by Julie, enjoying summer
This pass weekend I read The Artist’s Journey: The Wake of the Hero’s Journey and the Lifelong Pursuit of Meaning by Steven Pressfield. I’m still thinking about the book, and wrestling with some of the ideas Pressfield talks about. Ideas around inspiration, the other worldliness of the artist’s journey, about answering the call to be an artist, and about forces of resistance (internal and external) to that call. I came to these ideas at a perfect time in my life, a time when I was open to the magic.
These past few months have been a professional whirlwind. It started in January, when I had a twelve hour brunch with my friend Courtney. I encouraged her to take a leap and apply for a job she really wanted. She encouraged me to figure out how to create more space in my life for my writing, and to embrace the artist within. So, two weeks ago, I took a leap. I’m working on opening an online arts administration school built for artists in September. I’ve called it Your Ladders, and I’m creating the classes now. The plan is that this will give me more time to focus on my writing.
At my going away party, I talked to an actor who is my age. She looked great, and I told her so. She said that she was, surprisingly. She told me that she’d grown tired of hustling for a job that she took for the paycheck, rather than the work itself. She’d lost the connection to her artist self, and decided to take a break from acting. She’d taken a “real” job, in an office. I asked if the break was temporary or permanent. She told me she wasn’t sure. She isn’t the first artist I’ve met who is taking a creative break because they’ve lost the connection to their artist within. It’s always hard to hear, and scary.
In between January and August, Liz Mugavero and I took two online classes. One was a business course called B-School, taught by Marie Forleo. The other class was Gabby Bernestein’s Spirit Junkie Masterclass. Marie’s class gave me a new set of business skills. Gabby’s class helped with aligning with a higher purpose in my work. Both helped give me the courage to take my professional leap into an online business.
Liz and I are also going to be doing a masterclass at the New England Crime Bake, and we’ve been talking about what we’re going to cover in “Creating Your Author Life”. The description is about making the leap from writer to published author, and what that means. We have the experience to talk about that. But we both agree that it needs to be about more than that. Liz has been thinking about the “more” for a long time. In February she wrote a great blog reminding herself (and folks like me) that writing is our soul work. I’ve been thinking about my actor friend who lost the connection to her artist self coupled with Pressfield’s book, and realize that we have to dive deeper in this masterclass. We need to talk about the magic of the work.
As a writer, I acknowledge that I’ve answered a call. I also have a deep knowing that I need to stay connected to that call. The work of being a published author, and staying published, can get in the way of remembering that sometimes. But my new path has to be about remembering that, and honoring it.
There’s magic in the call, and in the doing of the work. That’s what Liz and I need to talk about in our masterclass. The magic.
This is so lovely, Julie. I definitely took that leap toward the magic five years ago and am so glad I did. You and Liz are going to rock that master class.
Thank you Edith. Your leap inspired me then, and now even more so.
Aww. You got this thing.
I think if there is one thing that you should tell any person trying to make a move in a different direction, it’s “believe in yourself.” That can include stepping away from something you love to get a better perspective on it. You may make mistakes, because that’s being human. But if you don’t commit to pursuing what you want, it may never happen.
Writing, and being a writer, are hard–but both are worth the effort, right?
Absolutely worth the effort! Believe in yourself is so much harder in action than in theory, but age has made that easier for me.
Risking something not happening is so much scarier to me now that making a mistake.
Why not? What’s the worst thing that can happen? Answer on one level is if you don’t step away long enough to find the artist again, you’ll always regret it. Answer two ….or you might forget it ever existed.
“Straight is the line of duty; curved is the line of beauty. Follow one. and the other will follow you.” I don’t know who said it, but I like it.
I LOVE that Carol!!
Thanks for this wonderful reminder of why we write. The magic can get buried in the business and deadlines sometimes. Love you!
Love you too my friend! Business and deadlines can definitely crush joy.
I went to see Laura DiSilverio in July and she talked about how it was necessary to focus on the joy of writing. I think that’s very close to your magic. Yeah, there’s some business-y stuff, but if you don’t remember the joy, what’s the point of writing?
Absolutely! And, as you know, the thrill of holding your book in your hand feeds that joy, and is a great touch point for finding it again.
What a beautiful post. It is all about the magic! Thank you for the reminder.
It is all about the magic!
Good luck capturing that for your class. And keeping it in mind with the realities of daily life.
I had a student once introduce me to her parents by saying “This is Julie. She makes us believe anything is possible, then shows us how to make that true.” 30 years in arts administration, helping folks dreams come to fruition, gives me the teaching skills. Believing it for myself is still a work in progress.
Julie, this is so inspiring! When we get the class together, come teach it out here!
I’d love that! Recentering, and figuring this all out makes for an interesting path forward, that’s for sure!
Your Ladders sounds great for artists. I wish you the best of luck.
Thank you so much!
So proud and happy to be on this journey with you! xoxo
Me you too!
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