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.
Week 10: Recovering a Sense of Self-Protection
This week, for me at least, was about being brutally honest with myself—especially in regards to what I allow to come between me and my art.
For the first time, I recognized that I’m a workaholic, but not in the traditional sense. See, I let anything and everything become “work” to me in order to avoid giving myself time to play, creatively.
I use my most energetic hours to do things I “need” to do, which leaves me too drained to spend much time on creativity. I feel the need to justify the time I spend on things that bring me joy, like reading and writing, and then I define my sense of self-worth by my ability to produce. But the fact is, there are aspects of creativity that don’t produce anything, and those things are just as important.
This week was really impactful for me in the smallest of ways. I’m forging new, better habits surrounding how I look at work, and hopefully that will pay off in the coming weeks and months.
Week 10: The Check-In
How many days this week did you do your morning pages? Has reading your pages changed your writing? Are you still allowing yourself to write them freely?
I did the pages 7 days this week, but I’m really averaging more like 2 pages a day rather than 3. While I’d like to write more, I also recognize that I’m still showing up, which is better than abandoning it entirely. I definitely keep discovering new things about my creative process through writing the pages, which is what matters. I’m becoming more and more comfortable with writing about the things I would normally repress—like the fact that I’m a workaholic.
Did you do your artist date this week? What did you do? How did it feel?
I skimped out on my artist date again. Instead of doing something completely unproductive and fun, I went to the library to work on my AW tasks. I didn’t really let myself play like I wanted to. To be quite honest, I’ve been very distractible lately (I blame Gemini season; it always does a number on me). I need to look back over my list of things my artist child wants to do, and then actually do these things.
Did you experience any synchronicity this week? What was it?
By accident, I ended up with a whole week off between quitting my old job and starting my new one. While this should make me nervous financially, I’ve determined to use the extra time to spend with my artist child, doing things I love doing, and writing.
Were there any other issues this week that you consider significant for your recovery? Describe them.
My main issue right now: what to do about the fact that I am truly a workaholic.
For example, over the past few months, I’ve turned this blog into an obligation, a thing I “have” to do, rather than a hobby I enjoy doing. Sure, there are aspects of blogging that I love—writing discussion posts, and getting to share my thoughts with other bloggers through comments. But there is so much more to blogging than just the parts that I love, and I somehow make the “work” parts of blogging more important. Yes, it’s nice to have neatly organized posts with clever graphics, but isn’t the content the most important part? Why do I allow the process of organizing and scheduling posts become more important than anything else? These are issues I want to continue to work through in the coming weeks.