Editor’s note: This is the 12th installment of a weekly 13-part series. If you would like to take this journey yourself, we suggest getting hold of Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity or checking out Cameron’s online video course. Best of luck!
Synchronicity is a recurring theme in The Artist’s Way and, strangely enough, I’ve found that each week’s lesson serendipitously intersects with whatever is going on in my life at that particular moment. Last week was no exception. Read on.
I recently took a leap of faith and submitted to an open casting call for a role on a popular web series that I enjoy very much, by a woman whom I admire and respect. My submission ended up being one of 12 that was selected for public vote to win an immediate role on the series. As honored as I was to have my audition recognized, you can imagine how deeply I cringed at the concept of “public vote.”
At this very precarious time in my creative recovery, it was a massive challenge to campaign for my monologue submission. I hadn’t opened myself up to that sort of scrutiny in a very long time. I didn’t know what to expect. And I realized through it all that I still cared a great deal what people thought of me. My concerns weren’t so much about the performance, but about myself as a person and an artist. My inner critic screeches, “They’re all gonna laugh at you!” over the voice of my love-starved child artist, who is just happy for the opportunity to go to the prom.
I didn’t win, and that’s okay. Did I feel a little dejected by that? Yes. I wanted a win for my child artist. I wanted her to go up on stage and get crowned and feel proud of her work, but that’s not really the point. The point is: I took her to the dance. I made her feel special again for one shining moment. And, as has often been the case during this process of blogging through The Artist’s Way, the course gave me peace. Julia reminded me in Week 11 that my self-respect comes from doing the work, not the outcome of it. “Credibility lies with you and God – not with a vote of your friends and acquaintances,” pg. 182.
We do the work not because it is good, better, best; not because it will be seen by lots of people or make us lots of money. We do the work because it gives us life, because “creativity is oxygen for our souls,” pg. 181. The outcome, quite frankly, is none of our business. Our business is to do the work (or, “play” if you prefer). That, in itself, is our reward.
I’m glad that I had the opportunity to experience that contest toward the end of the Artist’s Way course. It was a great way to challenge what I’ve learned about myself so far and take a substantial leap of faith. I believe that it is only the beginning of artistic dances to come, if I am willing to bring my child artist out to shine.
Has The Artist’s Way been giving you courage to take more leaps of faith lately? If so, tell me about them! Let’s encourage each other.
Read the first 11 installments of this series:
- Unblocking the Inner Artist
- Of Monsters and Champions: Let the affirming begin!
- A Case of the Crazymakers
- The Power of Breaking Down Boxes
- The Flow of Letting Go
- The Trouble with Being “Good”
- The Joy of Living Luxuriously
- The Myth of Perfection
- The Beauty of Being in the Moment
- The Language of Loving Yourself
- Getting Out of Our Own Way