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Archive for the ‘The Artist’s Way’ Category

Morning pages everyday day for week 3? Check. It surprised me that for several days almost the entire three pages were filled with reflections on the election and the economy.

Artist Date? Check. I volunteered at the local Obama headquarters. I did some data entry, inputting info from phone calls. I consider this an artist date since it is something new to me. It pushed me out of my comfort zone. Although I did find myself seeing this “date” as just one more thing to check off my to-do list.

Now I’m at the dreaded week 4 of the program. Dreaded because this is reading deprivation week. Yep. That’s right. No reading. Here is what she has to say about it:

“For artists, words are like tiny tranquilizers. For most blocked creatives, reading is an addiction. We gobble the words of others rather than digest our own thoughts and feelings, rather than cook up something of our own.”

It makes sense. In fact, I’m pretty sure I’ve posted similar thoughts in this blog about my own relationship to reading. I can definitely see the power behind not reading for a week. But I hate the idea of it. I found myself busily devouring several books last night, like a squirrel hoarding for a long bleak winter. And tomorrow I am going to Grand Rapids to see the Richard Avedon exhibit for my artist date but I always take a book with me everywhere I go. Everywhere. What will I do with any unexpected pockets of time? I guess that’s the whole point of this week. To try something different like actually interacting with my environment instead of burying my nose in a book.

I did not write on my story every day. Actually, only three days. I’m beginning to wonder if I am writing the kind of stories I want to write or if they are the kind of stories I think I should write. And how can you spot the difference? This week’s writing intention is to be more playful. If I don’t know what happens next then just play with a prompt, write a memory, write from a different point of view. Not writing is not going to get me any closer to finishing the story.

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So I’ve wrapped up week two of TAW. Managed to write morning pages every day, although not necessarily every morning. I think I need to make a concerted effort to do them first thing in the morning so that it sets the tone for my day instead of waiting until later when it becomes a mere reflection of the day. For my Artist Date this week I packed a lunch of hummus, cheese, crackers and a pear and went to Kensington where I sat by the lake, watched sailboats and rowboats drift by and marveled at the spectacular fall colors. I also read and wrote but mostly just absorbed the beauty and the sun.

My writing intention last week was to work on my story for at least fifteen minutes a day and I did that except for Sunday. I was actually planning it only for the weekdays so I managed to squeeze in one extra session on Saturday. The story is in this kind of spiraling freefalling stage and that’s okay. It’s fun to see where it’s going. I was able to use one of my biggest fears about writing this story and wrap it into the structure and character so that’s been interesting.

This is my first week of writing without the safety net of my writing group. My decision to leave caused a kind of domino effect and the group has disbanded. It’s interesting but I find I’m writing more and it’s a little easier since I quit. I think I fell into one of the pitfalls of a workshop which is I found myself writing for the group. I imagined what certain people would like or not like and that influenced and ultimately stagnated my writing. That’s a crowded murky place to write from. So while workshops in general can be helpful and this one in particular supported my writing immensely for almost five years I am happy to be writing solo for now. That safety net may be gone but I am writing anyway with the faith that when and if I need it a new net will appear.

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