Hmm – it’s been ages again since I posted. Ironic really given that the title of this week is Self-Protection. When I mentioned I haven’t been blogging much lately, a friend suggested that a combination of deep self-reflection (Artist’s Way) and my new daily, rather than weekly, practice of Kundalini yoga may mean I just don’t feel like speaking out publicly or connecting outwards at all for a while. Luckily, that feeling has now passed, so here goes for Week 10;
This is the chapter that tackles what I would call my main problem – Workaholism. Yes, my creative blocks mainly take the shape of keeping myself out of the studio by keeping myself busy ‘working’. After spending much of my twenties working super-long, super-hard hours in dark edit suites painting commercials frame-by-frame on a Quantel Paintbox, I have never lost the habit of staying up too late staring at a screen. According to this chapter, it’s a form of self-abuse – and should be treated like an addiction.
“There is a treadmill quality to workaholism. We depend on our addiction and we resent it. Work is synonymous with worth so we are hesitant to jettison any part of it.”
It’s such a destructive part of a creative person’s life that Julia Cameron suggests putting a sign up in your workplace where you see it frequently;
WORKAHOLISM IS A BLOCK, NOT A BUILDING BLOCK.
I’ve noticed that since I finished reading “Seven Days in the Art World“, which really fired me up about going somewhere with my work (literally – to the Venice Biennale) and since I got selected as a case study for Chris Guillebeau’s Empire Building Kit (do one thing a day to build my successful art & coaching business) on The Art of Non-Conformity, I’ve done absolutely much less in the direction of starting to fuel my artwork and my art coaching forward. This quote in Chapter 10 may explain it somewhat;
“Rather than trust our intuition, our talent, our skill, our desire, we fear where our creator is taking us with this creativity. Rather than paint, we pick up a block. Blocked, we know who we are and what we are – unhappy people. Unblocked, we may be something much more threatening – happy – and for most of us, happy is terrifying, unfamiliar, out of control, too risky – is it any wonder we take creative U-turns…”
So, checking in for week 10;
- How many days this week did you do your morning pages? About 5. Has reading your pages changed your writing? Yes, slightly – I tend to be more aware of the theme or topic for the day. Are you still allowing yourself to write them freely? I think I’m learning to focus them more – it’s still free writing, just get to the 1.5 page threshold more quickly now.
- Did you do your artist’s date this week? Yes!! I posted a painting as a present to my brother and his wife. It felt fantastic to do this – big inner smile. Let yourself do an extra one. What did you do? How did you feel? I sat in the yurt and took in the beautiful space for 15 minutes – peace…
- Did you experience any synchronicity this week? What was it?
- Were there any other issues this week that you consider significant in your recovery? Describe them. I allowed myself to indulge in these images by Fernando Zobel – a book I borrowed from Robert’s studio – fantastic drawings, beautiful use of paint, inspiring in so many ways…
See more of Fernando Zobel’s work here… Fernando Zobel.com