For the past month, I've been working through The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron. The goal of the book is to stimulate creativity and "awaken the artist within." Sounds good to me! I promised at the beginning of the course that I would suspend my natural skepticism and do all of the assignments, no matter how nutty they may seem. Like all good intentions, this one came back to bite me.
Everything was going well until week four when I encountered the reading deprivation assignment. She admits in the book that she's always the bad guy when she gives the assignment in class. Rightly so, I say. She has instructed us not to read for a week. No books, no email, no news articles, no magazines. Nothing. Nada. In addition, she says that filling the void with tv, radio, and "gossipy conversations" (hello! the best kind!) isn't in the spirit of things and should be avoided as well.
In the words of Dr. Kurt ... BUSH LEAGUE!
The theory behind the exercise is that blocked creatives often overindulge in the words and ideas of others and that a week without those distractions will open you up to try new activities and listen to your inner voice. While it is eye opening to realize how much time I spend reading (alot!), at this point my inner voice is mostly saying that it wants to check its email.
(In case you were wondering, blogging is writing, so it's allowed. At least that's what I'm telling myself ...)