My Artist’s Way Toolkit Review

Megan Farmer, San Francisco Chronicle
Do you ever feel as if you’ve lost your creative mojo? You want to write that book, but everything else gets in the way.

You might want to take a stab at My Artist’s Way Toolkit, a nifty online program designed by Julie Cameron to get you thinking, writing, and creating again.

You know that scene in Fifty Shades of Grey where Christian Grey gives Anastasia Steele a contract? Well, Cameron wants you to sign a contract too, although Cameron’s isn’t quite so scary. In the contract, you promise to write every day and do an artist’s date every week.

What’s an artist’s date? Don’t worry. It doesn’t happen in the Red Room of Pain. This week’s artist’s date, for example, asks you to “go to the beach alone, leaving all books, cellphones, or other distractions behind. Walk, breathe, listen.” I used to do this pretty much every day while I was writing The Year of Fog, but I’ve gotten out of the habit. Being at the ocean the other day served as a reminder of why, during the years I lived by the beach in San Francisco, I seemed to never be able to write enough. There was always something I felt compelled to get down on the page. It must have something to do with the salt air (or maybe it was the tombstones).

In addition to your date with your own fine self, My Artist’s Way Toolkit invites you to do a weekly exercise. Creative pages are provided to corral your thoughts. The toughest part of the toolkit, perhaps, but also the most potentially rewarding, are the morning pages: three pages of longhand writing each day. The Creative Soundbites, set to pan flutes, are a bit new-agey for me, and I find myself inclined to skip them, but considering how many goodies there are to occupy your time on the website, the soundbites are a minor complaint.

Karen Ballum over at Blogher explains the platform here, and offers a funny take on morning pages here.

Compensation disclosure: I was compensated for this BlogHer Book Club review but all opinions expressed are my own.

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Sans Serif is the blog of author Michelle Richmond.

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