Quotes from “The Artist’s Way” Week 1

I’m going through The Artist’s Way for a second time this summer, and I thought it may be useful for myself and others to gather up all my underlines in one place as a handy reference. It’s truly an amazing and potentially life-changing book which I can not recommend more highly. Check it out for yourself here. This post is focuses on the first chapter, Week 1.

Week 1 – Recovering a Sense of Safety

Shadow Artists

“It takes a great deal of ego strength to say to a well-meaning but domineering parent or a just plain domineering one, “Wait a minute! I am too an artist!” The dread response may come back, “How do you know?” And, of course, the fledgling artist not know. There is just this dream, this feeling, this urge, this desire. There is seldom any real proof, but the dream lives on.” (28)

“It takes nurturing to make an artist. Shadow artists did not receive sufficient nurturing. They blame themselves.” (28)

“they must nurture their artist child. Creativity is play, but for shadow artists, learning to allow themselves to play is hard work.” (29)

Protecting the Artist Child Within

“Baby steps will follow and there will be falls.” (29)

“Judging your early artistic efforts is artist abuse.” (29)

“It is necessary to go gently and slowly.” (29)

“No high jumping, please! Mistakes are necessary! Stumbles are normal.” (29)

“We want to be great – immediately great – but that is not how recovery works. It is an awkward, tentative, even embarrassing process.” (29-30)

“You must be willing to be a bad artist.” (30)

“When I make this point in teaching, I am met by instant defensive hostility: ‘But do you know how old I will be by the time I learn to really play the piano / act / paint / write a decent play?’ Yes… the same age you will be if you don’t. So let’s start.” (30)

Your Enemy Within: Core Negative Beliefs

“Here is a list of commonly held negative beliefs: I can’t be a successful, prolific, creative artist because:

  1. Everyone will hate me.

  2. I will hurt my friends and family.

  3. I will go crazy.

  4. I will abandon my friends and family.

  5. I can’t spell.

  6. I don’t have good enough ideas.

  7. It will upset my mother and/or father.

  8. I will have to be alone.

  9. I will find out I am gay.

  10. I will find out I am straight.

  11. I will do bad work and not know it and look like a fool.

  12. I will feel too angry.

  13. I will never have any real money.

  14. I will get self-destructive and drink, drug, or sex myself to death.

  15. I will get cancer, AIDS – or a heart attack or the plague.

  16. My lover will leave me.

  17. I will die.

  18. I will feel bad because I don’t deserve to be successful.

  19. I will have only one good piece of work in me.

  20. It’s too late. If I haven’t become a fully functioning artist yet, I never will.

None of these core negatives need to be true.” (30-31)

“Negative beliefs are exactly that: beliefs, not facts.” (31)

What you are is scared. Core negatives keep you scared.” (32)

Your ally within: Affirmative weapons

“We often sit on the sidelines critiquing those in the game. ‘He’s not so talented,’ we may say of a currently hot artist.” (33)

“We may be able to defer to true genius, but if it’s merely a genius for self-promotion we’re witnessing, our resentment runs high. This is not jealousy. It is a stalling technique.(33-34)

“You could do it better if only you would let yourself do it!” (34)

“Try these and see if they don’t sound hopelessly syrupy: ‘I deserve love.’ ‘I deserve fair pay.’ ‘I deserve a rewarding creative life.’ ‘I am a brilliant and successful artist.’ ‘I have rich creative talents.’ ‘I am competent and confident in my creative work.’” (34)

Creative Affirmations (36-37)

  1. I am a channel for God’s creativity, and my work comes to good.

  2. My dreams come from God and God has the power to accomplish them.

  3. As I create and listen, I will be led.

  4. My creativity is the creator’s will for me.

  5. My creativity heals myself and others.

  6. I am allowed to nurture my artist.

  7. Through the use of a few simple tools, my creativity will flourish.

  8. Through the use of my creativity, I serve God.

  9. My creativity always leads me to truth and love.

  10. My creativity leads me to forgiveness and self-forgiveness.

  11. There is a divine plan of goodness for me.

  12. There is a divine plan of goodness for my work.

  13. As I listen to the creator within, I am led.

  14. As I listen to my creativity I am led to my creator.

  15. I am willing to create.

  16. I am willing to learn to let myself create.

  17. I am willing to let god create through me.

  18. I am willing to be of service through my creativity.

  19. I am willing to experience my creative energy.

  20. I am willing to use my creative talents.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *