Friday, 23 September 2011

Week 4, Day 5 — Resistance is Futile

Day 2 of my trip away has been just as peaceful as yesterday. I spent most of it researching in a records office so had no media contact for most of the day, and my 7 hour commute home has been almost equally as blacked out (I've hopped online for half an hour on the train to post this). I've been on Twitter once or twice during breaks today to reply to messages, but have avoided Facebook, emails and feeds completely; by and large, I've managed to avoid a lot of unnecessary reading, and I'd say my success rate has been about 80% cutback from normal. It's interesting what happens during this quiet time. I took a lot of photographs again today. I wrote in my journal and found the plot of not one but two new stories forming themselves. I suspect one may become a short story or novella, while the other will hopefully develop as a play.

Reading depravation and social media blackout are confirming what I've secretly known and feared for a while... I waste a hell of a lot of my time procrastinating. It's an addiction. I get antsy when I don't know what's going on. And what's worse, half of it's not really of interest — I just like knowing. Is it curable? Well, I managed to go analogue once before in Australia, so I'm certainly capable of it. I'm going to set myself a set of strict restrictions to gradually reduce the amount of time I spend online, with windows of no more than 10 minutes twice or thrice a day, and possibly cut it even further. I will commit to this change.

It's interesting thinking back to Julia Cameron's comments on the reading depravation task. She talks about the fact there's always that person in a group who thinks they are super important and can't get by without completing duties and obligations that include reading. I started this task by listing all the super important things I had to achieve this week that meant I couldn't commit fully, and as a result kept my 20% window of opportunity open to allow myself to dip in without feeling guilty. Thinking back to her comment, I now do feel guilty. Have I simply been resistant to the task, resistant to this change? I like to think I've been practical, realistic — after all, I can't exactly afford to risk my job or have my artistic project crash around my ears as a result of not meeting tight deadlines that were already in place. But am I, in reality, being that person she predicts? The reality is, having spent most of the past 2 days in the silence of my own company, I've become alert, awake and artistically aware. I've felt like the 21-year-old Kris again, the one who headed off to explore the world with a backpack, a notebook, a camera and a keen sense of adventure.

That's what's been missing the past few years. I need to stop resisting and let him out to play. Adventure Kris is back!


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