I had a lot of fun with Week Three. Unlike Week Two, I didn’t feel flustered trying to fit the exercises into my life. They also gave me a lot to think about. There was a lot of artistic affirmation this week, including taking stock of all the people I have in my life who support my work, which felt like an extension of Week One. Between these two weeks, I’ve come to realize just how many people I have in my life who have a positive influence on my writing and other work. I’m really lucky.
My favorite exercise was #9. First, we had to list five dead people we wanted to meet. Then, we had to list five dead people (either people we’ve met or people we haven’t) who we wanted to actually spend time with in the afterlife. Most of the people on my first list were writers I wanted to talk to. But the people on my second list were all biological family members and close friends (both of my grandmothers, an aunt, an uncle, and Reesa). It was interesting to realize that, while there are definitely literary celebrities I’d love to meet, what I really want is more time with people I’ve loved and lost.
Week Four is starting, and I have my reservations about it. The tool for this week is Reading Deprivation. That’s right, no reading for a week. Uh, I can’t remember the last time I went a day without reading, much less a whole week. I’m also going to have to modify it a bit. Cameron advocates no reading of anything whatsoever. This includes reading for school/work. Unfortunately for me, this is impossible. Cameron argues that she has had jobs where she’s managed to put off writing for a week, but I think she’s lucky. My job is reading. I get paid to read. If I don’t read, I literally will not get work done. So I’m just going to have to make an exception for that, because I like my job and want to keep it. Also, there are some emails I’m going to have to read. I’m planning a bridal shower and a poetry festival. I can’t just neglect all of my responsibilities.
Still, even with making exceptions for the essentials, it’s going to be a long week. No books. No magazines or literary journals. None of the blogs in my Google Reader. No webcomics. I’ve only been awake for about three hours, and I’m itching to pick up the copy of The Haiku Handbook that I just got from the library after nearly a month waiting for it to come in. Last night, I dreamed that I read a magazine. I have a whole list of things to do today, but this is going to be tough. Sunday afternoons are so often spent on the couch with a good book, that even knowing I have a list of things to do, I want to settle in and get cozy with a cup of tea. I don’t know how I’m going to make it to Saturday.
If anyone who reads this blog has done The Artist’s Way before, any advice on navigating Week Four and the Reading Deprivation would be very much appreciated.