The Cross Keys Artist’s and Writers Guild will be meeting on Tuesday, January 19, 2016 from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. at the Priestley-Forsyth Memorial Library. At our last session on January 5th, we were able to get our creativity workshop under way. If you were unable to attend the session, don’t worry. You won’t be left behind. We’ll recap the last lesson during the first half hour of the January 19th meeting. We’re using  Julia Cameron’s book The Artist’s Way  as our text. The book is proving to be very insightful and highly motivating. So far, we looked at what it means to be creative. We discussed Cameron’s core belief that because we are created beings we are capable of being creative. Unfortunately, there are many ways in which we can become blocked creativity. Some of the most common hindrances to our creativity are poor self-image, fear, ageism, sexism, living on the wrong coast, thinking we’re too old.

Also, there are dream stealers who have told us all our life that we are not creative, that we have nothing worth sharing, that writing or sculpting is nothing but a pipe dream, or that art is no way to make a living. We also discussed two basic tools we’ll be using during the workshop: the morning pages, and the artist date. The morning pages is nothing more than grabbing a pen and pad as soon as you wake up, then writing three pages of whatever comes to mind. It is suggested that you don’t use your laptop for this exercise. The artist date is a once-weekly, festive, solo expedition to explore something that interests you. The artist date need not be overtly “artistic” — think mischief more than mastery. Artist dates fire up the imagination. They spark whimsy. They encourage play.

Please bring some of your original writings with you to the meeting January 19th. During the remainder of the meeting, we will take turns reading our poems and other writings aloud, and then discussing them, looking for ways in which the pieces might be improved. It is my hope that by working as a group, we can encourage one another through the creative process, helping each other to turn out finished pieces. I was thinking (or perhaps daydreaming?) about possibly putting a selection of our original poems together and submitting them for publishing as a chap book. Feel free, also, to bring poems or writings done by others that have impressed or motivated you. Hope to see you at the Priestly-Forsyth Memorial Library on Tuesday January 19th.