Thursday, October 20, 2011

The Artist’s Way: Week Five, Post Two

I used to think that I was a weirdo because I needed so much alone time. (I think my family thought I was a weirdo, too.)

Being in silence while puttering around is very relaxing to me. You will never find me cooking/painting/writing/reading/working/etc. with the TV on. I get noise assaulted very easily, and coming home to a house full of noise (even happy ones) makes my skin crawl.

I thought I was the only one who felt this way, and that it was a sign that I was anti-social (which I think I am to a certain extent—meeting new people is an AWKWARD experience for me). But, when I read this chapter, I realized that there are a bunch of us out there! Comrades!

“An artist must have downtime, time to do nothing… For an artist, withdrawal is necessary… An artist requires the upkeep of creative solitude. An artist requires the healing of time alone” (pgs. 96-97).
These sentences leaped off the page and hit me between the eyes. That’s me!

Creative solitude should be my middle name!

Now, this doesn’t give me the excuse to drop all my responsibilities, draw the blinds, and never speak to another soul. (I wouldn’t want to do that, anyway.) But, it does make me realize that I need solitude weekly, and to accept that about myself.

If I ignore this need, then I am ignoring who I am. (And that’s when I find myself miserable.)

Julia asks a question in this chapter that I’d like to pose to you: “Are you destructive of your true nature?”

Dismissing my need for creative solitude was a way I was destructive to my true nature. (And even when I had moments of solitude, I would be guilt-ridden and beat myself up about it. Not a fun way to live!)

So, can you think of any way you are destructive of your true nature?

UP NEXT: Week Five Exercises!

P. S. Here’s a creative exercise that wasn’t in the book, but that I’ve been playing with the last few days.

It’s a way to jump-start your creativity.

What you do is take your full name (I also included “miss” for some extra letters) and write each individual letter on a little square piece of paper (They should all be the same size.). Now, mix up all the letters, and spend 10 minutes coming up with as many words you can. (In 10 minutes, I came up with 76 words.) Then take the word(s) that interest(s) you and write about it (them).

I decided to use only the words I came up with to write a few poems. Here’s one of them:

I sit on

Sallow sill.

White air,


Between billow

Or boom,

I float


It’s a really fun way to break through a creative block. Give it a try!

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