Monday, September 26, 2011

The Artist’s Way: Week Three, Post Three

When I attempted to complete the exercises for this week, my lack of a memory really got in the way. I couldn’t even do the first three exercises.

Exercise One: Describe your childhood room.

Exercise Two: Describe five traits you like in yourself as a child.

Exercise Three: List five childhood accomplishments.

Would you like to know my answers to these exercises?

1) I know it was indoors, had four walls, one window, and a closet.

2) I liked five childhood traits that I can’t remember. I know “sharing” wasn’t one of them.

3) I learned to read, write, do basic math, recognize colors, and “share,” sort of.

That’s all I had.

Now, when I got to Exercise Four, I started to feel better about myself, because even though the topic, “rotten habits,” isn’t exactly fun to dwell on, at least I didn’t have a problem listing them.

You have to list three obvious rotten habits and three subtle rotten habits. And then you have to explain what the payoff is for you to do them. There’s ALWAYS a payoff or you wouldn’t do it. Period.

As an example, I’ll share two of mine.

Obvious: I watch TV shows that I don’t like.

This was actually one of Julia’s examples, and when I thought about it, I realized I totally do this. I’ll start watching a new show, and then after a few episodes, I’ll lose interest. But there’s some part of me that thinks I need to remain loyal, so I’ll keep watching (or keeping recording them and watch them pile up in the queue.) It’s such a burden to me. And when I was thinking about the payoff, I realized that I use it as an excuse to not do things when I get home from work: “I’d love to start that new draft, but I have 5 episodes of Single Lady and her Friends to watch.”

Subtle: I read other people’s blogs without setting any limits.

This one is sneaky because it starts out all innocent and friendly. I look at someone’s blog and in the post s/he links to another blog, so I visit that one, and then that post mentions another blog, so I click that link, and then that person… you get the idea. What started out as a plan to get a 15-minute dose of inspiration on an artist’s blog turns in to a 2 ½ hour trip around the blogosphere where I end up looking at a website of earmuffs for cats. (And I a) don’t have a cat, b) don’t live in an area where earmuffs are required even for humans, nor c) am I the kind of person who would put earmuffs on a cat if I owned one and lived in inclement weather.) But, there went my evening.

So, question for you: What are your obvious or subtle habits that are standing in your way? You might be surprised!

UP NEXT: Week Three Wrap Up and Artist’s Date … where I left with wings (both physically and symbolically)…

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