I had my long over due date night tonight. My 9 hour shift of solid research reading at work was followed by a mad dash commute across town to a line-run and blocking rehearsal for the play, followed by another mad rush back in to town to the theatre where I hoped to catch a work in progress; sadly I missed it spectacularly thanks to a signalling failure on the line. So instead I decided to use the remaining 2 hours of my night to go a walk, have a good meal and read the last 2 chapters of the book I've been putting off finishing while I've been busy. I went to one of my favourite little secret places in Glasgow. (I would tell you where it is, but I don't want to run the risk of people turning up looking for me next time I'm hiding out there!)
You'd think after a day filled with words I'd have had enough of reading, but I then came home and spent time reading online before finally turning to The Artist's Way to get caught up on Week 4's chapter. That's when I discovered this week is supposed to be about not reading at all — oops! Given the type of work I have to do this week, there's no way I can afford to shut out all written materials and media as the course suggests. I'm only 2 weeks out from the play, so I need to be social networking, marketing and dealing with emails, it would be highly irresponsible to have a total media blackout. I am however going to commit to not reading anything unnecessary for the rest of the week, such as feeds or blog posts (with the exception of Debbie's as part of our shared journey). I won't waste time reading the news, I won't start a new book and my TV is now officially off and won't go back on until this week is over. I'll also try to avoid getting sucked into Facebook or Twitter and only make essential contact (though this might prove difficult — I treat them as an extension of my day-to-day communication with people, and I don't want anyone to feel like I'm ignoring them!). I do need to continue learning lines for the play and my research at work is essential, so there will still be a chunk of external words entering my bubble. I wonder if I'll still benefit from this experience as a result?
The task is called Reading Depravation. The idea is to shut out the world of external influence and focus on our inner silence, from which we grow and nurture our art. The book says it's scary — let me assure you, I find it utterly terrifying. It's a long time since I was last fully disconnected from the world. Debbie has started this task in France where she is already a little bit cut off from the world but still has internet access; she is equally as plugged in to The Matrix as I am usually, I wonder how we'll both survive!
Since I've been playing catch up the past few days, I'm hoping this enforced space will help me get on top of the Week 4 tasks, on top of plans for the play, and help create a cushion around my busy working week to help ease some of the pressure of my research.
I'm going to bed early tonight (well, early for me!) as tiredness is catching up with me. Tomorrow I need to re-plan my diary to accommodate Week 4's tasks and see what I can come up with. The thought is already making me uneasy!