The Artist’s Way, Week 5: Recovering a Sense of Possibility

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This was nearly the week I gave up. Again. This was also the week that I was grateful that back in week 1 I decided to write about my Artist’s Way journey here, because I think that without that extra motivation to keep going that making a public commitment to this process gave me, I would have thrown it all in the too hard basket. So thank you, to whoever is reading this, for helping me to persevere through a challenging week.

For morning pages I did…8 out of 10 days. I am aware that there aren’t 10 days in a week, however this week I decided that a 10 day week seemed like a perfectly reasonable idea. I spent 2 days (the days I didn’t write at all) basically curled up in a ball on the couch, and health-wise most of the other days weren’t ideal either. So, when it got to day 7 and I hadn’t done any of the week 5 tasks yet, I decided that instead of giving up I would just add a few extra days to the week, which is why this post is a little late.

Writing the morning pages themselves was pretty good this week, even on the bad days. Some fiction writing even crept into my morning pages once, which is a first! I’ve been thinking recently about a story that I started writing about 6 months ago, and another section of it popped into my head as I was writing my morning pages one day, so we’ll see where that goes. I haven’t had much time or energy to give to it lately, but I’ve been jotting down random bits when I think of them. I’m hoping this story will end up being one I actually finish – I don’t think I’ve actually finished a single piece of creative writing since my school days, when someone was making me do it, and even then I was generally better at writing non-fiction essays. But fiction is what I love to read, and what I daydream about writing, so I’m trying to turn some of those daydreams into actual words. I would love to be able to write the kind of worlds I love to read, and have my own characters’ stories to tell. So far I’m at about 2300 words on this story (most of which probably need to be rewritten, especially as I switched it from first person to third, but it’s a start).

My artist date this week was also related to fiction – I went to a local bookstore on my way home from an appointment. It was a short artist date this week, due to low energy levels, but it was enjoyable to browse books for a little while just for fun. I was mainly looking at the fantasy/sci-fi section (fantasy being my genre of choice usually), and it was nice to see how much bigger the fantasy section in a general bookstore is now, compared to what I remember it being when I was younger. I was also looking for a particular book that I didn’t find, but I didn’t really expect to, as it’s quite old – I re-read Dragonsong by Anne McCaffrey recently (a favourite from when I was a teenager) and then I realised that I don’t have a copy of Dragonsinger, which seems like a bit of an oversight, and I really want to re-read it now! I could just buy it online, but I think it’ll be more fun to turn looking for it into a game, and look for it at second-hand bookstores and at my local specialist fantasy bookstore (when I say ‘local’ it’s half an hour away, so I don’t get there that often. Which is probably good for my bank balance!).

For this week’s tasks, as I mentioned above, at day 7 I hadn’t done any of them. However, giving myself those 3 extra days really helped – in the end, I did 7/10 of the tasks, a personal record. It’s hard to start sometimes, but I did enjoy doing them once I got started. It’s the same with the morning pages (and this blog at times!) – sometimes just showing up to the page is really, really hard, but usually once I start I wonder why I was putting it off.

All that said, the next few weeks are going to be hectic. In a week’s time we have people staying for a week, and then just after they leave we’re moving house. So we’ll see how my health holds up with that, and how well I manage to keep incorporating the Artist’s Way into my life (as well as yoga and meditation which I’ve been trying – quite successfully – to do almost daily this year). It’s possible that some of the weeks coming up might also end up being extended weeks, but I will do my best to stay motivated and keep going. It’s worth it.

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