Started reading Julia Cameron’s Vein of Gold about a week or so ago. At first, I thought it was going to be one big fabulous ride of writerly creativity and fun. Hmm. Not so much.
Vein of Gold spells out that the journey one is about to undertake is actually a pilgrimage and that it will take at least 4 months to complete the journey. Initially, I was put off by the amount of time being asked of me but the insightful quotes that framed each page kept me motivated and excited.
The first exercise — morning pages — also proved to be very thought-provoking. Several things popped up in these 3 pages of Gestalt-ish writing each day. I understood for the first time in many years that my Grandmother and Mother played roles in my life that I had not fully realized. Yes, they are my mother figures but there were issues that I attributed to other things layered in with the normal ‘mother’ stuff. This surprised me and made me buy into the idea of Morning Pages even more. I also continued reading.
The next exercise is the Artist Date. Each week one is supposed to take oneself in hand — alone — and go someplace or do something that is interesting, you’ve always wanted to do, have never done before, etc. Why? So that you begin filling up your idea reservoir with new ideas, images, thoughts and experiences to draw upon when you’re writing. Sure you can go to museums, but thrift shops, vintage clothing/furniture stores and bowling alleys are A-ok, too!
Next up are the walks — the daily 20-minute minimum walk and the weekly hour-long walk. I’m on the East Coast and currently we’re experiencing some really chilly weather (16 degrees and lower!). Walking was not the thing I wanted to hear about especially with a young baby (my daughter’s not yet 6 months old). But, yeah. I tried it — the short walk! We bundled up and walked the short distance from the babysitter home. Chilly yes, but invigorating. No major thoughts or revelations occurred on the two or three short walks I’ve done but I did feel a sense of achievement. I set out to do something for my writing self and I did it.
So, I continued reading. I got to the section on Narrative Time Lines and became mired in muck. I SOOO did not want to do this — still don’t. I know I will but going through each year of one’s life in 5-year increments asking oneself to recall things liked, hated, smells we missed, and the like is enough to make me want to hurl. However, Cameron feels this is integral to the success of freeing our inner writer/child so that we can release the emotion/pain/writer’s block that may be holding us back from realizing true success.
Sounds good. Still don’t want to do it.
That’s where I am. I’ll check out more of Cameron’s videos and try to gain an understanding of what I’m to do and see if I’ve missed something. Anyone out there who has done Artist’s Way, or Vein of Gold please feel free to share your insights into this particular tool. Your input would be much appreciated!
Ta-ta for now,
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