Welcome to Week 11 of my ongoing series on The Artist’s Way with Erin @ Flappers and Philosophers!
Erin and I are both going through The Artist’s Way, a 12-week course in self-discovery and creative recovery. Throughout the next three months, we’ll be sharing weekly updates on how it’s going, what we’ve learned, and how this process has affected our creative lives.
The Artist’s Way Week 11: Recovering a Sense of Autonomy
For me, Week 11 was about taking stock: where am I now, compared to where I was a few short weeks ago? Where am I planning to go? And how am I going to get there?
Because I’m so hard on myself, I often lose sight of what I’ve actually accomplished. This week, I made a list of the changes I’ve made—and the ones that seem to have happened through serendipity—since starting this journey. Surprisingly, a lot has changed, even though many of the changes are small ones. I’m learning to listen to what I need and leave behind things that aren’t serving me anymore. Even though I still struggle with being a workaholic, I’m working on being better about this. I’m working on accepting myself as a work in progress.
Week 11 Check-In
How many days this week did you do your morning pages? How was the experience for you? Have you recommended morning pages to anyone else? Why?
I’ve continued to stay true to my morning pages. I definitely don’t hit the three page mark, but I show up every single morning, regardless of how little I feel I have to say. I’m also re-framing how I look at pages; rather than just a great way to do self-care, I see the pages as an important part of my creative life. Even if I don’t have time to write fiction that day, writing morning pages is better than not writing at all. I’m exercising the muscle, and that’s what matters.
As I’ve continued to read over previous weeks’ morning pages, I’ve realized that I generally have the answer to my own problems…I just have to actually take action toward those solutions. I’ve begun to talk more openly about the power of morning pages in my life. When I’m asked to do anything in the morning hours, I speak up about needing time for the pages first. Even though I’m working earlier now, I still get up with at least half an hour to write first. It’s hard, but it’s worth it.
Did you do your artist date this week? (Have you considered scheduling an entire artist’s day? Whew!) What did you do? How did it feel?
Although I spent a lot of time alone with myself this week, I didn’t necessarily take a specific artist date. I tend to utilize my days off from work to “get things done” in the rest of my life. I can’t actually fathom taking an entire day as an artist date—but maybe that’s something I need to plan in the weeks to come. Maybe I owe that to myself.
Did you experience any synchronicity this week? What was it?
As I read over my morning pages, I discover moments when it seems like everything lined up to meet my needs. When I wrote about my job frustration and promised the Universe that I would do the work to solve my problem, the Universe gave me the answer I needed (even if it wasn’t 100% what I wanted).
Funny enough, I wrote about how I long for more writer friends, and an old friend of mine reached out. She asked if I wanted to be writing accountability partners and have weekly coffee dates to encourage each other’s creativity. And even though I don’t believe in some all-powerful force, I do believe that sometimes, when I put positive energy into the world and ask for help, it appears.
Were there any other issues this week that you consider significant for your recovery? Describe them.
I’m still working (heh) through my workaholism. I know this isn’t going to be an overnight thing. I’ve started forcing myself to take a break at night and just watching something on Netflix instead of forcing myself to keep reading until my eyes close on themselves. I’m trying to be kinder to myself, but it’s weirdly hard. This will be my big project going forward, even after I’m “finished” with The Artist’s Way.