Welcome to Week 9 of my Artist’s Way Adventure. If you are unfamiliar with this new series, take a look at The Artist’s Way Adventure – Prologue and then come back here later.
Week 9 is titled “Recovering a Sense of Compassion”. Now before I continue with the chapter, let me apologize. I recently doubled-back to check the names of the first few chapters and they all share the naming convention of Recovering a Sense of Word of the Week Here. Let me tell you, I totally did not realize this was a thing until I went back and checked. So with that said, I still do not feel connected with this chapter.
I do not feel bad, even the chapter opens up in the synopsis with:
“It may be tempting to abandon ship at this point. Dont!”
Even the Artist Way realizes that by Week 9, the artist is losing motivation to continue. I do not know about anyone else who has gone through this week, but goodness, it is difficult to stay mega consistent with this journey.
I am going to start this off with, I messed up.
I have been consistently reading the new chapter of The Artist Way book on Sunday. I usually do my Check-In in my Morning Pages, type up an article about the week I experienced, and then read the new week. Even if I do not get around to reading the entire chapter, I at least skim through it and know what the flavor of the week is.
This week my brain was on holiday. I did not start reading my Week 9 chapter until the middle of the week, Wednesday. However, I decided to follow the instructions of this week and not simply postpone or give up with my adventure, instead, I just picked up the book and read. I decided that it was better late than never to start my week and I would not allow myself three extra days to do my tasks and Artist Week because that is not how I am supposed to do things.
Once I was done reading the chapter, I added my Task list on Wunderlist like I did during the previous week. This method thus far has given me the best results to do all my tasks on time, every time.
Fear of Failure and Success
Now that I am typing about my week, I do realize I experienced Synchronicity this week. How? Well, the first few pages of Week 9 discuss the concepts of Fear of Success and Fear of Failure. It explains that a lot of artists seem “lazy” and they procrastinate because they fear to fail. They believe that if they do not create things, then they cannot fail since there is nothing to fail.
The reason I say this is Synchronicity and not simply a chapter blabbing about what should be common sense is that I have been complaining about this. If you were to pick up and read my Morning Pages, you would see that every once in a while I complain about my significant other. Why? Because I think he procrastinates too much and has a tendency to be lazy until the very last minute when things need to get done.
“Blocked artists are not lazy. They are blocked”
Week 9 discusses this in detail. A “lazy” artist is nothing more than an artist who is blocked and cannot get in touch with their inner artist. They are the ones who fear to act because they will either fail and humiliate themselves or succeed and then have to deal with ‘getting what they wished for’. Which yes, that latter option doesn’t sound like an issue, but some people fear that once they get what they wanted, they will not be able to keep up with those results consistently and eventually will fail.
After all, the higher you climb, the harder the fall.
While I was late to the party when it came to starting Week 9, I did all of my Tasks.
As I explained previously, these tasks are starting to dig deeper than the first ones. They require more effort either time-wise or reflectively and cannot be done in their entirety in a single sitting. The first was interesting, it actually encouraged reading my Morning Pages instead of simply flipping the page and starting a new entry. For this, I used my yellow and pink highlighters as I highlighted tasks I gave myself and realizations I had over the past two weeks.
I do not want to brag, but there are some really nice nuggets of knowledge, wisdom, and poetry hidden within the gibberish of things I write. I was extremely proud of some phrases I wrote such as “I need to stop kicking myself, I’m not a soccer ball” and “remember to start small and grow big”. These beautiful and inspirational phrases made me smile and I wrote flowery lines describing my notebook pages in an effort to ‘finish’ my pages for the day.
Visualizing was another task that I had delight in doing. There was a written portion and then there was a portion that required some arts and crafts. The written part was just easily done on Day One, but I handled the second part on Photoshop since I did not have the time to find magazines to cut into and then going through the effort of printing images of myself to do the task.
The first image that I wanted my head being put on was Walt Disney’s. I did it quickly since I was pressed for time and I figured it did not have to be perfect since if I was doing it on an actual image in a magazine, I wouldn’t be very neat either. I then searched the internet high and low to try and find art magazines that showcased artists as opposed to their work. The assignment was to put my image on people, not my art.
I considered posting the three images I created on Instagram, but then decided I would show you instead, so here they are in all their quickly Photoshopped glory. Perhaps one day I will not even need to use Photoshop to be in a magazine. You never know!
The other tasks had to do with other topics mentioned in the topic. One of them being “Creative U-Turns” but I do not feel as if that aspect of Week 9 was as influential and interesting as the others I mentioned.
Week 9 initially was whatever, but now that I am sitting and thinking about my experience, I guess it was not all that bad. It was all about pushing through whatever fears and struggles you are going through and remembering that you are a person. You cannot do everything you want and you need to be compassionate towards yourself.
You cannot always be doing things, as much as I preach about this, it is not possible. You need to give yourself time to be you. You need to sometimes take a day off and let your inner child have fun. While I did not mention it earlier, I did give myself time to simply doodle and play video games this week and that is certainly in theme with this week.
Have you been struggling with your Artist Way Journey? Do you also make these realizations last minute about how a chapter you read or a movie you watched was actually more influential than you originally expected?
Feel free to comment or tweet at me at Twitter, I love a good conversation!