Sunday, July 17, 2011

ROW80: Are we there yet?


 "Creativity is oxygen for the Soul" - Julia Cameron



I finally finished The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron.   It took me longer than 12 weeks because...well, just because.   It was fascinating and interesting and taught me much about myself.  There are many things she said that resonated with me.   One thing that really stuck out was:

"Creativity is a spiritual practice.  It is not something that can be perfected, finished and set aside.  It is my experience that we reach plateaus of creative attainment only to have a certain restlessness set in.  Yes, we are successful. yes, we have made it, but.....

In other words, just when we get there, there disappears."
That is such a profound statement. Just when we get there, there disappears.  It resonated with me because I just finished working on my Bachelor's Degree.  I'm there. I did it. I'm done.  But am I really?  The question is what now.  I've been experiencing that bit of restlessness she mentioned.  I'm there but not there.  I want more, need more, desire more.....what?  In terms of writing, I understand what she means.  Writing, even education, is a never ending journey.   There is a plateau, a resting point.  Not a stopping point.   

"This unfinished quality, this restless appetite for further exploration, tests us.  We are asked to expand in order that we not contract.  Evading this commitment--an evasion that tempts us all--leads to stagnation, discontent, spiritual discomfort.  "Can't I rest?"  we wonder.  In a word, the answer is no."
Awesome.  It's an never ending journey and we all go about it in different ways.  For example, when traveling.  My son just wants to get there.  He doesn't want to stop to eat, drink, pee, play or anything else.  Single focused.   My sister and her family - they meander down the road, taking breaks to play soccer, investigate what's down a side road, check out a road side mall.  The ultimate goal is to get there.  But once you're there, do you sit, stop, do nothing.  Nope. You keep right on going - visiting, exploring, having an adventure.   I came across a great quote the other day:

“The road of life twists and turns and no two directions are ever the same. Yet our lessons come from the journey, not the destination. - Don Williams

In terms of writing,  so far it's been a adventure for me. I'm a writer in training working to get there...  I'm sure when I get there (there being published) I'm not planning on stopping, resting on my laurels. I don't want to be a one hit wonder.   And when I get to where ever it is that I'm going, at least I'll have enjoyed the ride. 

And speaking of enjoying the ride. Now that James is done with 5th grade and I'm done with classes (for now), I have more time to focus on Red Thief. Plus I'm going to join in on Kait's Goddess in Training. Both James and I have been sluffing off doing the treadmill. Plus I've not been diligent enough in making sure he does his physical therapy exercises properly and regularly.   (bad mom, bad mom)  So, accountability time.

I'm also dithering about the morning pages.   Are they helpful or not? Are they getting in the way of working on my WIP or warming me up for them.  I'm not too great with the stream of consciousness thing and writing what randomly comes to mind.  I seriously don't want to revisit the past, dredge it up and write about it.  I have a tendency to bury things. They are done, over with, learned from it, so no need to go there. Is there?  (We're back to there)  I've been there, done that and now its time to move on.   Both hubby and James have forever memories. Never forget a thing and love to talk about it, again and again.  Too negative for me.  I live in the present.   So what to do?   I'm undecided.

My goals for the next week are to continue writing at least one hour each day on Red Thief or until I get to a stopping point. Some days flow better than others so going to play it by ear.  I hand write my WIPS so impossible to establish a daily word count.  Goal is at least 2 full pages written front and back.

I'm off to check out how everyone else is doing with their goals. 

6 comments:

  1. I'm intrigued to know more about your 'morning pages'. Is it a way to warm up before you add to your novel? I've never thought to do that. Might give it a try.
    Hope you have another good week with your goals.

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  2. I've never thought about "there" being gone after you get there. Deep thoughts to ponder. But writing really is a never ending journey. You never get "there" because you never want to stop...so you keep going.

    I'm going to join in with G.I.T., too. I really, really need that!

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  3. Many many things to ponder in your post for me. I have Cameron's book but (ugh) I've yet to read it...now I'm thinking it would really help me to get it out and just start in. I've been playing with journaling everyday using Penzu. I just sort of use it to get my thoughts out and try to put a few things into perspective that is bothering me.

    Thanks for this post today!!!

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  4. @Emma - I'll send you the link to Julia Cameron's site that explains morning pages.

    @Laura - Interesting how such a simple statement really resounds

    @Staci - baby steps. read the first chapter. I'll have to check out penzu.

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  5. Such good quotes - I might have to check out her book!

    I didn't know that morning pages came from something specific lol. I've been using them to just write whatever about the piece of my WIP that is troubling me at that moment. I realized all I knew about a supporting character was that she was mean, so the next morning I wrote all about her. Also have used it to tackle confusing areas by just playing it out one way or the other without the worries of fixing it perfect right this second.

    It's been a really helpful way to just write something when I'm actually stuck in plotting mode right now!

    Hope you enjoy your break :)

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  6. so agree on the travel/learning bits - people assume I hung up my travel boots when I settled but with uni and cyberspace I just stopped physically moving and began mentally doing so - the day it stops is the day they bury me under a tree

    all the best with writing and goddess goals

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