The Sound of Paper

Sound of Paper: it’s a wrap

I completed the work of the Sound of Paper yesterday, making this the 8th book of Julia Cameron’s creativity series I’ve completed.  I have to admit that sometimes I feel a little lost when I take breaks between her books – it is all the artistic mentorship I needed and never got, and sticking with the Artist’s Way program really has helped me stick with my other programs in life. When I started the Artist’s Way I was blocked, doing everything BUT writing the book I had quit my full time job to write, and filled with purposeful self-defeat. I’ve learned to go easy on myself – and found I work better, produce more, and most of the time, the quality is pretty good.

I have a distinct memory of a summer between college semesters, the only one I spent with my parents. My mother was pressuring me about school despite my explorations costing her nothing, and I said in frustration, “I’m still trying to find myself!” My mother was quite snappish, and acted as if it was the worst thing I ever said. There was a plan, it was her plan, and I was going to stick with it even though a)she paid for less than a third of my education (and it was a loan, one I alas still need to repay and would not have had to take -and would ironically be able to repay – if she and my father hadn’t actively obstructed my ability to work a job during school) and b)the plan itself was proving to be more and more unsuitable. My mother had spent years conditioning me to do things I didn’t enjoy, and she was determined to steer me into a life that only had joy for her in it, no matter what it cost me.

Flower Show

It was one thing for the high school girl that she treated as a house servant to try to dodder through writing while playing a musical instrument she didn’t enjoy. But the college woman that came back had a 3.8 GPA and had spent a year of her life having it pointed out to her that she was actually rather special in terms of talent, ability, and strength. I may have been painted as average and serviceable in high school by people determined to perceive me that way, but in college, without my family to manipulate the context by which I was understood, I suddenly became an intelligence to be respected and a voice to be heard. I’m not sure if college helped me find myself – but it gave me enough power to recognize that my family expended a great deal of energy in gaslighting me into believing I was someone I was NOT.

I can’t say I ever found myself in college. I discovered I was Wiccan, although not in a manner associated with most American Wiccans. I discovered that yes, I did love to write, and that I do have a journalistic instinct. But as to finding myself – the Artist’s Way is what has helped with that. The guided journey, all 8 books, has helped me establish habits and pay attention to my own needs. In the process, it has made me a better partner, has actually helped drop off friends that were bad for me, and made me a better friend to the ones that found the changes in me a positive thing.

I’ve ordered the 12 remaining books (prayer books included) by Cameron that I don’t own. I use Answered Prayers as a sort of divination service. Until the next book comes, I’ll be doing a daily practice of morning pages, affirmations, a review of the principles, and a brief moment of meditation over the Artist’s Way Every Day and a reading from the prayer book Blessings. I also have a literal piggy bank I am stuffing with bills over time, so I can eventually sign up for the online Artist’s Way class that Cameron teaches.

This blog may lay fallow between books, or I may find something inspiring. I might post videos here about creativity – TedTV has turned out to be something of an amazing find. I might repost from other artist’s way blogs on WordPress.com. I will do as I am moved to do, between writing a book, revising poetry, and outlining articles I’ve been contracted for this summer.

Sound of Paper: 10 if it weren’t too risky, I’d try…

This is part of my work in the Julia Cameron Artist’s Way series. The work this time is from the book the Sound of Paper. The responses are self-examinations and assessments based on work through a daily series of exercises. While I do keep some material offline as it can be very personal and jarring, I often opt to be fairly open about my experiences, both positive and negative.

the Eiffel Tower

If it weren’t too risky, I’d try …

  1. Creating a 3-D storyboard poster with origami pieces.
  2. That Vietnamese place in Loring Park. Been curious for years. (Not so much fear of food as concern for some idiots that seem determined to plant themselves in my path despite my complete lack of interest in them.)
  3. Sending off more pieces to national magazines and sites.
  4. Pitching another book while I’m working on revisions for this one.
  5. Teaching a class online.
  6. Stand-up comedy.
  7. Writing that letter.
  8. Putting out an ad for a documentary collaborator
  9. Shooting a Youtube video
  10. Take more time out of my schedule to go to outdoor concerts or check out local food trucks.

Sound of Paper: a logical next step for my art is

This is part of my work in the Julia Cameron Artist’s Way series. The work this time is from the book the Sound of Paper. The responses are self-examinations and assessments based on work through a daily series of exercises. While I do keep some material offline as it can be very personal and jarring, I often opt to be fairly open about my experiences, both positive and negative.

Night at Notre Dame Cathedral

  1. …write outlines for the freelance articles I got commissioned for yesterday.
  2. …check in on AbsoluteWrite. Make a daily appointment to check in.
  3. …go check out some new writers’ workshops.
  4. …take a class – it need not be writing related. But I do need to do something for cognitive self-maintenance.
  5. …create a list of places where I could get another person’s help on Fat Chic.

Sound of Paper: If I believed in a benevolent universe

This is part of my work in the Julia Cameron Artist’s Way series. The work this time is from the book the Sound of Paper. The responses are self-examinations and assessments based on work through a daily series of exercises. While I do keep some material offline as it can be very personal and jarring, I often opt to be fairly open about my experiences, both positive and negative.

Examples of the God Jars

Some truly weird and somewhat unpleasant synchronicity happened yesterday, and I’m still processing. This might make some of this sound a bit more cynical (90′s-esque) than my usual. The truth is, I think that the universe IS good, that karma DOES work – but that it happens on a geologic and not human time scale. That said, I was once again the hand that delivered my own karma yesterday, and I’m always uncomfortable about that. It’s a moral dilemma because then you have to ask if it’s revenge, and thus more immorality, or if it’s just Higher Beings and outside your judgment. When it comes through YOU, it’s murky and unpleasant because you don’t know and it’s way too easy to deceive yourself into thinking that you’re on the side of the angels. Still, it wasn’t a situation where passively sitting was an option that honored my inner artist/inner child. I sincerely hope I did right by myself, and by other people that the person has gone out of her way to hurt.

So, if I believed in a benevolent universe I would …

  1. Put one small wish in my God Jar every day about my five year business plan.
  2. Ask for help more.
  3. Find the backing to pay that help.
  4. Allow for the hope that my sister and mother will realize that they are lying to themselves about the how and why of my skipping my sister’s wedding, since it was circumstances that I needed help controlling and that chose not to help me with.  I am not spiteful like they are, but because they are, I have been forced to be highly self-protective. I don’t want amends. I just want them to stop being miserable and thus spreading misery. I can’t be their only target.
  5. Start a clinic for women that want to replace female social violence patterns with patterns of helping one another achieve their highest good.
  6. Get my butt on a Nice Ride bike and get in the habit of using one.
  7. Write a carefully researched rebuttal to Minn Post’s scare journalism about an obesity crisis that leveled off seven years ago.
  8. Start actively looking for my dream collaborators.
  9. Include Mike more in collaborative projects. He wants to collaborate, but right now I’m having a hard time communicating my needs and he’s having a hard time making time for what I do need from him. This is mostly due to thesis work, which I accept.
  10. Trust that G.O.D will fill me with presence of mind and the right comeback when another person tries to ninja-crazy me when I’m trying to divert my energy to building something positive.

Sound of Paper: If I took the long view

This is part of my work in the Julia Cameron Artist’s Way series. The work this time is from the book the Sound of Paper. The responses are self-examinations and assessments based on work through a daily series of exercises. While I do keep some material offline as it can be very personal and jarring, I often opt to be fairly open about my experiences, both positive and negative.

View from Montparnasse Tower

This exercise is about sticking with it.

If I took the long view, I’d

  1. always have a new project going while I work on revisions. (I do, at the moment.)
  2. send stuff out, but always have something going on while it’s under review.
  3. remember that my byproducts are not temporary. Boxes and consequences tend to last.
  4. start seeding some of my “short work” necessary to promote the book on divorce.
  5. keep working on the Urban Wicca book while I’m doing all of that.
  6. start thinking of my career and what I want to create after the book has been out, and after the 3 year promotion period.
  7. remember I am producing a body of work.
  8. keep working the artist’s way path.
  9. have a five year and ten year plan going now.
  10. make a complete map of the baby steps I need to make for Fat Chic.

Sound of Paper: 5 Choices I am Proud of

This is part of my work in the Julia Cameron Artist’s Way series. The work this time is from the book the Sound of Paper. The responses are self-examinations and assessments based on work through a daily series of exercises. While I do keep some material offline as it can be very personal and jarring, I often opt to be fairly open about my experiences, both positive and negative.

IMG_9094

  1. Transferring to Mankato; I wasn’t conscious of how badly I needed to protect my education, but I’m glad I let my subconscious run the show on that one.
  2. The Wrath look I did at Goth Prom in 2010.
  3. The penguin project I did for Mike – it was a good compromise that pleased us both.
  4. Going ahead and doing the Spellcasting Picture Book. It wasn’t about how it was received – it was about doing it.
  5. Starting Fat Chic, and embracing my body as-is. It has relieved me of the burden of constantly apologizing for being.

Sound of Paper: A Letter to Myself from my Future Artist

This is part of my work in the Julia Cameron Artist’s Way series. The work this time is from the book the Sound of Paper. The responses are self-examinations and assessments based on work through a daily series of exercises. While I do keep some material offline as it can be very personal and jarring, I often opt to be fairly open about my experiences, both positive and negative.

Old fashioned seed packet

Dear Diana,

You’ve spent a lot of years being hard-sold on the flat-out lie that specific people in your life have wisdom, know what’s best for you, want what’s best for you… respect that your life is yours, and that you were not put on this earth for their benefit. One of the reasons you’re still so mad right now is because you’re coming to terms with what a massive lie all of that is. Don’t let the anger distract you from one great shining truth: you were surrounded by loved ones that betrayed the trust G.O.D granted them and tried to torpedo you for your their own selfish gain, and you won anyway.

You’re a one woman nation of Israel, you are. It’s going to stand you in good stead for the rest of your life – and trust me, that life will be a long one. Keep working on your internal unhappiness and shit now, because if you’re going to live a long life, it should be one you enjoy living.

Right now you’re thinking a lot about infrastructure. Hold off on that. Why? Because your life is your first pillar, and you’re not building yet. Let those ideas about fixing the Pagan community wait. The community isn’t ready to hear them – they still need another cycle of doing the same thing over and over again while expecting different results. It needs to hit them on the chin one more time, and you do NOT need to be involved with that. You just keep doing what you’re doing, and building from something that’s already fresh. Keep working on Someone Else’s Idea as your Pagan community service. You don’t realize how radical you are, yet – and the Pagan world is not ready to process what you’ve got to offer. Just think back: even those that have considered your ideas have almost immediately tried to co-opt you back into their projects and their own benefits. Concepts like sustainability, long-term planning, and foundational giving are still too terrifying and organized. Let them hit survival mode, first – then they’ll be ready to rethink and really listen. On that one, you’ve got a good twenty years, hon.

Write your books now. You’ve got several. Finish that play. Fish out that screenplay – so what if you get rejected? You DID something with it. You’ll have seeded somebody’s mind with it. Maybe you wrote a classic, maybe you wrote a bomb. No one cares. Just be you, and keep creating. This passage of your life is about the writing. Perfumery was never meant to be your career. Enjoy it as a hobby – you’ll always want a few herbs around – but that’s never who you were meant to be. And nevermind the people that tried to tell you not to write. It’s not your job to make them realize they’re idiots, and there is no question at all that yes, you are meant to write, you are meant to write about Wicca, and you have plenty to say without giving away anyone’s so-called secrets. You were absolutely write about the absurd descent into paranoia, and their manipulative and poor communication is not your fault – and that’s exactly why they worked so hard to invade your privacy and to convince you in fact all the problems WERE your fault. You were being bullied, and if you let them back in, you’d be bullied again. Don’t do it. Other things will find you. You’ve made your wishes known to the universe (that skull candle is brilliant, by the way.) The universe will take care of you.

Also, don’t worry about your student loans. It’s not what you think. It’s better.

Love,

Future Diana

Sound of Paper: 5 Steps to Making My Home More Serene

This is part of my work in the Julia Cameron Artist’s Way series. The work this time is from the book the Sound of Paper. The responses are self-examinations and assessments based on work through a daily series of exercises. While I do keep some material offline as it can be very personal and jarring, I often opt to be fairly open about my experiences, both positive and negative.

Kauai

5 Small things I can do to add serenity to my working environment:

  1. Get those baskets mounted in the bathroom. An uncluttered sink will please me greatly.
  2. Station declutter. Pick one small area of my home – a table, a cabinet, whatever, and declutter that on a daily basis. For multi-clutter sections, just pick one TASK of declutter, like removing boxes.
  3. Download some more classical music and compose mixes based on the type of work I’m doing.
  4. Set timers to go off and remind me to take stretch breaks.
  5. Mastering getting up earlier now – so next, incorporating yoga into that time, too.

Sound of Paper: 10 things I am interested in

This is part of my work in the Julia Cameron Artist’s Way series. The work this time is from the book the Sound of Paper. The responses are self-examinations and assessments based on work through a daily series of exercises. While I do keep some material offline as it can be very personal and jarring, I often opt to be fairly open about my experiences, both positive and negative.

10 ways to improve the government

10 things that interest me right now

  1. Zine making
  2. Camera remote controls
  3. Filmography
  4. SEO, and whether it matters a whit these days
  5. Changes to modern journalism
  6. Genre novels
  7. Life drawing
  8. Sewing
  9. Exercise modalities
  10. Poetry writing

 

Sound of Paper: 10 things I could learn about

This is part of my work in the Julia Cameron Artist’s Way series. The work this time is from the book the Sound of Paper. The responses are self-examinations and assessments based on work through a daily series of exercises. While I do keep some material offline as it can be very personal and jarring, I often opt to be fairly open about my experiences, both positive and negative.

coll20-25

A list of things I could learn about as I hone my craft of writing and related creativity:

I could learn more about…

  1. Sketching/drawing skills. A formal class would do me good.
  2. Sewing techniques – I’d be a better fashion blogger if I understood more about clothing construction.
  3. Business development and planning.
  4. Photography – there’s always more to learn there, even with my S90 point and shoot.
  5. Documentary making. I need a filmographer to partner me for my book project, and the better I understand the process, the better a partner I can choose.
  6. Poetry. I really want to take a poetry class as it tends to make the rest of my writing much better.
  7. Gardening. My tomato plants have yellow spots on the leaves, and I’m bewildered. Maybe a switch to liquid fertilizer? Tomato spikes? Already?
  8. Design, in general.
  9. CSS/HTML and related computer type stuff.
  10. Book marketing, and making that all work. I’ve done a round of self-education, but it really is hard to keep up.