I have FINALLY gotten to the last week of The Artist’s Way. I have been through this book three times before and the first two only made it to Week 5. I seemed to have a breakthrough both times during that week and just let it fall by the wayside. The next time I got as far as Week 9. It is a 12 week program for helpin’ you get through art blocks and becoming more creative. I highly recommend this for anyone going into any creative career (but be prepared for a lot of talk about God, though she keeps it rather vague so it can mean whatever it means to you). The first time I worked my way to week 5 I started writing like a crazy person and I have no idea where it came from. I’ve always thought of myself as a visual artist and not a writer. This book really put me on the path I’m on now to creatin’ a graphic novel. The time I got to week 9 was when I realized I was really off track and not following my true calling. So yeah, this book can be very transformative.
Some of the tools are exercises, artist dates, and the morning pages. I found the morning pages to be the most useful. It is 3 handwritten pages of whatever comes into your brain. No censor. It’s a great place to vent all your frustrations, worries, and concerns. For me after a few weeks of non-stop complaining I started to realize that I have a lot of internal negative dialog and I really got tired of my own whining. At this point in the process, I find that if I complain I am more likely to follow up with brainstorming a solution. As a result, I feel I try more to problem solve than dwell on the problem itself.
One thing I saw as a problem movin’ out here to the boonies to live simply is that there is virtually no internet. I got a Sprint hotbox, but that is only 12GBs per month. There is nothing else and while I could get more data, that would cost more which is really not good if you’re tryin’ to be thrifty. I don’t want to have to go out and get another job just to have more internet. I’d already gotten rid of my car and would end up havin’ to work full-time to pay for a car and internet. Then I’d be stuck with only havin’ the shops open Saturday and Sunday and only be able to work on art in little squeezed out batches of time with less energy to do so. When would I have time to use all the additional internet data I’d be workin’ so hard for?? Mo’ money, mo’ problems.
So I started lookin’ for alternate solutions. I went to the library, but it wasn’t open during most of my off days. Also I feel like I want to fall asleep in there after about an hour. It is just so quiet! I would get thirsty and hungry and sleepy and could tell that was not the best situation for all day art. I called every fast food restaurant in town and none of them had wifi, but there is a travel center where I can sit and listen to music and drink and eat as needed and clean restrooms. Problem solved! I found I am also a LOT more productive when I’m workin’ in a public environment than at home. Multiple problems solved!
Work smarter, not harder, folks.