Monday, October 26, 2009

Week 2--Becoming a Less Neurotic Writer in 12 Weeks

How's everyone doing out there? I can't say I'm feeling less neurotic, but I am focusing more on my writing and trying my best to ignore that brutal internal editor bitching on my shoulder. Is it working? Mmm, not really, but I am getting better at telling her to shut up. My week one checkin is at the end of the post.

Week Two: Recovering a Sense of Identity.
I love Julia Cameron's quote here: "Going sane feels just like going crazy." Yeah, that’s about right. But if that’s true, how do you tell the difference?

Cameron talks about barriers to our creativity. One of them is external. She calls them “crazymakers.” They’re the people in your life who create storm centers and chaos. The ones who need us right when we’re about to write or are in the middle of writing. The ones who always have some sort of melodrama in their life that then becomes part of our life. The ones who tell us we’re being selfish by taking time to write. Luckily, I don’t have a crazymaker in my life right now, but if you do, consider what you can do to either get them out of your life or minimize the damage they inflict upon your creativity.

There are also internal barriers to our creativity. The biggest one is our skepticism. Cameron describes the mind like a room. Inside our room are all our usual ideas about our life, our creativity, our higher power, etc. The room has a door and it’s slightly ajar. Outside the room is a dazzling light. In that light is a bunch of great, new ideas that are slightly outside of our comfort zone, so we keep them out of our room. The ideas we are comfortable with are inside the room with us. All others are kept outside.

Before our creative recovery, we kept that door closed. Cameron wants us to try opening it now and then. See what happens. “It is not necessary to change our beliefs,” she says. “It is necessary that we examine them.” She says creative recovery is all about “open-mindedness.” She suggests we spend this week consciously opening our mind a bit.

Cameron also talks about how writers tend to waste a lot of time in fantasy and daydreams when we’re blocked. We think about what could have, should have, would have. She says we simply need to pay attention. She suggests writing down how we spend our time during the day. What are the time suckers? We need to stop daydreaming and start doing.

Some other tasks she suggests are to write a list of 20 things we’ve always wanted to do in our life. Can we incorporate anything from that list into our week? She reminds us to read our affirmations daily before or after our Morning Pages.

Here's my Week One checkin:

Daily walking: Did this every day but two days. The weather was horrible here, so that's my excuse. I worked through a couple of plot issues during my walks and my dog really enjoyed it, so that's progress.

Daily 3-min meditation: I'm resisting this for some reason. It's not like it takes a lot of time, but I only fit it in 2x. I just don't think about it during the day. Maybe I should meditate right when I get up in the morning, when I'm making my To Do list (that I never remember to look at for the rest of the day...)

Daily morning pages: I did this every day but one (I was at the ocean for the weekend and ran out of pages in my journal). This is definitely a habit, one I can't do without. Just this morning I wrote out a whole new series idea that just came to me while I rambled about something else.

Weekly Artist Date: Yes, I did this. My siblings, mom, daughter and I went to the ocean for the weekend. I took an hour and went for a walk on the beach by myself, and spent some time drawing pictures in the sand with a stick and just standing in the surf watching the waves.

Yoga 2x/week: Did this and it felt great. Once was with the class I taught, then a second time for about 20 minutes working mainly on the tightness in my hips. This is a habit that I really want to cultivate.

Good luck this week!


Sylvie said...

My best ideas come when I'm taking a shower or when I'm taking a walk..I guess the alone time helps!

Becca Simone said...

I agree, Sylvie. I also get great ideas when I'm driving (as long as I have no passengers and no music to distract me).


Cari Quinn said...

Driving always does it for me...but with music, the louder the better. ;)

Great post, Becca!

Becca Simone said...

Hey Cari,
I usually don't have any music on when I drive, nor do I have music or TV on when I'm home alone (that's rare). I like the silence to zone out.