Artist’s Way Check In #2

At the end of my second week of The Artist’s Way for 2012, I realized that I am a lot less anal than I used to be about this kind of thing.

The first time I went through The Artist’s Way, I was so focused on doing it right, that I probably missed all kinds of ways to expand my creativity. If the workbook said to write every morning before anything else, that’s exactly what I did. If it said it had to be three pages by hand then, dammit, it was three pages by hand. Never mind that I couldn’t read my own handwriting sometimes when I went back to lift ideas from those pages. And I certainly didn’t take a day off.

This is what being raised as a rule-bound good Catholic girl will get you.

So. I’m not Catholic anymore, but letting go of rules is an evolutionary thing. One of the lessons I’ve learned from being part of an online daily poetry journal is that someone has to pay attention every single day to things like spam filters and author correspondence. That sort of thing can wear on a person. Thus, team work is a really nice thing; people trade off who’s responsible for what so that no one gets burned out.

With this in mind (the burned out part, not the team part), my Artist’s Way 2012 has built-in rests. I’m claiming Sundays as days when I don’t have to produce anything.

I recently someone else’s blog about how he doesn’t turn on his computer one day a week, but chooses to rest (that someone else was Joe Bunting and this is the post: http://thewritepractice.com/you-have-to-choose/). The idea set off quite a firestorm of comments from people who agreed with him pitted against people who were horrified at the idea of taking time away from all their online connections because of what they might miss. I don’t believe I’m so important that I would miss anything critical if I weren’t online for a day and I don’t believe that my creativity is going to roll backwards if I don’t write for a day out of each week. When Julie Cameron talks about “filling the well” in The Artist’s Way, she has her method of play as a way for that to happen. My method includes resting.

A rebellion against being on all the damn time is as good for creativity as writing practice and learning to draw. Try it.


4 comments

  1. I am on the computer a lot, but since I started my blog, I've taken a blog hiatus every summer for nearly 8 weeks straight, mid July to mid Sept. I do run repeats while I'm gone, but I am not on the blogs at all, I don't respond to comments and I don't visit blogs. My life is blog-free during that time as I turn my attention to other things. It's a nice computer-break that really allows me to recharge and absorb life. And I find that when I return, I pick up right where I left off, I don't try to catch-up, and it all works out fine.

    So yes, I support creative time away from the computer 🙂

  2. When I go to visit my mother she always offers to let me use her computer and I always decline. I enjoy the 7-10 days away from being online.

    But one day a week? That sounds great to me! I think I should try that. I'm about to start up with classes again so I'll need to study more but still . . . I could choose a day and if I honestly cannot keep up with schoolwork without getting online then I can still hold onto the day/commitment and postpone it until this class ends in March.

    One of the many reasons I don't want a smartphone is because I feel people presume enough already. Before I had a cellphone my friends would complain about my not being home when they called saying that I should get a cellphone. Why? I would call them back when I was home. Because, they would explain, I want to talk with you when I call and when you call me back sometimes I can't talk. Oh. So I guess I was supposed to drop everything when they called but they didn't want to do the same for me?

    I'm still confused about that. I have a cellphone now but, as anyone in my circle of family and friends will tell you, I am notorious for misplacing it and not knowing anyone called me for a few hours or even an entire day.

    No doubt when I embrace this weekly day off from being online, I'll write about it on my blog. 🙂

  3. Yes, I usually complete a large writing project during that time, one that might need uninterrupted focus. A manuscript revision, or writing a book proposal. But that's all the writing I'll do, that one project. Mixed in with vacation time, garden time, ice cream time 🙂


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