The Artist’s Way week 10: Julia zapped my computer

I have this feeling that Julia Cameron sneaked out of the pages of the Artist’s Way book and broke my computer.  Why do I think this?  Because when I was computer-less last night I had a brilliant artist’s date evening.

– I read Jackie Kay’s Life Mask aloud and wrote down my favourite poems out of it.

– Then I knitted for an hour while listening to the Radio 4 about the history of Armistice Day/Remembrance Day (next time I hear someone complaining about it being called Poppy Day these days, I can remind them that it was known as that in the 1930s).

– Then I wrote 14 haiku of dubious quality for my online writing group, meaning that I actually submitted ahead of deadline for the first time in weeks! I had fun with that one. The topic (which I had assigned actually, not knowing what I would do with it) was ‘clouds’, so because I had no internet I had to get out the dictionary to remind myself of cloud types. It turned out that the dictionary definitions were quite inspiring for a couple of the haiku. I’m not a fan of 5-7-5 haiku generally, but it was good discipline and just a whole bunch of fun.

Anyway, I can guarantee that if I’d had the computer I’d have done one of these items and then retreated to reading crap on the internet.

This all fits with one of the themes of this week in The Artist’s Way – the title for the week is ‘recovering a sense of self-protection’ and it’s about looking at which things you put in the way of your creative endeavours. I didn’t massively recognise the workaholism problem – although when I was working it was definitely an issue that work seemed to eat up my entire brain with nothing left over. However, I felt a bit of an ‘ouch’ when reading the bit about competition. I certainly have that urge to be the best, which is not helpful when starting off in… well, anything really. Something that’s been particularly good about my online and real-life writing groups is the encouragement to share first drafts. Knowing that they won’t be perfect is very freeing.

So the Artist’s Way roundup for this week

– good morning pages. I’ve done them every day and they’ve been flowing very well.

– last night was my best Artist’s Date but I also went to the science screening on Monday (I don’t think Julia would approve of that as an Artist’s Date but I found it enriching) and to a brief concert at the National Galleries on Thursday.

– I can’t really be arsed with sychronicity. But I do think that Julia broke my computer.

– And the really important thing is that the exercises and the broken computer are all shouting at me (like the no-reading week did) that reading crap on the internet is my biggest time waste! I’m not talking about the good stuff. There are a load of great blogs out there, I love my message board and my online writing group, and I’m a fan of facebook. However, I could easily catch up on all of those in half an hour – I’ve got to ask myself what I’m doing in the rest of my internet time.

I’m pleased I’ve managed to keep up the Artist’s Way along with NaNoWriMo. Off to sneak in some NaNoWriMo words (on Mr Woodsmoke’s computer) now before we go out for the day. Every little helps!

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