I hit Week 4 in The Artist’s Way, otherwise known as Reading Deprivation Week (okay, it’s otherwise known as “Recovering a Sense of Integrity, but one does that by–*gulp*–not reading!).
Here’s what Julia Cameron has to say about depriving ourselves of the words of others:
It is a paradox that by emptying our lives of distraction we are actually filling the well. Without distractions, we are once again thrust into the sensory world.
For most blocked creatives, reading is an addiction. We gobble the words of others rather than digest our own thoughts and feelings, rather than cook up something of our own.
… we will be rewarded for our reading deprivation with embarrassing speed. Our reward will be a new outflow. our own art, our own thoughts and feelings, will begin to nudge aside the sludge of blockage, to loosen it and move it upward and outward until once again our well is running freely.
I get this. I so get this. I know that I OD on books, stories, blogs, opinions, rants, articles. I know that I take into too much information from the outside, all in the name of research and keeping up, and get so bloated on it that I can hardly think my own thoughts. So, this week, instead of reading one of the four new books I got at Borders last week (*SIGH*), I’m working on my own stories. Instead of reading blogs and keeping up with forums, I’m working on my own space here in ‘NetLand and journaling, letting myself hear my own voice for once.
Today I washed six windows. It took me an hour-and-a-half, but David took the children hiking and left me alone with my windows, my cleaning supplies, classical music and my thoughts. It was a beautiful day, sunny and cloudy, with a strong cold wind. My thoughts drifted here-there-and-everywhere. I dreamed up some backstory, gained an insight, processed a situation.
It was lovely but HARD. Checking my RSS feed is an ingrained habit; I do it without even thinking. So is just picking up a magazine or a book. But I got good stuff out of today.
And six clean windows.