I am a bit behind in my series on The Artist’s Way. I have a tendency to be easily derailed, one of the faults I am attempting to remedy through this process.
In the sixth week on the “Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity,” The Artist’s Way delves into our attitudes toward money. What does money have to do with creativity? Often what prevents us from pursuing a passion for art, in whatever form it takes, is a fear that we can’t make any money at it. We have to pay our bills, after all. We need something to “fall back on,” so we put all of our time and energy into a “practical” career, often smothering the creative passion within.
The chapter on Recovering A Sense of Abundance is designed to unearth those attitudes that hold us back, attitudes that are often rooted in our belief system. Is your god stingy or generous? A god of punishment or pleasure? Whether you believe in one omniscient, omnipotent being or a collective of higher forces–angels, ancestors, and animal guides–or in Star Wars terms “The Force”–do you believe he/she/they will support your dreams?
If so, should you take a leap of faith, quit your job and move into your parents’ attic to write that best selling novel? Probably not. But you can start with small steps. Set your alarm an hour early and write before work. Keep a sketch pad in your car and stop on your way home to capture a scene that strikes your fancy.
Leo Tolstoy said, “True life is lived when tiny changes occur.” Here are some ways our Artist’s Way Cluster members are making “tiny changes” to reignite their creative passions:
Kathy, an artist working as a graphic designer, is experimenting with new painting techniques and selling her work.
Nick, a technical writer, is writing a novel for National Novel Writing Month.
Sharon has returned to her love of photography and carries her camera everywhere she goes.
Dani has entered her artwork in an exhibit.
Yvonne is visiting art studios and craft shows, allowing herself to explore multiple creative outlets to discover what she loves best.
(For more inspiration, read this excellent article on taking baby steps to our goals: http://mariashriver.com/blog/2013/04/hundreds-of-baby-steps-kristy-campbell/)
So how do those baby steps lead to abundance? First, I believe nurturing creativity and indulging a passion for art, literature, music, dance, brings a richness into our lives that has nothing to do with money.
I also believe talent, skill, and perseverance deserve monetary compensation. A friend recently asked on Facebook, “If I wrote an autobiography, would anyone read it?” Another responded, “Is it free?”
Why are artists expected to give away what costs them time, money, and often a lot of angst? John Milton said, “A good book is the precious life blood of a master spirit.”
Where is the line between giving away a talent and skill for the purpose of gaining experience or mentoring someone, and valuing that skill enough to put a price on it?
I leave this question open ended, because I don’t have an answer for myself yet. How about you?