On creative recovery, and coloured star stickers.

Recently, a dear friend and great inspiration told me about a wonderful book called “The Artist’s Way”, by Julia Cameron. Apparently I’m the only creative person in the Western world who hadn’t heard of it, because everyone I’ve spoken to about it since has said some variation on “Oh, yes, I know that book!”.

Within a week, I received two copies of the book. One, a loan from my dad with a beautiful note inside it. The book’s on my desk. The note’s on my notice board with other reminders of what is precious. Two, a copy of my very own, sent from my friend, a wordless gift of inspiration and a declaration of faith in me.

In one of the early chapters of the book, there is a list of ten basic principles of creativity and creative recovery. I read them sitting in the food court of my local shopping centre (when you get to a certain level of fatigue, even food court coffee can be considered acceptable) – and my head nearly exploded. My mind swarmed with thoughts and emotion and inspiration and determination. I wrote the principles straight down in my writer’s notebook (which is now slightly stained with coffee, but still legible). And, over the next ten days, I will write them down here. Because it turns out that my creativity is an inherent part of my spirituality. I realise that I cannot have one without the other. As a being created by the Creator, I am creative. That’s all there is to it.

On a slightly different note, I’ve also started putting a coloured star sticker on my calendar for every day I do some writing. It’s amazing and amusing how much satisfaction I get out of a bright shiny sticker. Just as much pleasure as I used to get as a child, when a particularly good piece of homework earned a star, or a smiley face, or a coloured stamp. It doesn’t matter how old you get, or what you go through. Some things never change.


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