artist's way reflections: week 7

October 17, 2008

I haven’t posted any reflections on The Artist’s Way for the last few weeks. Please don’t tell anyone.

Like others, my interest has looked like a taffy machine moving in and out of engagement with the process. Some of the reflections from the reading this week have been helpful to me, especially when it comes to the daily pages. I’ve been pretty good about doing the daily pages (aka morning pages), but they have become tedious at times as we have moved through the weeks. (Don’t even get me started about how many times my daily pages have been filled with thoughts about doing the daily pages.)

This morning, especially, I was faced with the reality that I just didn’t want to do them. They seemed like another thing to check off my to-do list, and there are plenty of others things on there that seem more productive. But as I was at work on them, something clicked for me. Now this might be obvious to you, but it was a realization I needed to come to. I have been focused on just trying to fill the page. My whole goal was to get to the end of the alloted space.

As Cameron says in the first quote below, I was going the wrong direction. Rather than try to fill the page, the point is to empty the soul, to explore the mind. There is plenty going on in my heart and head to fill the page and more. The only thing that is expected of me in the process is to serve as the relay from soul to page.

Of course, you already knew all of this, but things for humoring me. Here are some thoughts I especially liked from the reading this week:

  • Art is not about thinking something up. It is about the opposite — getting something down. (pg. 117)
  • For the perfectionist, there are no first drafts, rough sketches, warm-up exercises. Every draft is meant to be final, perfect, set in stone. (pg 120)
  • We deny that in order to do something well we must first be willing to do it badly. (pg. 121)
  • To put it differently, very often a risk is worth taking simply for the sake of taking it. … Selecting a challenge and meeting it creates a sense of self-empowerment that becomes the ground for further successful challenges. (pg 123)
  • My jealousy had actually been a mask for my fear of doing something I really wanted to do but was not yet brave enough to take action toward. (pg 123)
  • I don’t have a lot of respect for talent. Talent is genetic. It’s what you with it that counts. — Martin Ritt (pg 125)
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