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  • Writer's pictureSara Taylor

over 252 pages later...(thank you, julia cameron)

My first real foray into The Artist’s Way was last July. The era of making friendship bracelets, planning Barbenheimer screenings and outfits, deciding whether or not to join Threads, and adding a lot more folks to the Hot Strike Summer picket lines. Simultaneously, I was devouring The Summer I Turned Pretty while dog-sitting, opening daily notes from my boyfriend who was 2,508 miles away (but who’s counting?), and being called on a Saturday to learn that I was not to return to a job that had felt like my first plunge into an industry that terrified me.


I wallowed, cried behind a mask through the entirety of Act Two of Into the Woods, ate lots of ice cream, and of course, discovered the listing for that very job had been reposted a few weeks earlier (right as I had begun to feel like I had a handle on the position). Hours after I had gotten off that fateful call, I had my first inkling of a way forward. What if I were to do The Artist’s Way? That thought left my brain quicker than I could scoff at my own idea. I needed to let myself feel all the ickiness. I was deeply embarrassed every hour of those next few days, taking it incredibly personally, and constantly berating myself for things I had no proof of - I was a disgrace, I would never be good enough, how dare I even think I could be successful at this job in the first place?


A day passed and I received a text from my sister’s childhood best friend (now also my friend and the person who first welcomed me to LA with open arms) at 10:14am: “Hmmm have you done The Artist’s Way?” I chuckled, remembering having thought of it the previous day. I didn’t respond until the next day at 8:42am: “Funnily enough, [the other day] I was like I need to start The Artist’s Way! So I’m gonna start today thanks to my own brain and your motivation hahaha.” She proceeded to tell me that the book and workbook were already en route to my doorstep. There was no turning back after that. If you look up the definition of an incredible friend, her picture is there.




I used to be a hopeless perfectionist, a term I’m using to mean one who refrains from starting or continuing something, knowing they’ve already missed a deadline or a day of some challenge. I was first given The Artist’s Way in 2020. After having begun (and subsequently abandoning) the course multiple times because I felt like I “should” be doing it, the morning pages finally found me three years later. And listen, I wasn’t perfect by any means. I missed a few days of morning pages here and there. I didn’t do all the weekly challenges, though I decided I’d do that on another round of the journey (stay tuned). This time, I quieted my hopeless perfectionist voice and I never let those “imperfections” deter me from continuing. I kept showing up for myself. Not to check a box or to say that I’d done it, but rather to meet myself where I was at. And figure out what was next.


By the end of those 12 weeks, I had unlocked parts of my being I had never let myself encounter. I had realized how unfair another job situation in my life was and geared up to do something about it (I left a couple months later and continued to build my freelance clientele). I had told one too many people about my secret dream to stream video games on Twitch and the next thing I knew, I was gifted a webcam and a capture card among many other tech goodies. I finally felt the urge to plunge back into acting, despite being terrified I’d lost all my accumulated knowledge of the craft. I know I sound like one of those people who fall deep into MLM schemes or some sort of cult, but The Artist’s Way truly changed my life. As it has for many other people ever since Julia Cameron first released it in 1992. And as it will continue to do for countless people for the rest of time. I fully believe that. And yes, the whole journey is subjective and may not be everybody’s cup of tea. But I think it’s impossible to decide that it’s not your cup of tea without completing the course. That said, it is a commitment. You have to be ready. Resisting quitting is half the battle. Tackling those 12 weeks is the epitome of my favorite thing one of my acting teachers said when I was twelve: “You get out of it what you put into it.” I suppose after all that, I was the one who changed my own life, with the guidance of Julia Cameron.


I’ve spent my entire life yearning to make other people proud of me, while not being motivated by all the things that excite me and would make me proud of myself. Turns out I don’t hold much stake in others’ approval anymore. Not until long after I’ve already decided I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished. 


~~~~~


Today, March 4, 2024, I’m beginning The Artist’s Way yet again. I’m so excited to discover what I don’t know yet. I’m curious, I’m intrigued, and I’m ready to document it. All the parts of it. I know I didn’t fully capture the difficulty here because the relief of getting through the 12 weeks is astounding and it’s easy to gloss over in a reflection like this.


So here we go. Join me if you’d like. Watch from afar. Send me Pilot G-2 pens (just kidding…unless…). And thank you. For reading. For supporting me. For listening to any wild thing my brain has ever spit out. You know who you are.


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Mar 05

A fantastic journey! The artists way❤️❤️❤️❤️ love you! Jenny❤️

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