The Artist’s Way – Week Four RANT. My thoughts on ‘Reading Deprivation’

Soooo up until now I’ve been pretty quiet about working through the book “The Artist’s Way” by Julia Cameron. Today, I break that silence.

The reason? I’m up to week four and the activity for the week is, get this – reading deprivation.

Reading Deprivation? Really?

Reading. I’ve always heard how good reading is for people and yes, reading is a big past-time for me – more recently lots of graphic novels and art coffee-table books. So after reading that for seven days I am to not read for enjoyment – I’m feeling a little miffed.

I mean, what else am I supposed to do? Books, the technology that’s brought history from verbal to written form and civilized generations, are now forbidden to read for 7 days. Excuse me?

Well, to say I’m annoyed and confused is an understatement. I sat on it for a while and then the real feeling reared its head.

I’m not pissed. I’m afraid.

Julia Cameron writes that artists spend a lot of time ‘filling their (creative) well’ with a lot of other peoples’ thoughts. And rarely do creative people intentionally spend time with only their own thoughts.

In a kind of twisted way, reading – and I would definitely say in this internet age – any form of distracting entertainment I partake in like streaming Netflix, watching YouTube or reading reddit, Twitter and our social feeds is a form of filling my head with other peoples’ thoughts. This means I have an awesome excuse not to listen to my own hidden thoughts.

That’s pretty deep. And kind of self-sabotaging.

Maybe Reading Deprivation won’t be so bad

So the more I think about it, the more it makes sense to take a detox from reading and (what I’m challenging myself with further) breaking from social media. I mean, my frustration with social media is documented in this blog post and others. Wouldn’t it be nice to just try to experience a break from social media anyway, even if it doesn’t work?

And if this book “The Artist’s Way” is so highly recommended then who am I to question its methods. There’s a reason so many creatives still recommend it, right? And I do want to experience the entire course in its entirety.

So, bring it on. I’m up for the challenge.

What will I do with my time? Julia Cameron recommends listening to music, painting, writing, cleaning etc. and that all makes sense. I’ve actually been putting a lot of that off. It might even remind me of a time where the internet didn’t feature so much in day-to-day entertainment. And I think after typing this out, I’m actually looking forward to the week ahead.

If you’re going/gone through The Artist’s Way and gotten frustrated at the week before you, you’re not alone. Maybe it’ll work. But you’re definitely not alone in not looking forward to the activity. Here goes.

UPDATE: what I’m specifically avoiding and allowing myself to do this week is in this blog.

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