I am currently working on a course called The Artist's Way found in a book by the same name, written by Julia Cameron. It has been a very powerful program to date but I may have just run into the proverbial "wall." The two biggest things that I have incorporated into my life so far are "morning pages," which is something done upon waking and requires the participant to write 3 pages of whatever comes into his head. It has been revealing, inspiring, frustrating and every other adjective you can imagine. The other required project is a weekly artist's date. This is something done alone and it requires the student to spend an hour or so during the week in a pursuit that supports, or reveals something artistic about oneself. Almost anything qualifies and I have done some things like spending time in an art gallery, going to a live music show and spending an afternoon at the library. And, that brings me to this week's exercise - no reading and no TV for a week! She says that this usually evokes the most anger and invective during the 12 weeks of the program and I can see why.
After allowing her student's to vent, Ms. Cameron then goes on to explain what might happen during the week of unusual and sadistic deprivation. In a nutshell, she says that when I run out of work to do and work that I want to do, I may find time to play. Just what the hell does that mean? I did have a few thoughts though. I know this will be a very tough week for me since I spend so much time reading, including emails. But I have noticed how few people actually read emails and if they do, they often simply ignore the contents. It is amazing how many responses are from people who haven't read the initial message. For instance, just a day or so ago, I sent an email to a photographer asking permission to use a couple of his photos in an online magazine article I am preparing for examiner.com. He replied last night that I could use them in my website with proper credit and a link back, which is normal but obviously, he didn't read the part where I told him in what context I wanted to use them and where. So, I really don't know if I have permission or not which would require another email from me and then the wait to hear a reply, if I do.
In order to ask again, I would need to read his email and so, this program gives me a great excuse to not do so. Also, if I am not replying to anyone else or seem to be out of connection; you now know why; the program says nothing about continuing to write but I just can'r read anything. Oh yeah, and the TV part - no Flames games and no support from anyone around here for a week without the boob tube. I may get my office cleaned up after all, and then what... the garage for God's sakes!!!