This morning I started Week Three in The Artists Way workbook. I was skeptical yet hopeful when I first started the twelve week exercise. As I start this third week, I’m finding some of the roadblocks that other writers described starting to affect me. I started wonderfully week one. Did all three morning pages every morning and really got into the workbook tasks. Week two…well that was a different story. While I sat and did my morning pages, I didn’t always get three written. I let other things start getting in the way. I started sleeping later again. The first week I was able to get up between 5 and 5:30, get my pages down no later than 6:15 and have plenty of time to play with our kitten Murphy before leaving for work.
Week two I started getting up later. A few mornings Murphy had to wake me up. That’s bad when the kitten has to wake me up. I let him distract me quite a few times. But the main distraction was myself. And Cameron warns against this in the beginning of the workbook. Sit down and do those pages even if it’s a three page gripe session or grocery list. Eventually, something will come out of it that will either spark new creative life to a project or bring a brand new idea to fruition.
Truthfully, the hardest part hasn’t been the morning pages. It has been the exercises where Cameron asks the artist to really take a close look at themselves. Do we let others steal our time? Why do we allow the time to be stolen? Who were positive, and negative, influences in our pasts? Do they still have a hold on us today? One exercise was to identify three monsters from the past. Monsters as in people who told us we couldn’t do or be what we dreamed. Honesty hurt in that instance as I identified a person once close to me. The next part of the exercise required that we draw a picture of that monster and draw a big red X across them. I took one of the lesser monsters. Partly because at the time, I couldn’t draw a red X across the person who had in so many ways brought me down throughout childhood because at times, they were also one of the only people who supported my endeavors. I know that’s confusing, and it still is.
I’ll check in again in two weeks or so. I haven’t read this week’s exercises. And if I’m honest with myself, I’m a little scared to. But I will keep going because above all else, I have come to care about my writing with a passion and am more curious than scared about the effect these exercises will have on my writing.