room on the edge

inspiration (+ a push)

A Whole Week of Reading Deprivation? – are you *** kidding?

A Whole Week of Reading Deprivation? – are you *** kidding?

Over on my art blog michellerumney.com, I just turned the page to Week 4  – Developing a Sense of Integrity of the 12 week Artist’s Way program. Snoozily reading my way through this week’s chapter last night, I reached the end of the chapter and thought – “that sounds like a pretty easy week – there aren’t so many exercises as last week… all you have to do this week is “Reading Deprivation” – that just means to not read anything… that sounds ok…” … and then I went to sleep.

When I woke up though, (and all day since), it hit me –  a whole week of reading deprivation! No tv and no newspapers are already fine, as we’ve been not doing that for ages already, but no novels, no reference books, no information-full emails (I’ll read & answer the conversational ones), and no reading on the internet – no site browsing, no pdfs, no information overload and… and does Twitter count? isn’t it more like a written phone conversation? just 140 characters after all…

In her (fantastic) book, Julia Cameron explains ‘for most artists, words are like tiny tranquilizers. We have a daily dose of media chat that we swallow up. Like greasy food, it clogs our system… we gobble the words of others rather than digest our own thoughts and feelings, rather than cook up something of our own. In my teaching, the week I assign reading deprivation is always a tough one… I brace myself for the waves of antagonism and sarcasm that follow…

With this in mind, I set out today intending to simply monitor how much written information I take in in one day… and frankly, I was shocked. First of all there was the 72 page .pdf that had been open on my desktop for a couple of days “Roadmap to become a Blogger”. Written by one of my guests in the Journeys interview series, Gideon Shalwick – (check out the interview in the next few days – he has some great insights). I decided, rather than just close it, to read it instead. Of course it had loads of useful information in it and about 20 links to different useful websites. I visited them all – which meant I had to do some reading on each one, a few sign-ups, a few log-ins and… and…

And then there was some more email (information and newsletters), which I thought I’d better clear before I actually start the Reading Deprivation week…

Easily ignoring the pile of real paper documents on my desk, I then tried again to close down some windows in my browser and quit all the programs except the ones I absolutely, definitely need. 20 minutes later, I caught myself reading again – on another website, Day 23 of  ’30 days to Changing Your Game’ which I’ve been (kind of ) following this month… just a few more articles to go, then I can start…

by now it’s 23:30 and I still haven’t finished writing the post to go with Gideon’s interview, like I meant to do…

I give up then. I’m on The Artist’s Way and so tomorrow no reading ok? As Julia concludes:

“The nasty bottom line is this: sooner or later, if you are not reading, you will run out of work and be forced to play…

So, who else is up to 7 days without written words then?? (help!!)

If you’d like to do The Artist’s Way, invest in your own copy here:
The Complete Artist’s Way: Creativity as a Spiritual Practice

and then join in actually doing it over at…

Michelle Rumney.com

 

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