I am sceptical by nature, and it does not always serve me well. I have talked myself into pursuing mundanity and ignoring what I might really want to do, calling it realism when really it was something a little darker than that.
I am a fan of feeling safe, and the vulnerability that accompanies pursuing an actual dream makes me very uncomfortable.
As a natural sceptic, it is hard for me to embrace believing that I will succeed in whatever dream I am pursuing. It is easier to give up rather than waste time and resources on something when the odds are against me.
Julia Cameron’s tool of the artist’s date is in part meant to counteract this scepticism. Here are some ideas for artist’s dates. Once a week, by yourself, go on a little adventure that will refill your creative well. I have more or less kept to this weekly schedule, though lately with the lack of verve that plagues me in winter.
Just figuring out my goal is a challenge for me. I have spent so long indulging my scepticism and ignoring the things I was passionate about that it is now hard to recognize what those things are. It’s like trying to connect to true hunger after a lifetime of overeating and strict dieting: I have swung between being very practical and then getting discouraged when the practical path leaves me with a nameless hunger.
I have been writing Cameron’s recommended morning pages since April. They have become a habit, which is good because right now I write them even though I do so without enthusiasm. I guess this is what she means when she writes about “resting on the page.” I write the morning pages, and I take a half-hearted weekly artist’s date even though doing both things is hard right now.
I keep it up in the hope that they will help me catch a glimpse of something that resonates with me. I continue to move forward as the old habit of scepticism pulls me back. Right now I rely on repetition and forward motion and trust that something will come of it.