Writing, like all forms of creation, is a process and often a journey. Discovering the little artist child inside all of us could be a magical part of this journey.
Julia Cameron, in her book “The Artist’s Way,” talks about the “inner artist child” and explains that each of us harbors an artist that has remained in a childlike state because it hasn’t had the opportunity to grow.
By paying attention to this inner potential, we can rejuvenate and awaken the dormant artist within us. Daily practices and shifts in perspective can facilitate this, and Cameron lays out plenty of exercises to achieve this in her book.
As a writer, I’ve found this information immensely useful. Initially, because I earned my living through writing, I presumed that the writer in me was already awake. I was unsure where to find this “Artist Child” I supposedly needed to awaken; it must be somewhere around, as I was writing every day and nearly identifying myself as a “writer.”
It turns out, that wasn’t the case. Discovering this was one of the most surprising twists in my journey.
This question forms the cornerstone of the writing workshops I conduct with small groups: What do I need to write better?
First, we need to discuss what “writing better” means.
Do I really know where I’m heading as I strive to write more, to write better?
Do I want to produce more articles, establish a consistent writing practice, or have my writings read by more people?
Do I dream of publishing a book?
I can’t move forward without deciding which direction to take. If I don’t choose a path and advance towards it, my only option is to stand in front of these signposts, pondering how to “write better,” with a sense of despair.
In making this decision, pondering the “Artist Child” archetype often opens a door to the inner creativity that we usually dismiss as ‘childish.’ There’s a state where I feel comfortable writing, where I actually like what I produce. What do I need to invite this state into my life more frequently and more healthily?