April 10, 2021

How Julia Cameron’s “The Artist’s Way” Saved me during the Pandemic.


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A post shared by Tarn Ellis (@tarnellisart)

A writer can write their way through hell.

The truth is that most creatives do use their craft to get through life’s challenges.

As a small child, my own imagination became a gateway to another world—one in which I could step into anytime. Books were another escape and so was a world of art.

Today, I ponder: are all writers just wounded souls that bleed on paper? Do creatives fashion works of art that reflect the world in which they want to live? Is the creative process a gift or a coping strategy?

Perhaps, they can be both.

I have completed several rounds of Julia Cameron’s, The Artist’s Way as well as began running small writing groups. Julia’s books and tools of writing, walking, and self-dates have been a gift. They have helped me to nourish the inner artist within. I have always journaled; however, the morning pages have become something different—that which I need just as much as my morning coffee.

Julia also talks about artistic recovery. She walks with us daily in her books sharing her innermost thoughts, struggles, and success as a creative.

Julia has become like a mother who nurtures through her writing—one whom I’ve never met, yet I feel a strong connection to.

A year ago, at the start of the pandemic, I continued to explore and work through Cameron’s sequels to The Artist’s Way. I started meeting weekly with a small group of writers virtually. In doing so, I managed to break free from some negative beliefs that I held in terms of creative work and success.

As a collective group, we shared our fears, grief, and losses that we experienced during the pandemic and during life.

The group became a support group of sorts as well as an Artist’s Way group. We shared our wounds, and our inner artist child was allowed to come out and shine. We shared our lives and have become closer. The connection I felt with Julia now expanded to others who live close in my community. This is Julia’s vision, after all.

As a small group, we wrote and shared. We challenged and supported each other, and we showed up for each other even on our most challenging days.

The group support did feel like a recovery group—an integration into a creative network of visionaries and kindred souls. I wrote some pieces during this period that focused on this artistic journey. I delved into my own wounded inner child. I carved out time and celebrated life in the midst of all this uncertainty.

Our group did it together.

This period of time made me reflect on healing and the various modalities of healing. I spent time connecting with my own roots and wounds. The pandemic triggered the old wounds and this led to an opportunity to work on healing. I know I am not alone in this.

Perhaps all artists “kick the darkness til it bleeds daylight” as Cockburn sings, and maybe, in doing so, we are able to express all the colours and every hue.

All humans come into this world a clean slate, and the wounding happens here on Earth. Artists make sense of the world, emotions, and life through the expressions of their craft. Art can be a tool for healing and a modality in itself. Personally, I need to use various mediums as tools for self-expression and emotional release.

Writing is my greatest lifeline. Sometimes, however, I, too, am at loss for words. And when this happens, I dance, sing, or paint. I have found what helps me to ground and stay healthy.

I believe that we are all creative beings and need time to create. The Artist Diary I write daily has become my daily dose of self-love. We need art and writing and the creative arts now more than ever.

Humanity needs this to release, heal, and express. We all need this.

Thank you, Julia Cameron!


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