Friday, 25 November 2011
After the Artist's Way — Week 1
A week has passed, so I figure it's time for my first check in to blether about what's been happing since I finished The Artist's Way.
It's been a funny old week. There were days when I found myself feeling like I had forgotten to do something. I'd check my to-do lists to no avail, or I'd sit in at night with spare time wondering why I felt a bit grumpy. The truth is those little gaps where I felt bored or miffed were the times I'd usually be doing tasks, reading chapters or writing my blog. That's time I should now be using productively or creatively, but I've kinda failed on that front so far. I haven't made the smooth transition I expected from creative recovery to artistic motivation—that'll be my first challenge for this week!
I also let my guard down and didn't do my morning pages twice this week. The first was accidental (I overslept and wanted to be on time for work) and the second was the following day when I hopped out of bed on autopilot and found myself going about the old routine I've not followed for over 3 months! As I sat eating breakfast with 15 minutes to spare before leaving the house, I realised my brain was bogged down with a million things running through it. Why did I have that feeling again that I'd forgotten to do something? Quite simply: I had! The reason my mind was racing was because I hadn't spilled my thoughts on the page when I woke up. It's a funny ritual, and I realise now it's one that serves me well. I won't go as far as saying it's completely necessary for me to function, but it certainly does help me organise my thoughts and guarantees that I will write something constructive during the course of a day. I went on to feel blocked later in the day that I didn't do my pages; inspiration wouldn't play fair when I tried to work on my play, and I eventually conceded why.
I've discovered this week that 3 of my Twitter followers are now having a bash at The Artist's Way. I hope their decision might in some way have been influenced by my blog, if indeed they've been reading my posts. I'm quite happy to endorse it as a means to get creative people working through their blocks. I must try hard not to jump in and ask too many questions though—I'm not part of any of their creative clusters after all—but I am really curious to know if it inspires them in the way it did me. Maybe they'll be happy to share in time. :-)
Debbie and I have agreed to keep our little creative cluster going. We're checking in weekly and doing some of the tasks again over the winter months to keep us ticking over. Lord knows I need someone to kick me in the butt and make sure I don't start procrastinating again!
I've been good in other areas this week. I've kept up the habit of my artist's date, plus I had a mini-date mid-week. I'm going to have a second one tonight and may even squeeze in a third over the weekend. I'm finding it much easier to be kind myself on that front, and the things I'm doing rarely involve spending a lot of money. I'm being much more creative in finding things to do that excite and stimulate me. My downtime is mine, it's precious to me and I will make sure I keep enjoying it. I find myself being drawn to arts and crafts or photography these days; I'm continually updating my image file with clippings whenever I find something that catches my eye. I'm sure it would make no sense to any who should happen to discover it, but to me it's a mish-mashed collage of the eclectic things that reflect what I like and love about life.
I think that's all I've got on my mind right now. I'm aiming for a much more productive week this week, and I'm looking forward to catching up with Debbie to find out what she's been up to. Other than that, I have a hit list of things I've been putting for a while that I finally feel ready to tackle; for better or for worse, I intend to make a start on at least one big thing this week and see where it leads. I've learnt a lot about myself and the things I'm passionate about over the course of The Artist's Way, and I want to constantly be striving toward making those things the main focus of my everyday life. I'm pretty sure that, in a nutshell, is the key to happiness itself!