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The · Artist's · Way · 2006

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1) I did my morning pages 7/8 days this week. I was way to busy throwing up on Saturday to write. I also decided to give my self an extra day on week ten. I am in a good rhythm with my pages, I can write them in the time my oatmeal cooks in the morning and they have generally been non-memorable.
2) No artist date this week. Oh well.
3) No major synchronicity this week.
4) I’ve found my way into a sort of routine that works for me this week, and it all comes down to the bottom line idea. I don’t do well with rigorous time schedule and trying to get a checklist of items done each day never lasts long. I’ve just decided that bottom line I have to do what’s important to me. This has been working very well for a week. I seem to have a lot of free time that I don’t feel guilty about taking at the end of the day and instead of having some sort of grand idea about waking up at five am to get to work, I just work within the parameters my day permits and I’m getting a lot done. In fact, I am actually able to work for longer periods of time than I ever have before. So we will see where this wave takes me.
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Let's see.

1.  I have not been so great with the morning pages lately.  Now that I'm working at 9am and getting up at 7:30, it's just really difficult to force myself out of bed any earlier.  I'm going to have to find a way to make myself, though.  My goal is to do them at least 5/7 this week.  I really do miss them.

2.  For my AD I went to a grad school information session that I really wanted to go to but felt really nervous about.  It wasn't exactly a FUN date, persay, but it was different and I enjoyed it.  I'm glad I did it. 

3.  Yes, there was synchronicity.  No, I can't recall it right now.  I must start recording these (see: morning pages in item #1).

4.  Issues, hmm.  Well.  I'm sort of finding it difficult to stick to the program now that I'm nearing the end.  I really want to follow through and complete this, but I'm afraid it won't be as perfectly as I had hoped.  I'm trying be okay with that and just focus on finishing what I can and getting everything I can out of these next few weeks.
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"Man makes plans and God laughs"--for the first time, I actually regarded this quote in a favorable light.

1. How many morning pages did you do this week (have you thought about creative luxury yet?) 7/7! Yay! I almost forgot about them Friday, but I wrote them in the evening and was generally happy. The pain has just kind of stopped, and I'm not sure if this is good or not.

2. Did you take an Artist's Date this week? I went to see RENT live with my Mom for my birthday, and I really liked it. We were going to have seats in row EE, but Mom waited so we got rows in H, and I'm glad we did because I felt I had a perfect view of the stage. I've also been meditating, and I ordered a book for myself in celebration of getting this far in Nano.

3. Did you experience any sychronicity this week? My best friend and I (she lives in another state) saw each other at the orthodontist.

Also, we went out for my birthday this weekend. We got lost on the way to the resteraunt, and we found a Barnes and Noble. We went there after we ate, and they were shooting off fireworks for Veteran's Day. It wasn't really synchronicity, but it was a weird coincidence all the same that they were doing that on my birthday.

Ironically last Sunday, the beginning of Abundance week, we had a book giveaway at my work and I got the whole manga series of Chobits, eight volumes, for free, along with some more books and some CDs.

4. Were there any other issues you found significant to your recovery? This week fell into place like clockwork for me, which is odd beause this was the week I was kind of iffy about. I found that Julia's words really moved me--I found myself saying, "If God could make the world in six days, why not..." and inserting whatever was happening here. I found myself more open and having more faith.
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I don't feel like I'm getting the "sense" I'm supposed to every week, but am getting bits and pieces of each of them as I go along. Like, today I went back to chapter one and realized that I needed to recover my sense of safety again (I had retrieved it, but then was emotionally hurt enough to lose it yet again). Is this normal for everyone, or just something that's happening to me?

1. How many days this week did you do your morning pages? Are you starting to like them--at all? How was the experience for you? I'm rather frustrated at myself, and this is coming out in my morning pages. I notice that some days I just ramble for three pages, and then the next day or a few days after I will go on for six or seven pages. I just realized this week how big of a step I've made into my spiritual questioning. I'm very angry and depressed, but I can't seem to really have the big breakdown that leads to healing. I just simmer day after day, and I wonder if I'm really healing or hurting myself. So, the experience has been iffy. ^^;

2. Did you have an Artist's Date this week? I didn't do a time set aside Artist's Date, so much as start to really spoil my child. I picked up a book I had read years ago called Writing From the Heart by Nancy Slonim Aronie. I hadn't understood it back then, but I knew that it was important. It took doing TAW to get it, and I've learned so much from what both Nancy and Julia have to say. I've been working on paying attention, and I was totally amazed by how beautiful the world was. My artist child is delighted, and is making me look at everything from a new perspective now.

I also picked up a book on meditation, and I'm not sure how I am doing. I seem to get the concept, and I've gotten used to the feeling of being weightless, but I hate it when I get the creepy-crawly feeling or my breath becomes very shallow. It's scary, but the mental benefits seem to be balancing it all out.

3. Any synchronicity this week? Nothing that I can tell. I've been working on Nano, and haven't really been very open to anything else.

4. Were there any other issues you consider significant to your recovery? The whole process of being in the present and paying attention really hit home with me this week, and I realized that this is what's been missing from my writing.

NanoWriMo has been, so far, a liberating experience. Me, the girl who couldn't have done 1000 words on a work in a week, has got 7100 in six days and is still going. Everything is going so well that I'm experiencing the "this can't be this easy" doubt Julia talks about.

I have been having some issues that I've been dealing with, and it's been one of the most difficult things I've gone through emotionally. I've just started realizing that without this happening to me, however, I would have never gone searching for answers, not from someone else, but within myself. It reminds me of the old saying "what doesn't kill you makes you stronger". It's interesting that when I'm baptised by fire as I've been that I'm doing a healing regimen. God is very interesting in his or her ways.
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1) I did morning pages 6/7 days this week.  I was lazy on Sunday and didn’t feel like doing them so there.  I used the pages the other six days to develop ideas for the two lines of iambic pentameter I am writing every day this November.  My pages are generally about what I’m thinking about and, since I want the lines I write to reflect my daily focus, they were the perfect place to work out composition ideas. 

2) I went to my friendly neighborhood art gallery, which is hosting a De Gas exhibit, for my artist date.  The thin that struck me most about the experience was how prolific and experimental De Gas was as an artist.  He did a lot of work that was never made to be exhibited, but was simply to further his understanding of form (like, did you know he was obsessed with photography?)  It inspired me to continue trying different things and focus on what the process can teach me.

3) When I began the iambic pentameter challenge I almost allowed my inexperience with the form and my ten-year hiatus from writing any poetry cripple me.  But I got over thinking about the perfect poem I was obviously not going to produce and saw the opportunities the practice had to offer.  All of this was then reinforced by what I took away from the De Gas exhibit.  ALSO… a friend of mine was in town over the weekend and when we were on our way out I was joking that I was going to request one of our favorite old songs when we got to our destination.  This was funny because the place we went plays DVDs of music videos so no requests are taken and all of the songs are generally new.  Then about an hour after we arrived the song played in the middle of their new music mix.

4) This week I’ve been focusing on being kind to myself, having self-discipline without punishing myself.  The exercises this week exposed the growth I’ve experienced since the last time I did The Artist’s Way.  Before I couldn’t pick out any creative U-turns because I was so far removed from any of my previous creative ventures.  The fact that I could see several u-turns I’d taken in the past six months was a triumph because it meant I’d attempted several creative things! 

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1. I did my pages 7/7 days. They've been really therapeutic for me this week. I reccomended the pages and TAW itself to my friend Meredyth cause I think she could really benefit from it.

2. I did several things this week that might be considered Artist Dates I went downtown and heard a friend of my sister's play some great live music. While visiting a friend in DC I went to the National Museum of Women in the Arts and saw a great exhibit on different kinds of books that really spoke to me. Also, I took many random walks this week and did a lot of thinking and exploring. And of course some more guitar playing!

3. As for synchronicity, I was a bit hesitant to take the Chinatown bus to DC and lo and behold someone clued me in that Greyhound offers the same fare special if you book online. That really eased my mind a lot and cemented my trip to DC.

4. Other issues... same as always... work, focus on diet instead of creativity, lack of time. I also have been having a little fear about nearing the end of my 12 weeks like what happens now? Mayhaps I can really give myself time during this final week to appreciate and experience TAW process.
Current Location:
at work
Current Mood:
hopeful hopeful
Current Music:
None
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MORNING PAGES: 3.5/7 and I am amazed at that. I have had a wretched cold and what little energy I had went to doing my part in getting the Captains Dinner ready.

ARTIST DATE: - this wasn't a date but two things fed my artist. I went to my acupuncturist. He had a new wonderful carved wooden dragon. it excited me to look at it. It stays in my memory. And I found a poem by Zhou Xuanjung a 12century poet with this line -" Under motionless waves Fish and Dragons freely leap." To me that's about creativity. Maybe that's synchronicity?

OTHER ISSUES: A friend helped me with the centerpieces for this dinner - a head table and 14 tables. Bless her I needed help. She had a cold too but on Saturday morning we went to a farm stand and bought a small mahogany flowered chrysanthemum, 4 matching ears of indian corn, a plant of unknown name but with the right colored foliage, 3 white pumpkins and a huge amount of gourds - white - yellow - green - some of very exotic shapes. We had a wonderful time. Maybe that was the Artist Date.

Even though I was wretched most of the week there were small splendors!
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morning pages
I did again 6.5 of 7. On Sunday morning I spent too much time on MSN but there are definitely things that are more important than Morning Pages. I am surprised that I just kept doing them this week. Somehow my mornings are for myself and the rest is for NaNoWriMo ;-)

artist's date
I didn't do an artist's date on my own this week or maybe I did one every night? I definitely did three dates that I consider as artist's dates, even if I did them with other people.

#1: The start of NaNoWriMo with a couple of friends in the Café Gloria. We met to write and to talk in between writing. I found it very stimulating, the sound of the keyboards and how the noises of the restaurant grew fainter and I dived into my novel. I found out that I write best with a rhythm of about 20 minutes. In that time I can write a chapter and am usually a bit further along after it.

#2: I went to my very first ice hockey match with my husband. I enjoyed it a lot, it was so different and new for me, my artist's child had a lot of fun.

#3 Räbeliechtliumzug with my family. This is our traditional winterstart, probably related in some ways to the American Halloween. In Switzerland we carve little lamps and carry them in a procession. It's a quiet thing, with a little bit of music but I found it quite magical.

I have taken pictures of most of this and more of my life, so if you feel like, you are welcome to check them out on my flickr


synchronicity
I think the way my every day life and what's happening around me just enters my novel could be called synchronicity. I use what I find and it feels like it's all coming together somehow. I love this mixing of truth and fantasy.

other issues
I wrote for my NaNoWriMo, every day, at noon and in the evenings. I wrote a lot and I am very pleased with it. Not because it's such a great text, but simply because I am doing it. I was very sceptical how it would work without an idea and I am pleasantly surprised that my story seems to be just there. The only thing I have to do is arrange it and make it get together. Of course it's early yet and week two hasn't started but already now this is probably the best writing experiment I've ever done and it for sure the longest fictional text I've ever written. The Artist's Way and Julia Cameron have been a big help. My mantras are quantity is more important than quality and the big artist up there will watch out for me and provide me with enough ideas to get me trough with it.

Again I didn't really do this week's tasks. Partly from lack of time but also because I didn't feel like doing them.
This week's topic spoke to me though, I think NaNoWriMo is a big break through for me for my Writing, just as the Picture a Day was for my Photography
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1. morning pages: 7/7. covered some difficult stuff this week. there are things i can change and things i can't change, and i seem to be hung up on the things i can't change. mourning and angry. trying not to turn my anger inward yet lacking a clear target on the outside.

2. artist's date: went up to mount bonnell (more of a hill, really) to look out over the river and recharge a little. i love the view of the bridge from up there.

3. no synchronicity to report.

4. other issues: i'm still fighting depression and it seems hard to believe in good things right now. week 5 being "recovering a sense of possibility" was a little tough to deal with and every time i tried to do the tasks i just got depressed. i'd almost like to do it over but i'm not sure what the point would be since i'm still not feeling that great and i'd just run into the same roadblocks. one of the biggest things i struggle with is this huge sense of futility, defeatism, fatalism -- it pervades nearly every aspect of my life and it makes this work difficult at even the best of times.

i feel like i'm not moving forward.
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I just tried to add someone who said they were from here as a NaNoWriMo buddy but it said that the user name didn't and then for some reason the message went poof and I can't find it now to see if I just spelled the name wrong. So.... mystery person please make yourself known.

Also if there is anyone else who would like to add me as writing buddy, and would like me to in turn add let me know :) The more the merrier.

I did do my morning pages yesterday morning, even though I said that I would try to kind of merge the writing together... but I was having some issues I needed to work our before I could have have a clear mind, blank slate to start writing. I have yet to do them today though. Perhaps I will not beat myself up if sometimes I need to and sometimes I do not... thoughts?

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