Creativity for Skeptics Episode Ten: The Artist’s Way Week Four Recap and Week Five Preview

It’s Episode Ten of Creativity for Skeptics: The Artist’s Way Week Four Recap and Week Five Preview (and a recommendation).  Transcript below.

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Hello, skeptical creatives and creative skeptics. Tammy here. This is episode nine of Creativity for Skeptics. In this episode, I’m going to take a slightly different approach to The Artist’s Way to recap week four and preview week five. At the end of this episode, I will have a plug for a poetry book I think you should check out, but for now let’s talk morning pages, or really, lack thereof. And energy. Also lack thereof.

Morning pages didn’t happen for me this week. And when I look at the check in, I see Julia Cameron’s huge accusation there, “Tantrums often show up as skipping the morning pages.” Okay, fine. But skipping the morning pages doesn’t necessarily mean you’re having a tantrum. In my case, it’s just that I’ve been running especially low on energy the past few weeks. I think the main idea I want to get at here is that just because X can cause Y, X isn’t necessarily the cause of Y. When you, like me, have multiple chronic health problems and things hurt and you’re tired and a bit foggy oh, yeah, there’s still a pandemic going on and a lot of people aren’t behaving as if there’s a pandemic going on, you’re probably not having a tantrum if you skip the morning pages.

All that to say, be gentle on yourself. If you skip things, if you need to skip things, be gentle on yourself.

Anyway, I did have an artist date, which involved me and my younger kid watching travel videos about London. Our main takeaways are that I want window boxes filled with flowers and she wants to go to the country that has that many unicorns on its signs. Me, too, kid. Me, too.

And to the tasks. I’ve been working to change my environment to better suit my creative work. Unfortunately, I’m making a giant seemingly intractable mess in the process, but I’m getting there. I have been making piles of clothes to donate and things to trash or recycle or just give away, and it’s freeing. I’m just not there yet. Anyway, if you’re kind of in the same place as I am, know that you’re not along and I’m cheering for you.

So, how did your week four go? I’d love to hear about it. I’d love to hear what you did last week for an artist date and anything you have planned. Leave a comment at or send me an email, Or if you’d like to share your thoughts on the artist date, what you did, how it went, you can record a clip and send it along. I’ll play selected clips on upcoming episodes.

On to week five. Lots of God/creator talk in this week. The section “The Virtue Trap” is difficult territory, but well worth sticking with. I wish I’d paid more attention to this earlier in my life and left a bad several years-long relationship sooner, left a bad job sooner, left a bad career sooner. But I’m at the point in my life where I know that giving myself time makes me a better writer and a better parent, a better partner, a better person. Do complete the joys and wishes 101 to 103, and you might surprise yourself.

Tasks for this week start off with one that makes no sense for a non-believer, but I love Julia Cameron’s focus on images. I got on Instagram a while ago to try to focus more on the visual details of my world, and the tasks this week fit with that for me.

I don’t like the “Ten items I’d like to own” because right now, I’m trying to purge the house of things and clutter, and this exercise feels like it works against that idea. That said, and this is something I’m going to do an episode on later, after The Artist’s Way weeks, I encountered this idea about the difference between owning beautiful things and experiencing beautiful things, and that so resonated with me. So, it’s the idea that it’s better to have a painting in a museum where thousands of people can see it, can experience its beauty or shock or thoughtfulness, whatever it invokes, than to own a painting that only you can ever see. I’ll go into more detail on that and how it relates to creativity in another episode. But for now, I’ll just say that the things I want to own are more along the lines of “airline tickets to some city with fantastic museums.” And maybe postcards from that trip.

Now, time for a recommendation. I read an ARC (an advanced readers copy) of my fellow Freethought Blogs blogger Megan Rahm’s new poetry book, Free to Roam: Poems from a Heathen Mommy, published by Freethought House and available on February 2, so a couple days from when I’m recording this. A fascinating look at the journey of a woman who struggled as a child with her surrounding religious community and how that awareness of her own beliefs shapes her relationship with her own daughter. I recommend it, and I’ll have a Q&A with Megan posted on my blog in the coming weeks. I’ll post a link to the book in the shownotes.

So that’s it from me today. If you have any questions about creativity you’d like me to address, feel free to send me an email, Or post a comment over at my blog,

Thanks for listening to Creativity for Skeptics. For more information about the show or to listen to past episodes, go to We’ll talk creativity again soon.