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.