Hey Fun Seekers, have I got a challenge for you…
There’s a book by Julia Cameron called The Artist’s Way.
Some of you may have heard of, although most of you haven’t – but it has sold over 2,000,000 copies. So it’s got some serious legs to stand on…
The tag is “A Course in Discovering and Recovering Your Creative Self“
And it’s available at your local bookstore or online.
I heard about this book last year from Eddie Kirkland, Mike Bielenberg and Danny Grady – all of whom read the book, did the book’s exercises, and couldn’t stop raving about how it had changed their creative lives.
And I was so excited about it from what they were telling me, that we decided o tackle it as a Music Department Staff. The 5 of us dove into it, in hopes that it might prove to be something to do as a large group with our body of musicians.
Sure enough, it was.
And after just one simple email invitation, 40 of our musicians (instrumentalists, singers, Worship Leaders, songwriters, etc.) told us they wanted to be a part.
And not 40 wannabe’s or hackers or 2nd or 3rd-tier people trying to butter us up for more gigs – I’m talking about the core of our musicians, singers and Worship Leaders. And at 2:00 on a Wednesday afternoon!
So we’ve divided up into 4 groups of 10 (far more manageable, especially since not everyone can make it every single week) and will meet for 14 weeks. The book takes 12 weeks to do, along with an introductory meeting and a summary meeting.
Now here’s the disclaimer: The book is NOT written by a Christian, but there is constant reference to The Creator and, and a Christian, it is extremely easy to view the book and its contents through the lens of the Gospel. You’ve just got to know that going in.
If anything, we who have done it would all say that it has in fact strengthened our relationship with God, especially after seeing His creativity is us, His creations.
On page 3, the author lists 10 basic principles. Three of my favorite are:
#3 – When we open ourselves to creativity, we open ourselves to the Creator’s creativity within us and our lives.
#4 – We are, ourselves, creations. And we, in turn, are meant to continue creativity by being creative ourselves.
#5 – Creativity is (one of) God’s gift(s) to us. Using our creativity is our gift back to God.
So here’s my challenge to you: Read and do The Artist’s Way with us over the next 12 weeks, wherever you happen to be. While you might not be a part of our meeting, your thoughts, insights and personal stories are welcome, and I’d love to share them with our group (with you permission).
Whether your creative outlet – whatever that might be – has been bruised in the past, or you’ve had a creative dream that you’ve always been afraid of pursuing, this book is for you.
If you feel you’re not creative – well, you’re wrong. 🙂 Everyone is in some way, and this may be the key to unlock some serious self discovery.
And creativity is not just music. It’s art, sculpture, photography, graphics, writing, stories, novels, poems, scripts, plays, film, teaching, parenting, marketing, stage design, lighting, etc. Even creating routines for Kick Boxing class…
And you’re not too old, either. Or too busy.
And all those other excuses you came up with while reading this? Nope, no good. Sorry…
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Oh, and as an added bonus, here’s the letter that Eddie sent out to our folks, just to get you inspired…
I wanted to invite you to be part of a weekly group we’re about to start on January 28th. We’ll be going through a book/program called the Artist’s Way, which is an amazing 12 week experience that discusses and encourages creativity and writing.
About a year and a half ago, I picked up this book for the first time, and I talked to many of you about it as I walked through the process. It drastically changed my relationship with God, challenged some very deeply held beliefs I had about myself and my writing, and inspired me to begin writing as a way of expressing the creativity that God had placed inside of me. The whole music staff as well as some of the musicians that play here at North Point have already been through this book and have experienced a similar journey, so we really wanted to open it up to you as an opportunity for us to walk through it together as a group. (Talk to Reid, Karyn, Todd, Jared, Mike Bielenberg, or Danny Grady if you want a second opinion)
Basically, the group will meet once a week for 2 hours, and you should know up front that it will involve a pretty good commitment of time over the 3 months. There are readings for each week, as well as homework to do each day, which sounds like a lot, but please trust me… you will get out exponentially more than you put into this process. I really believe that we will walk away from this experience with a much greater understanding of why God has given us all creativity (even people who have never written or created anything before!), and how we can relate to Him through our expressions of that creativity in us.
For those of you that tuned me out because you don’t see yourself as a “writer”: This is totally for you, as well. This group is not, in any way, a “songwriting workshop.” We won’t be bringing our guitars and showcasing music. You won’t have to sing in front of judges while they critique your work. In fact, through the process, you may find a passion for one of a thousand different creative expressions other than music. It’s not just about writing songs (the book is actually written by a novelist/playwright) so please don’t shy away from it. I think you will get a ton out of the experience if you give it a shot.
And please, please, PLEASE don’t think that you need to be a part of this group to be considered a “good musician” and if you don’t join we will never call you again. That’s a lie… so don’t even begin to believe it! This is completely optional and fun, we just wanted to see if anybody would be interested in trying it out together. I know you are all extremely busy people, and this may not fit well in your life right now, we would just love to have you there because we love getting to see you. Period, no strings attached.
Thanks for reading this long email, hope I didn’t totally bore you. Our first meeting will be Wednesday, January 28th from 2pm to 4pm. If you are interested in being a part of the group, please let me know via email before January 19th, so that we can order the right number of books. Looking forward to it, and I hope you can be a part!
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If you do the book, either alone or with a group of your own, let me know! I’d be really cool to take this journey together.