One of the things that I appreciate about how I’m going through The Artist’s Way this time around is a different sensibility about what bits apply to my life and what bits are not particularly helpful. And this fits right in with this week’s chapter about connection to that which feeds my own creative process.
In one way, this was not the best week for me discipline-wise. I didn’t do daily pages or my self-imposed daily poem every single day. But I did not feel guilty about that. Why? Because writers, artists, everyone has a life that can’t always be scripted so tightly. Living in the world means things come up. Choices have to be made, priorities set. And the most important work gets done no matter what. It just gets done on a different time table that expected. So, in another way, discipline-wise, I was stellar: kids got to where they needed to be, slush piles got partly read, correspondence got out, poems got posted for next month, blog posts got done, no one ran out of clean underwear (yes, this is an important part of my life – I can’t work in dirty clothes).
So, connection – where am I with that? I understand what does and does not work for me in a way that I did not the last time I went through The Artist’s Way. I understand that I’m not in high school anymore so no one is going to check my homework. But I also recognize that, even when I don’t do all the creative play/exercise that is recommended, things still simmer in my head and come out in surprising ways. For example, finally, yesterday, I had time to sit at my own desk and not worry about anyone else. What did I do? I took the time to download chants from the Cistercian Monks of Stift Heiligenkreuz because, for weeks, I’ve been wanting to use that as background when I write. And you know what? It really is heavenly. These chants tap into a part of me that looks for safe places. Isn’t fear one of those big things that stops creative work? I think so. So I’m honoring this particular connection with an inner self that still gets pretty nervous about putting stuff out into the world.
How do you honor the connections that move you forward as a writer or artist? I’d love to know.