Jamie Sims Coakley
The Artist’s Way - An Invitation
Dear Beautiful Humans:
This long summer has been full of down time, reflection, and frustration as I navigate, for the first time, the process of selling a novel.
Numerous creative ideas and opportunities have shown themselves to me the last three months and as desirous as I have been to pursue them, I have found myself blocked.
After creative blood has been spilled into a piece of art, divinely inspired, the world we live in pushes and pulls us to share the art. To ask for recognition, perhaps to monetize it in an effort to place value on the art beyond the joy and fulfillment we encountered while creating. This pressure is very real for me and I have experienced it many times as depression. Rejection of any kind, especially to those most intimate parts of myself I feel compelled to nourish and share through art, is a prospect I avoid like the plague. As much as I am compelled to tell stories to bond us, inspire us, unite us, and heal myself, I am also compelled to self sabotage through isolation and abandonment of these works, rather than face the pain of what for me, is always an intimate rejection, and I want to, am ready to move past this to my experience a higher form of creation and indeed, life.
Yesterday, I was looking at my Twitter account which is heavy with writers and there was a question about “life changing books”. I clicked the thread and my eyes landed upon a response by another that listed two books: Women Who Run With Wolves and The Artist's Way.
Women Who Run With Wolves was discovered by me when I was 18 and has lived in my life and served as a great grounding and inspirational gift at various times ever since. Especially when I was attempting a big creative project and feeling overwhelmed, or too small to meet the task.
The Artist’s Way was gifted to me, at some point in the last year, by a very close, dear friend who I greatly admire and has sat untouched ever since. Yesterday, I found them together on a stack of books next to my reading chair and on top of two beautiful, partially filled journals. I don’t know about you, but for me…these happenings are never coincidence. They are always guides, sign posts pointing out the next, true turn for me to take on my journey through this creative life. So I picked up The Artist Journey and read the first few pages. "Of course. Here it is, the next step along my path, the way forward, sitting here patiently waiting for me to be ready, to see it."
This blog and the subsequent “Creative’s Zoom Chats” that grew up around it, have been my attempt at a couple of things: First, communing with other creatives about our successes, struggles, experiences, strengths and hopes on our creative paths, and second, to be of service to other creatives through community. To that end, I would like to invite you to do the 12 week course of The Artist’s Way along side me and in solidarity.
Make no mistake, it is a commitment. You will uncover and discover much about yourself and the things that keep you from living a more fulfilling, creative life. It is sure to be an adventure of up’s and down’s, strong emotions and ideally, at the end, a rebirth of your natural self experiencing and expressing a creative life, however that looks for you.
If this calls to you in any way, I ask that you commit to reading the first 25 pages of The Artists Way during this next week. A sample can be downloaded for free on the Kindle App. A copy of the book purchased cheaply on Amazon, or perhaps checked out at your nearest library. Who knows, a copy might be gracing your bookshelves at home already, just waiting for you to discover it, or perhaps rediscover it. Either way, make a commitment to yourself to explore those first 25 pages and then, if you are called to go further, decide to make this twelve-week journey with me.
There is a contract in the book, which I have signed and taken a photo of and I ask that any of you who choose to do the program with me, email me a photo of your signed/dated contract to email@example.com no later than midnight next Sunday, September 4th.
We will begin Chapter One with “Morning Notes” that Monday, September 5th, separate but together, and then meet up weekly, virtually via my Zoom Chat For Creatives format the following Monday evening, September 12th for an hour long group discussion of the first week and to hold each other accountable for continuing the course.
If you are feeling lost, unfulfilled, depressed, blocked, underwhelmed with the quality of your life or your art, I lovingly invite you to take a chance on yourself and join me on this adventure.
Link to RSVP for Zoom Chat For Creative’s - The Artist’s Way - Week One
If you know someone you think might want to join us, please feel free to share this newsletter with them.
A creative life is truly and life worth living, take a chance on yourself.
With love and gratitude,