Cameron sets the tone in chapter nine with a focus on accurately identifying life’s details. For example, a blocked artist is not lazy, but BLOCKED. As these are different issues and often are confused as a judgment, she asks her readers to identify the root cause - fear. She also calls attention to her reader to practice compassion as the artist’s inner child can best be enticed through play rather than a demand of work for the end result. One method most artist employ to produce a piece of artwork is that of “military discipline.” The rigidness may work over a short period of time; it is, however, not encourage to use as a long-term method for creating. Yet enthusiasm as Cameron suggest to her readers is finding the joy in the task, that is the creative process rather than the end product. Enthusiasm is more sustaining as it is tapping into the flow of life itself. To follow the path creativity presents - an acceptance to a surrender of the creative process - is a commitment to creative growth. She cautions her reader at the end of the chapter to be aware of Creative U-Turns. In short, she identifies these as returning to old ways an artist may have been blocked in the past. Just like recovering from any other illness, one has to make a commitment toward their physical health, an artist must do the same for their creative health. Again, Cameron cautions her readers to review for patterns of fear or procrastination, and offers a method of recognizing the beginnings of a potential block. She encourages her readers to review any resentments or fears, and to review the potential gains and losses if not completing a piece of work. Once these have been reviewed, Cameron encourages one to seek creative support by asking others how they might have accomplished the task.
Chapter Ten begins with a reminder that we are all creative. And we are called to protect this creative energy with attention to the multitude of unconscious methods we may not knowingly contributed to blocked states of being. She gives several examples such as workaholism, emotional droughts, fame & competition. Cameron gives several tasks at the end of her chapter to assist her reader with nurturing, the self-care, to the artist’s inner child.
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.