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Hooray!

Last weekend I had a play open in Albuquerque, New Mexico. To my delight, audiences loved the play. For myself, I found myself both comfortable and excited to step forward as a playwright. For two decades, ever since the publication of The Artist’s Way in 1992, I had achieved recognition as a “helper,” a support […]


Let Yourself Write

If we didn’t have to worry about being published and being judged, how many of us would write a novel just for the joy of making one? Why should we think of writing a novel as something we couldn’t try– the way an amateur carpenter might build a simple bookcase or even a picnic table? […]


Finish Something

126

As artists, we often complain about our inability to begin. If only I had the nerve to start X– a novel, a short story, the rewrite on our play, the photo series we’re “thinking” of. I would like to suggest that you start somewhere else– start with finishing something. There must be some obscure law […]


Creative Weather

Try this: During a sustained period of work, artists require special care. We must be vigilant to not abuse our health and well-being. We must actively nurture ourselves. For each of us, the act of nurturing differs. Take pen in hand. Number from 1 to 10. List ten concrete ways in which you can support […]


Do you have a Crazymaker?

One of the things that we do when we are blocked creatively is that we get involved in intense codependent relationships. We seem to pick people who are absolutely expert at turning the tables on our creativity. See if anyone in your present (or past) life fits these descriptions: -Crazymakers spend your time and money […]


The Magic of Artist Dates

My students understand “working” on their Morning Pages– after all, this is America, and we have a powerful work ethic. But the very same students who studiously apply themselves to writing their three pages a day often find themselves balking at my assignment of an Artist Date. And yet, an Artist Date is what fills […]


Photo Play

Yesterday afternoon, I went to my friend Robert Stivers‘ studio. It is a loft space filled with giant prints from Robert’s portfolio. The prints were beautiful and exotic. Robert was to take a new headshot for me, and I, too, hoped to look beautiful and exotic. I dressed all in black– my usual attire. Robert […]


Keep on keeping on…

Very often, it is perseverance– not talent– which wins the day. Too often, we become discouraged by a single rejection. We forget that negative criticism is only one person’s opinion. Discouraged, we fail to go forward. This is where we often need the help of a “Believing Mirror”– someone who sees our potential and the […]


Beating the Blues

I believe that what is really painful is not practicing our creativity. It, to me, smacks of unrequited love: the wishing, the yearning, and the inability to engage. A great way to experiment with this is the next time “the blues” strike, try making something. Anything. A pot of chili, a cabinet, a wild paint […]


Accepting Ourselves… and our true delights

Sometimes as artists, we practice a self-loathing aesthetic that is like what adolescents do in terms of their physicality. This is a self-loathing that sets in and says whatever we are, it is not as good or as beautiful as whatever it is the other one has. If we are small, dark and exotic, we […]