The Artist’s Way – Week Four

Oh boy, what a week. I’m not sure where to start with this one. I had no problem doing the tasks. In fact, I probably wrote more this week than I have in all the other weeks combined.

But while the Artist’s Way seemed to go smoothly, the rest of my life felt like it was coming apart at the seams. Anyway, this is all about the Artist’s Way, not sick cats, the vet, hospitals, the Inland Revenue, public transport, the electricity bill and the crazy-making TV licence people.

As I said, the tasks went well this week. I did a lot of writing and I discovered a few interesting things about myself. Not least of which being that my karate should probably be playing a bigger role in my life.

I’ve never really considered karate to be creative in the same way that I consider my art or my writing to be creative. Anyway, I’ve found that it is coming up a lot as I work through this course so I’ve decided to give it a little more attention.

The morning pages went from being a curse to a being blessing this week. With everything around me coming apart, the pages have been a great way to get it out of my head and onto the page.

It’s almost like I gain some perspective by just having a rant on a piece of paper that no one is ever going to see.

The big issue for me this week was the reading deprivation. The idea being that if I can’t read, I might find something more creative to do with my time.

To be fair, it almost worked. I did try writing when I would normally have read. The trouble is, I do all of my reading in bed at night. It helps me to sleep. But writing at night was helping to keep me awake. And I really don’t need any help in that department thank you very much.

Surprisingly, I did stick to the not reading rule. Even after being woken up by some of the most vivid and weird dreams I have ever had.

Like the one where I was in a tiny space in the Cango Caves in a red evening dress talking to someone I couldn’t see. I mean, come on! Me in an evening dress? And red, no less. It’s just never going to happen.

But, evening dress aside, although I was perfectly calm in the dream, I woke up feeling horribly claustrophobic and quite panicky. I longed to put the light on and read to take my mind off it.

But I found myself lying in the dark thinking about how awful it must be in Haiti with all of those poor people trapped for days under tons of rubble.

Just writing about it now is making my chest feel tight. That’s another sure fire way to gain a little perspective.

Okay, before I go into complete meltdown, here’s this week’s check in.

The Check In

Morning Pages: Definitely a blessing this week. If it wasn’t for getting all of the negativity out of my head first thing in the morning, I think I would have been on the verge of a nervous breakdown today.

I did them seven days out of seven and I have been doing them much earlier too. This morning I was scribbling away just before 6am. And for someone who is most definitely NOT a morning person, this is quite a breakthrough.

Artist’s Date: Hmm, again it was a bit of a flop but I have promised my inner artist a decent date when I’m home next week. I managed to have a wander round a couple of shops I never normally go into.

I looked at paper and coloured pens and things that actually do put me in the mood to create, but I didn’t buy anything. That’s the trouble with working away. It’s a bit of a mission to lug everything home if I buy stuff at work.

The Tasks: I felt the tasks went well this week. I uncovered a few reasons why I keep myself stuck in situations I don’t really like. All I need to do now is find the courage to move on out of them.

In Conclusion

Since my primary motivation for doing the Artist’s Way was to try and get unstuck with Yantsu, I tend to base my progress around what I’ve done with the novel.

Well, this week I had quite a breakthrough. I was thinking about the story last night in bed and I mentally shifted a couple of chapters around and I think I might finally know where I’m going with it.

I still need to do the shuffling in my Open Office document but I think the story will soon begin to move again.

Next week is all about recovering a sense of possibility. I’ll tell you how I get on next Sunday.

If you want to try the course for yourself, you can find it here:

The Artist’s Way