This version of Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way has many of the similar (wonderful) tools she talks about in all her books: Morning Pages, Artist Dates, goal setting advice, list making ideas. The core unique thread in this retirement version is the element of writing your memoir in 12 segments. The goals of the memoir writing appears to be identifying a possible passion area you might have put to the side and/or wounds that interrupted your creativity that need to be healed. You should also achieve a sense of the accomplishments you’ve had in life as you review your entire life journey to date.
Note: According to many, this is the same exact book as It’s Never Too Late to Begin Again!
I’ve been doing her Morning Pages activity for a couple of years now; it is a form of active meditation for me. Morning pages are simply 2-3 pages, stream of conscious, hand written every morning. I write out my resentments, my anger, my fears, my desires, my joys, and my gratitudes. I clarify my emotions, my action plans, and my daily goals. Often I add in what I enjoyed about the previous day or what I am looking forward to with anticipation. I have re-started to write my asks – asking the Universe for guidance or help.
I need to re-instate Artist Dates. I view Artist Dates as a date with my inner child. I’ve never been one who likes to do things by myself, especially things that are new or out of my comfort zone. I also, maybe wrongly, worry about time away from hubby creating distance between us. The few dates I’ve taken have all been wonderful, but I certainly have not achieved her guidance of one weekly!
I liked the fact that all the case studies (person examples) in this book were of retirees. I did find it challenging that few of the examples were similar to me – a married, no-children woman coming from a male-dominated career. She continues to focus on creativity in the arts as being the thing to achieve in your life– writing, painting, acting, or filmmaking were the most common with a few cooking, dance, or crafting examples.
The book does acknowledge the need for healthy living habits and connecting with others; the common desire among retirees to travel (which was then linked to the creativity of photography of course); and even de-cluttering which seems to be a big trend among retirees now.
I have only started the memoir component, unlike blogger Molly T who is almost finished with her weekly writing in this space! My memories of the earliest years are weak and I feel the need to explore differently – maybe relook at old family photos? I’m wondering if this memoir approach will also begin to identify the birth of some deeply held beliefs that I know are holding me back. And possibly help shift those beliefs.
Reading this book renewed my dream of writing (more than a blog; let the story teller inside be heard) and crafting (jewelry). But, my perfectionism wants me to have instant success; my high standards fear being a beginner and not being viewed as an “expert”. Yes, there are some of those beliefs that need some shifting!
I know many others are blogging about their working through this book and sharing wonderful insights. If you have not explored it yet, I encourage you to look into it…. in either form – The Artist Way for Retirement or It’s Never Too Late to Begin Again.