Thursday, June 14, 2012

My Artist's Way Toolkit

I have never done product reviews here because in the context of this blog most review opportunities just don't make sense, but because writing and creativity have been so cathartic and healing for me I decided to make an exception when Blogher approached me about reviewing Julia Cameron's My Artist'sWay Toolkit.

As a mother who is also a passionate writer, I struggle to find time in my hectic day to devote to my creativity. The toolkit is like a one-stop (online) shop to keep all your little creative ideas and inspirations together and to provide you with daily affirmations and inspirational exercises. 

First, I am turned off by the fact that this is a service with an ongoing fee as opposed to an app that you pay for one time, but that’s just me.

One idea that I really liked, but that isn’t really all that unique (I have read to do this before) was the idea of morning pages—three pages to be written long hand each morning to clear your mind of thoughts that get in the way of your writing. These pages are not meant to be devoted to working through real projects or stories, but instead to clear the path in your mind so that you can get down to business when you are ready, rather than be stuck going over the grocery list in your mind, or re-hashing that stupid comment someone said to you.

The toolkit offers weekly prompts and exercises, and written and verbal affirmations. I always love listening to affirmations so that was something that did strike a chord with me, but the toolkit falls short for me in the same way that e-readers do. There are certain types of writing that I only do on the computer (working on my novel, blogging, writing essays) but really all of the intimate creative moments that this toolkit is designed for (writing exercises, jotting notes of inspiration, etc.) are those that I prefer to do by hand. I love the feel of a journal in my hand. I love the smell of its pages, and how my pen sounds scratching them as I jot down a note of dialogue that comes to mind, or a few lines of a poem. I just would never jot something down when I am about town, then come home and re-transcribe it into this toolkit.

Overall I like the MyArtist’s Way Toolkit in theory, but in practice it is a bit too time consuming for me. I barely have time most days to devote to my creative process as it is, and while I would like to say that this toolkit is just what I need to hold me accountable, it just sort of doesn’t work for me at this point in my life when I never feel I have enough time to do anything, much less something superfluous.
*While Blogher has compensated me to review this product, the opinions here are my own.

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