A Sense of Strength

Chapter eight of The Artist’s Way is about Recovering a Sense of Strength. How do you gain strength to pursue your artistic dreams?

First, by acknowledging and mourning your losses, that is, failed attempts, rejections, non-constructive criticism. Intellectually, we know that these experiences are a natural part of the creative life, but that doesn’t make it any less painful. We may try to brush off that hurt, ignore it, bury it.

Artists are supposed to have a thick skin

Artists are supposed to have a thick skin

Maybe you’ve told yourself, “I shouldn’t let that bother me. I need to grow a thick skin.”

But a creative dream that is unrealized is a brainchild that did not come to term. By not mourning those losses, they become blocks to future artistic endeavors.

Once acknowledged, the wounds can begin to heal. Then the only way to grow and strengthen your inner artist is to start doing again–write, paint, sing, dance–create!



Start “filling in the form.” Start with one small step in the direction of your dreams. Then take another step, and another.


Do you have a creative wound that is still festering, or has it scabbed over or grown scar tissue? Any of these outcomes can block future progress. Recognize the loss. Mourn it. Allow it to start to heal. Then take a step forward.

7 thoughts on “A Sense of Strength

  1. This is exactly what “Just Write” is helping me with… rekindling my creative spirit and allowing me to openly grieve the lost creations so that I can move forward unblocked. I am confident that I am on the right path now.

  2. Patty,
    I have been learning to “peel the onion” from you for many years now and it’s been a tough road, at times. As in life, burying something to the point of non-recognition is detrimental to the soul.The idea of peeling a scab~quite graphic~is on target! I’ve learned the best way is sometimes the rough way and never give up.

    • Thanks, Jan. The onion analogy is a good one, peeling away the layers to get to your authentic self, as you wrote about recently. The road is rough at times, but you are strong.

  3. Patty — You have an amazing ability to explain complicated things in very simple to understand terms. You are an inspiration to all who know you. Keep it up!!!! We love you.

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