The Artist’s Way – Week 1: Safety

Well, I’m going to do my best to stick to a plan, and document how things go whilst I make my journey along The Artist’s Way…

Week 1 is all about settling in, I think, with the focus primarily on getting started on the Morning Pages and Artist’s Date. I’ve gone my own way almost immediately, but I still think I’m feeling the benefit.

My new bedside table set-up

Morning Pages

I tried. I really did try. I wanted it to work. But I already have to get up at 0630 to get to work, and as a bad sleeper, making that 0615 just was not going to work for me. After a couple of days, I was feeling rough, and thought however creatively unblocked I might be getting, I simply wouldn’t have enough energy to use that creativity by the time the evening or weekend came around. I didn’t quit though. Instead, I’ve been doing Evening Pages. I’ve been making the effort to head to bed a little earlier, and have been filling my three pages, in longhand, before I go to bed. I’ve been really strict too – no phone or reading once I’m done, just writing, then light off, and to sleep.

And… It’s been great! I’ve noticed that by clearing my mind before sleep, and using those three pages to focus what I am thinking about on ‘nice’ things, like my own writing, I’ve been sleeping a lot better than usual. I’ve even managed to think up some new ideas, and work out some irritating plot problems in a story I’ve been trying to write, but couldn’t find a ‘way out’ for the couple at the end.

Artist’s Date

Now, this element, I feel a lot happier about, and have been doing this properly. This week, I’ve actually had a couple of ‘dates’, where I’ve let the creative pot be refilled. Firstly, hanging out with other writers, to get the ink flowing again, was brilliant. But secondly, a trip to the theatre did actually feel more like a day. I headed to the Tynemouth Priory Theatre to see A Bunch of Amateurs, a comedy about an A-lister (in his mind, at least) ending up in a local am-dram company. I thoroughly enjoyed the play, and am looking forward to more theatre trips.

Other Exercises

The focus of the other exercises this week was mostly about affirmations, which I’ve always slightly struggled with, but I focused, and definitely enjoyed thinking about the other lives I might have had, in alternative universes. I wasn’t able to get into the letter-writing though. Something I need to give more time to, going forward, but still an interesting process.

See you at the end of Week 2!

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