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The Artist's Way: Week 1 Check-In

First, thank you SO MUCH to everyone who left me a writing prompt to work with this upcoming week! I am excited and eager to get started knocking out some new work this week.

Technically today's the start of Week 2 for me, so I'd better finally get this Week 1 post done. So I'm doing that instead of my morning pages today. I've been meaning to do an AW post since Monday. On the plus side, I've pretty much figured out my most productive times during the day. I do well in the mornings before I have to get the big girls up for camp, start feeding & watering critters, etc. Today is the last day of camp though, so I should start getting more productive morning time – first before any of the girls get up, then Maya is pretty chill & happy with morning snack & playtime. I have to do most of my daily FLY routine in the morning before it gets too hot, but then I usually get Maya's naptimes for writing/AW or online time.

Evenings and late at night used to be my most productive writing times, but I've finally realized that that just isn't going to happen anymore. I'd planned to do an artist's date last night after Maya went to bed, but it was almost 8 before she fell asleep, and by then I was so hot and headachey that I just left her on the couch in the living room with Josh and went to bed. He gets up at 4:30, so he's usually in bed well before me, but I just keep getting headaches every night. It's the heat. Me & Eden both are very prone to heat sickness, and it's looking like Maya might be the same way. We all get grumpy, irky, and sick when we get too hot or too much sun, and since we need a new pool filter (to get today, hopefully!), we haven't had evening swim time for three or four days now. That's how long I've been headachey every night and why Maya's mad, also likely headachey, and fights sleep so hard. Pool time cools her off, makes her so happy, and puts her to sleep within about 5-10 minutes of getting out.

But now she stays up later, and Josh has started going to work an hour earlier, meaning I get up at 5 now. As much as I'm naturally a night owl, I'm just apparently good for nothing after 5 or 6 pm anymore.

Mornings with The Artist's Way have been going well though. I usually have time for my morning pages and three rounds of affirmations. At the start of the week, I wrote down ten negative blurts and rewrote them as affirmations (including several that she suggested). I haven't done any written exercises about my past bad guys (since I have done both those and past healing work with those issues), but I have mused over whether I'm still carrying any of that stuff around and if there are any new ones. I really dislike the "monster" or "horror" tasks. I've done them in the past, thinking maybe I balked for good reason, but I just don't find those helpful at all. It's usually easy for me to list examples of my personal champions, since I have some very encouraging and supportive friends and family, but since my current issue is more a feeling of "I used to be good at this stuff, but now I suck", I've decided to just start a new list and collect positive encouragement and feedback as I force myself to get over it and just write (and share) again. I enjoy the exercises about alternate lives, and I haven't done it yet, but I plan to finish up that and maybe a couple other exercises and read Week 2 this afternoon.

I've read the first portions of the book, at least, several times, but this time something really jumped out at me that never has before, so I wrote it down and have been reading it along with doing my affirmations (which I really love doing). I've found that reminding myself of this has been very helpful for me to lose a couple of my best excuses for not doing it:

Remember that in order to recover as an artist, you must be willing to be a bad artist. Give yourself permission to be a beginner. By being willing to be a bad artist, you have a chance to be an artist, and, perhaps, over time, a very good one.

So while I haven't yet done my artist's date (and I will), I have done quite a bit of research for a new idea I've been tossing around, I've been brainstorming different directions to go with The Neon Giraffe (trying really hard to make it less cliché, though no sparks of genius just yet), I caught up one overdue email account, and I've been rattling around my three novel ideas and trying to decide which to work on for this year's NaNo. As far as not-exactly-writing art, I've had a new idea for a new comic project that I've also been brainstorming. I just found my colored pencils last night and am ready to go on preliminary sketches. I'm not am artist or a skilled sketcher/drawer/painter by any means, but I enjoy doing those things.

So Week 1 wasn't as slamdacious as I had expected, but I'm being mindful again, and that's a good thing. If I can get my date this weekend (today is busy, but we'll see) and finally get a story written, I will consider it an overall success. I look forward to reading and starting Week 2 this afternoon.


( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 20th, 2012 02:55 pm (UTC)
I absolutely can NOT tolerate heat well either. This morning, an hour ago, I walked the dogs and chatted with my neighbor for maybe ten minutes and I came back inside and almost had to shower. It is so freakin humid that you are absolutely drenched when you come in. I have no idea how humid or hot it is there but I can imagine that anywhere these days without a/c is a nightmare. I hope you get the pool filter fixed today and a/c soon too! <3
Jul. 21st, 2012 02:01 am (UTC)
It's been crazy hot. It got to 109, I think, yesterday. Today was just in the 90s, so that actually felt tolerable. It's humid sometimes, but we get little tiny thunderstorms here and there lately that sometimes help. Wish it would rain really hard just once though. Yesterday was a weird day. It was SO hot, and it felt like it was going to rain all day but didn't. Heat lightning started in the evening, then outside turned orange. Not sure why, but that happens here every now and then. It just gets really, really orange. And my head was pounding and the energy was just weird, so I felt much better going and passing right out.
Jul. 21st, 2012 11:22 am (UTC)
109 is ridiculous! also, most of the time when it rains here in the summer, the rain just turns to steam and it's even more humid. maybe look into window a/c units, maybe just for a bedroom? that way you have at least one place to escape to. also, i'd think they would be on clearance now. <3 you so much and i hope summer flies by!! feel better!!
Jul. 21st, 2012 02:32 pm (UTC)
Oh, I definitely want some AC units! We have three, but one stopped working last year, Josh managed to fix up the other two, but now they're not working this year at all. I'd have bought some, but we got so behind with the vet bills, Josh's teeth problem, and a surprise trip. We're still catching up from all that. We're lucky if we have gas through the week ATM, but that's one huge reason why I'm trying to buckle down on my writing right now!
Jul. 22nd, 2012 01:01 pm (UTC)
That quote from the book really got my attention, too. I'm such a perfectionist that I've balked at even the idea of writing a first draft. I've planned a few books out in the past, but have been stopped by the idea that I could never write it the way I want to anyway so why bother. Giving oneself permission to be a bad artist is freeing indeed. Hemingway said, 'The first draft of anything is shit.' We need to stop being so hard on ourselves!

Your comment that you are being "mindful" again really stuck a cord with me. That word describes how I've been becoming more and more since starting the AW course. It seems like before I was always just racing as fast as I could to get my current task done. Nose to the grindstone kind of thing. But I've noticed so many things that I wasn't noticing before.

Because of my becoming more mindful, I've got a new idea for a novel (one that actually doesn't involve a lot of heavy research, which is a first for me I think! lol) that might be a fun NaNo project. :)
Jul. 23rd, 2012 04:09 pm (UTC)
I think the mindfulness thing counts a lot. At least for me. I'm glad to hear that things are resonating and working well for you! I've been musing over NaNo too, but I don't know what I want to tackle this year. What's your idea?
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )


Ahavah Ehyeh

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