Hope everyone out there had a wonderful New Year’s Eve and is now looking forward to a terrific 2011. I’m definitely looking forward to a very busy one: Two books of mine are coming out this year (AFTERLIFE, the fourth book in the EVERNIGHT series, will be in the US March 8, while werewolves-on-the-Titanic romance FATEFUL comes along September 13), and I’ll be touring to support them; in addition, I’ll be writing two novels, first of all finishing up BALTHAZAR (about guess who) and then the first book of my upcoming witchcraft trilogy, SPELLCASTER.
So, naturally, I’m looking for more to do. This is where you guys come in.
This week, I agreed to lead an “Artist’s Way” group at my church, starting in late January. I was thinking of providing some check-in posts on my blog each week, after the group meets, for those of you who might be interested in trying it too. What is THE ARTIST’S WAY, you ask? It’s a book by Julia Cameron and Mark Bryan that provides a 12-week program to get yourself creatively unstuck. The program helps get writers writing (and painters painting, and people who just want to think more creatively about their work and lives thinking) through a series of exercises each week.
This would NOT be me teaching anybody to write*, nor teaching anybody anything; THE ARTIST’S WAY is fundamentally something you do on your own. The two key elements are the morning pages (every single morning for the entire 12 weeks, no matter what else is going on, the first thing you do in the morning is write 3 pages) and the artist’s date (every single week, for at least two hours, you go out by yourself to do something you’ve never done before). My posts would just be a chance to check in for those of you who are interested.
I personally did THE ARTIST’S WAY in 1999. There are some things about the program I find deeply goofy. I did it anyway. When I began, I hadn’t written one single word in three years. That program didn’t single-handedly make me a professional writer, but it got me writing again — writing regularly — and I’ve never stopped. So I have to give the program credit for that, and I think it really can be helpful for people who are trying to kick-start their creative process.
What I’d do here is make a post each week about the upcoming chapter, some of my reflections on it, etc. You can just read along if that interests you, or you could feel free to post your own thoughts about your process. What do you guys think?
Also! I have several EVERNIGHT box sets from Australia here — very lovely! — but also not very useful to me, as I have lots of my own books already. I want to hang on to a couple, but I’d like to give some others away. Of course, most of you (I hope!) have copies of EVERNIGHT, STARGAZER and HOURGLASS already. But you could give these to other people you want to get into the series, or save these for yourself and give away the old copies (as these will be autographed). Not sure whether that’s a good prize, though. Let me know your thoughts!
* Nor is this about me reading any writing. Lots of people ask, but I honestly do not have time; sorry about this! I hope I can provide some indirect guidance through TAW, though.