Cameron’s third chapter of The Artist's Way opens with a focus on gaining a sense of internal power through a review of several emotions that may be contributing to self-defeating strategies. She explores anger and shame with an openness to their usefulness as these supportive messages may go unnoticed. For example, she reminds her readers how they have been taught to deal with anger rather than listening to it - “stuff it, deny it, bury it, block it, hide it, lie about it, medicate it, muffle it, ignore it. We do everything but listen to it.” She instructs her readers to be open to the message anger is sending; whether it's about a boundary or respect; it requires some attention to translate into a useful message. Shame on the other hand, she states is a controlling device. Most often is used an attempt from others to prevent a person behaving in an embarrassing way. Or when we do not want to see something, we get mad at the person who shows us. Cameron further expands this definition to her readers to understand the difference in criticism and shame. Not all criticism is shame. Shame, she states “we learn that we are wrong to create,” and may act as a deterrent to attempting any creation. Criticism is to be viewed with intent to give useful information to sort out for ourselves. If a criticism brings up shame, or negative feelings, especially if it is personal or ambiguous, Cameron declares it as useless. She suggests how to tell the difference as a person receiving supportive criticism or when the criticism is accurate, often has a sense of relief with the clarity of knowing what is wrong with their creative piece. She ends her chapter with directives for daily self-care and discovery.
I encourage you to buy a copy of The Artist's Way for a better understanding of your own creative process. Whether you're a master artist or beginning artist, this is an excellent book.