The Artist's Way - Week 4

Day 22:

I’m pretty jet-lagged, but I don’t feel as bad as I could be. So that’s a blessing I guess. I ended up going into work for a few hours to get some things done. I’m about to start some work on Week 4 (reading, exercises, whatever I can manage to keep myself awake).

I stumbled across a music video that was a really interesting visual piece, it was super high concept and made me both feel like I need to step up my game and quit everything all at the same time.

I stumbled across a music video that was a really interesting visual piece, it was super high concept and made me both feel like I need to step up my game and quit everything all at the same time.

I fell down a bit of a youtube hole and ended up finding this video from the Russian band Little Big. I watched the behind the scenes video first before finding the actual video itself. It’s so simple yet so visually interesting. It made me feel some sort of way.

Please don’t watch this video at work, or around your grandparents. You’ll thank me later.

Week 4 Goals:

Morning Pages x7
Artist Date x1
Buried Dreams Exercise
Reading Deprivation
Complete as many additional Exercises as possible.

Day 22 (Continued):
I think I figured out what I want to do for my Halloween shoot this year. Stay tuned (and stay funded).

Aw shit, I just did the reading for the week and I remembered that week 4 is the one where you are required to give up reading for the week. Since the only thing I’m reading is social media, Photo news blogs and The Artist’s Way (the latter being acceptable as per the text itself) I guess I’m off Facebook for the week.

Probably should give up podcasts too since they are my reading-analog as well. But we’ll see about that.

Buried Dreams: An Exercise

As recovering creatives, we often have to excavate our own pasts for the shards of buried dreams and delights. Do a little digging, please. Be fast and frivolous. This is an exercise in spontaneity, so be sure to write your answers out quickly. Speed kills the Censor.
— Julia Cameron - The Artist's Way

List 5 Hobbies that sound fun:
Brewing beer/Distilling Spirits
Model Building

List 5 Classes that sound fun:
Urban Survival

List 5 things that you would personally never do that sound fun:
Bungee Jumping/Sky diving
Performing Burlesque
Stand Up Comedy

List 5 skills that would be fun to have:
Outdoor Survival
Speaking another language
Lock-Picking (or be better at it I guess)
Identifying edible plants/mushrooms/animals
Playing a musical instrument.

List 5 things you used to enjoy doing:
Cooking for friends
Shopping/Listening to records
Going out to a club and hanging out

List 5 silly things you would like to try once:
Knife Throwing
Fire Eating/Breathing
Sideshow Tricks (Human Blockhead, bed of nails, etc)
Buy something from an Infomercial
Have dinner at Medieval Times

Day 23:
I started my reading/media fast today. Which shouldn’t be too hard. I’m giving up social media and photography blogs, but not podcasts. I probably should, since I found myself having problems giving them up. But I still need something to get through traffic.

Met up with Nikki tonight to catch up since we have missed each other for the last 2 weeks due to schedule conflicts.

I think the hardest part of this week will be seeing notifications build up. That gives me such anxiety.

Its only been a single day and these 4 notifications are already driving me insane.

Its only been a single day and these 4 notifications are already driving me insane.

Day 24:

My Media fast made it all of a day before I caved and looked at Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. I’m part ashamed, and another part frustrated. Not because I NEED to look at these things in my life, but because I realize how much downtime I have that used to be filled with just mindlessly scrolling.

I have a great feeling of Boredom right now, boredom I should be turning into creative endeavors. But I still have a few hours before I can do anything outside of sketching up ideas on paper.

Life Pie 2

Some minor changes, but not many. The process takes time.

Some minor changes, but not many. The process takes time.

List ongoing self-nurturing toys you could buy your artist:

  • AD200 Flash Kit (x2)

  • Collapsable Flash Modifiers

  • New Camera Bag/Backpack

Environment: Describe your ideal environment. Town? Country? Swank? Cozy? One paragraph, one image that conveys this.

My ideal environment would have to be some sort of loft in a mid-sized city. No place too large, but not too small either. It would need good parking, with ideally some sort of garage and/or workshop. Or both! Enough room to shoot, and enough room to move around. Maybe about half lit with good natural light. Bonus points if I could live there too. And the most important is it has to be mine. I have to be able to own it, or rent it at an extremely rent controlled situation.

I want this place so badly, except less white.

I want this place so badly, except less white.

Day 26:

I came up with a few different concepts for my annual Halloween Spooky Shoot. Hopefully with the help from my team I’ll be able to make at least one of these come to life.

ALSO I ended up spending a fair chunk of money on new flash equipment and a new bag today. I don’t immediately regret it, but that fear of spending money on things that feel frivolous still does haunt me a little bit.

Check In:

How many days this week did you do your morning pages? How was this experience for you?

6.5. I woke up a little late one day this week and had to do my pages from the office a few hours after waking up. I think that it was better to do it that way than to skip the day. I only ended up writing like a page and a half before I felt like people were watching me. Overall the experience is still good. I don’t think my “radio” is working, and I wonder if I’ll continue after week 12. But so far so good.

Did you go on your artist date this week? What did you do? How did it feel?

I took myself to the Halloween store yesterday. I’ll be working through Halloween proper so once again I’ll be missing out on the fun, but I liked walking through. Their home decor section is really stepping up and has some things that I totally would use to decorate my everyday space.

As sort of a part 2 I ended up visiting with a friend and playing board games late into Sunday morning. While by definition this doesn’t exactly count as a date since I did it with other people, I’m still counting it as it was something that brought me out of my usual day to day schedule.

Did you experience any synchronicity this week? What was it?

Actually yes, I did. So one of my “I want to_______” statements from week 2 (that didn’t really get mentioned in the blog) revolved around the idea of romantic relationships and wanting to move towards having one in my life. Because of the massive delays in my trip home, I was offered a travel voucher that was right at enough for a round trip plane ticket to spend some time with someone that has been in my life since college, and truthfully is the only person with whom I even have any sort of remotely romantic relationship with (or the possibility of such). I’m working out my schedule to go visit this person sometime very soon.

Were there any other issues this week that you consider significant to your recovery? Describe them.

There were a couple of exercises this week that I chose to skip.

The first one asked me to describe myself at 80 and it wanted me to specify what I did in my life between 50-80. I just couldn’t wrap my head around it. I barely know what it’s like to be 30, much less to be 50 or even 80.

The second wanted me to write a letter to my 8 year old self, and to be honest I’m not even sure I have any positive concrete memories of 8. I’ve worked very hard to block out large parts of that time for my own sake.

If you broke your media deprivation write about how you did it. How do you feel about it? Why?

The deprivation lasted about a day. And I’m really not sure how to feel about it. I certainly wanted to make it the whole week. And I’m a little ashamed that I couldn’t make it. But I found that I when I completed all the work for my day job that I quickly became bored and all I wanted to do was read about photography related things and try to learn more. I wanted to stretch my creative wings, even though I was in a place where I couldn’t for several hours in a stretch.

I understand why we were asked to fast, it does really truly show how much time is wasted doing things that don’t really push us forward. But at the same time, reading and learning for me are helpful to keep the gears turning and moving forward. I already have removed one social media account from my phone, and find the others mostly constructive so they can stay. But I do agree that sometimes, time can be better served doing vs reading.

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