may not be able to use an hour every morning. I have shifted some of my to-do tasks as well Morning Pages to before school already. And I have written in my guide how challenging that can be. She is right that I could get up an hour early. This may well be one answer but as my son tends to be an early riser, I suspect it will be an hour divided.

There is something really invigorating about committing to a programme. Although I don’t like to cut out or restrict food, I think Hollis’ “Five to Thrive” are a reminder to take care of ourselves. I am going to using her prompts too as they send weekly emails and I think having a focus can be inspiring

From Rachel Hollis, the Five to Thrive commitments

The main reason though that I think it’s a good idea to amp up your motivation at this time of year is to get you through the slog of colder days and darker nights. Autumn may be my favourite season to write but Winter will follow quickly after and in setting ourselves up to end the year positively, I am preparing myself to feel the best that I can in the SAD season.

By writing about this commitment and sharing that I want to work on my writing an hour every day, I hope you will keep me accountable. Better yet, why not join me? I’d love to hear from anyone who is committing to a brilliant end to this year.

Writing is not your hobby

Artist’s Way: Week Two

Some #MondayMotivation Even if you’re not making a living, you can make it your life

Inspired by the week two of The Artist’s Way programme, I have been identifying some of my saboteurs. These can be real people who get in your way. They can also be things you put in your way of your creativity. Julia Cameron’s 12-week programme helps anyone develop their innate creativity. I wrote about week one here but to give a quick overview you work through ideas she suggests each day in three “Morning Pages”. Then each week you take yourself on an Artist’s Date.

I haven’t been well so didn’t manage going out this week but I have been interested in what ideas come up in the morning journaling.
This is what came up in the quote :

Creativity is not a hobby, it’s a way of life

Certainly one idea that keeps coming up are well-meaning relatives or friends who talk about my writing as a hobby. They congratulate me for having “me-time”. This probably comments more on how they see me run ragged after my son. Their intention may be to compliment me for trying out something new. When I took a writing course earlier this year, people commented on the time I was taking “for me.” But they still asked more about my job and my son.

Of course, it doesn’t matter what I call any work I do on my novel, blogging or working on other creative projects. It could be my side hustle, my hobby or me at play. What does matter is how these titles effect my attitude towards it. I return to my #MondayMotivation quote

Even if you’re not making a living, you can make it your life

Whatever your level of engagement with creativity, if it comes from an authentic place it can feel like play. It does in a way feel child-like to engage in writing. Once I was sitting in a café and I looked off into space. Grinning, a man asked me “Have you finished your homework then?” I suppose outside of a classroom, people aren’t used to seeing people scribbling into exercise books. Do school children even still use exercise books? They probably just type onto tablets now! It amused him. But it made me question my purpose.

To the outside world, writing fiction is an indulgence. Not work. I think this chapter of The Artist’s Way is helping us see who can travel along with us on the creative journey and who we might not want to tell what we are doing.

If nothing else, my musings this week has reminded me to take time and energy to do this work. It’s not just a hobby for me. It’s much more fun than that.