I’ve been working through The Artist’s Way. In the past two and a half years, I’ve gone to tons of support groups and counseling and have read self-help books that were recommended to me to help shape up my life. And, a few weeks ago, I was thinking about how my writing had stalled, and I had a manuscript almost finished that I just wasn’t getting anywhere with. One of those things where, you’ve literally got about two more weeks of work to do, and you’d be done, but taking that first step seems as hard as climbing a mountain.
I remembered The Artist’s Way and how, as a teenager, I picked it up and scoffed my way through a few pages before abandoning it. It was too god-oriented and had too many stupid school-type exercises for the likes of me.
So I’ve got this YA manuscript that’s literally days from being done and has been workshopped by two groups of people to good reviews and even better pointers, and I felt the itch to go to the bookstore and see if The Artist’s Way might help me. I bought it, and the rest is history.
In the first week of following the exercises, my productivity exploded. In the second and third weeks, it flagged a bit, but I’ve been stepping out of my comfort zone on a regular and am taking care of myself in new and gentle ways. And, from a little poking around, I discovered #PitchWars, which has given me even more structure and accountability and, most importantly, a short term goal that matters and should get my manuscript, query, and synopsis out the door and polished in short order.
This week, I’m facing a reading fast, which may be the hardest thing I’ve done in a long time. My plans for today and tomorrow were to read and write all day, but with reading off of the table, I’m already cleaning up my long-neglected website and getting some dancing and cleaning in. I’m not sure I can go a whole week without reading (which for me will include Facebook and Digg and most of Twitter except for #PitchWars, and the news, which is probably good because the news has been pulling me down lately until I feel like I’m drowning), but it looks like I’m already channeling the time in positive ways.