So for the next two months I’m going to be doing weekly, short blogs covering the 43 chapters of Julia Cameron’s The Right to Write, self-help/work guide on how to be work on yourself to work on the writer in you.
I’ll be joining YT vlogger and fellow writer/author, Burgess Taylor on her journey going through Ms. Cameron’s book as a group. She kicked this off so please stop by and check out her website/blog and YT vids!
If you want to join in too, pick up a physical copy or ebook version of The Right to Write: An Invitation and Initiation into the Writing Life Amazon (US) or at B&N or if you’re Canadian *waves to fellow Canucks* here at Indigo/Chapters…or your local library or any other place else you prefer.
As part of this series of blog posts I’ll be sharing snippets from my assignments. Why? Because I’m in the sharing mood, and I hope they’re enough to help another struggling writer out.
Shall we check out Chapters 15-21?
By this point, Ms. Cameron has already taken us through the ups and downs, and given us tips, and this week was no different in that area. I have yet to write my letters to my Older and Younger Selves because I’m falling behind. Also off
Julia Cameron DOES introduce her “Artist Date” in this book though; a carryover if you read/experienced (or glanced at) her other title The Artist’s Way. For those of you who are all like…HUH?! Artist Dates are supposed to be exactly that, dates with an artist…
No, just teasing. Sorry to get your hopes up.
They are dates with an artist, but that artist is you. Yes, you’re supposed to take yourself out on a date, alone, which gives time to fuel your inspiration, spark passion for your creative process and fill that well Ms. Cameron mentions here and there.
She recommends – challenges? – for us to start doing the Artist Date from this week onward, but honestly I have no time for it right now. I’m in a foreign country and walking around alone isn’t exactly the safest thing to do around these parts. Also there’s the late morning to late afternoon heat to worry about and head cover/hijab and, well let’s not get started on my short list. It’s just not my kind of thing. So, sorry Ms. Cameron, but no steady Artist Dates for me. At least not here.
For my one and only Artist Date, so I can say I did it, I went to get my hands prepared for my cousin’s wedding party.
Isn’t it pretty?
Funny thing is I didn’t want to get it done. It took my mom convincing me to go before I decided to take the plunge. Glad I did, because I think I’m addicted now. 🙂 *strokes hands*
Even funnier coincidence – or is this what they call serendipity – the designer/henna artist (this isn’t henna btw, but a black dye) had the same name as me! No, she wasn’t called Marna. That’d be my pseudonym. She shared my real name. Even cooler in my mind, although tbh my name is quite common. It’s like the Brittany and Jessica of the Arabian, Muslim African world.
Anyways. Moving on with The Right to Wrire…
There was one chapter in particular that resonated with me. I forget the title, but for those of you reading along with The Right to Write it’s the chapter that briefly introduces an exercise called “Blasting Through Blocks” or something. And I guess the exercise has you facing your doubts head on with a list of some sort…
For instance, I’m in a current writing funk. I haven’t ‘properly’ written anything since April 26th when I finished my last WIP’s current draft state (and I’m waiting on an editor there). So I could list my current doubts and they’d look like this:
“I’m not good enough.”
“I’m not a ‘real writer’.”
“I have no knowledge of that topic.” (this stopped me from entering Harlequin’s current #HistoricalBlitz contest…that and I honestly don’t feel like writing for historical, but that’s another thing)
“I need to read at least another (insert generic #) books from that genre before I can write/chase my plot bunny that way…”
Or my favourite…
“Okay, say you succeed and get that publishing contract or whatever, then what?”
I say that’s my favourite because too many times I’m chased away by what I want not by the fear of failure, but by success. I wonder “what next?” and “what will happen when I lose my dream for this goal?” It’s like I’m worried the passion to live will just seep away overnight or something. Loco, right?
Anyways… It’s too bad that Ms. Cameron didn’t assign that as the chapter’s exercise or “initiation”.
I did do an exercise that helped me jot down more plot ideas. I’ve been doing that a lot the last 2-3 weeks. When I’m in a writing funk, I like to still express myself through writing and I particularly enjoy the initial rush for an idea.
So I’ll dive in and do a bit of research, plot chapters, and jot down (<– there it is from the first week, Ms. Cameron talking about “writing down” ideas not making them up and forcing them out) any and all scenes that jump out at me. So far I have a folder full of 13 novella ideas and counting, and a potential chapter book series, a MG series, and a YA novel at various plotting stages.
For her ‘Sketching’ chapter (ha, I remembered the title) Ms. Cameron’s exercise had me writing down – off the top of my head – FIVE topics I’d like to write about. And because sharing = caring, here’s my list:
FIVE THINGS I’D LIKE TO WRITE ABOUT:
1. my “mother” (father) nation
3. a May-December love story
4. a B&B run by Hypnos & Thanatos
.5. a boy band
I have no reason why I want to write about boy bands. Lord knows I’ve stopped caring about them after N’sync. The idea sprung into my head and I’m like, yes. That’s what I’d like to do someday.
Moving on, and wrapping this up as I still need to pack for my trip for the wedding party, I’d like to close this week off by saying “hang in there, we’re halfway through this journey with three week down and three to go” also “keep art-ing”. And that’s the lower case A not capital A – Art. 🙂
That and more of this:
Until next week (only praying my WiFi doesn’t go bye-bye).