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It’s Never Too Late to Begin Again

Twenty-five years ago I wrote a book on creativity called The Artist’s Way. It spelled out, in a step-by-step fashion, just what a person could do to recover— and exercise— their creativity. I often called that book “The Bridge” because it allowed people to move from the shore of their constrictions and fears to the […]


Risk: Leap and [then] the net will appear

I belive in risk. I don’t believe in luck. I do believe in synchronicity. You may call this semantic quibbling, but I don’t think so. Luck is something that happens to us. Synchronicity is something that begins in our consciousness. Risk is something we undertake. Luck is passive. We trigger synchronicity. We trigger it through […]


Finish Something

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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 […]


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 […]


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 […]


Persistence

Faith is a commodity we always feel is lacking. Who among us feels he has “enough” faith? And yet, we all do. It takes faith to establish an atmosphere where our creativity can flourish. Take pen in hand and list five occasions in which you have demonstrated persistence. For example: 1. I went back to […]


Sane and Happy

So much of being sane and happy begins with the doing of things that are sane and happy. This means that we must train ourselves to think small rather than large. We become frightened because we have “big decisions” to make. But big decisions can be made gently, a small step at a time. But […]


Do you worry about “the odds”?

I wil be blunt: I think “the odds” are a drink of emotional poison. No one invokes “the odds” who isn’t trying to keep you from committing creativity. For one thing, your odds of succeeding immediately increase if you try succeeding. Your odds of publishing a novel, for example, are a lot higher if you write […]


Inspiration

Creativity is not something you possess, but someting that expresses through you. You might call that something “inspiration.” The point is, you need to step aside and allow this force to enter. Puccini claimed the ideas for Madame Butterfly were dictated to him by God. I myself have often sensed “higher forces” of inspiration. I sometimes […]