Saturday, May 16, 2009

Don't READ????


So, here's how the question goes:  "If you were stranded on a desert island, what three books would you want to have with you?"










I am taking the course The Artist's Way.  The course is a twelve week program outlined in the book of the same name by Julia Cameron.  Our church is offering it while our priest is on sabbatical studying poetry in Europe (he and our church received an incredible grant--while he travels and studies, we mirror some of his activities here at home).  Our group is facilitated by a woman who is a professor and therapist at the University of Mississippi, and I am thoroughly enjoying my journey through this process.  I mean, I WAS thoroughly enjoying it until this week--WEEK 4.

Here is what I am being asked to do by this Julia Cameron person--NOT READ.  For an entire week.  Seriously.

I guess that I can understand her reasoning.  She is wanting us to find some sort of clarity and to free our minds up so that new creative thoughts can emerge.  But . . . 


I can't NOT read.  That is my definition of hell.  It really is.  This is my nightstand, and there are about ten more piles like this around my house.











I've thought about how to get around this:
*Give up reading blogs for a week
*Give up reading the newspaper for a week
*Give up reading novels for a week
*Only read right before bed
But that's not what she said to do.  She said give up reading entirely for a week.  

I was telling Katie about this (she's reading the book on her own and hasn't gotten to this chapter yet), and she asked me "What would be the benefit of not reading?"  So I read her Julia's list of fabulous things I'm supposed to accomplish by not reading, a list that includes such things as sewing curtains, painting a piece of furniture, cooking, working out, listening to music, mending, sorting closets . . .  And Katie said, "You do all those things anyway."

I said, "You're right."  So I am hereby refusing to participate in this part of the process.  Yes.  I am a rebel.  A rebel, I tell you.   And, I'm going to work on my list of three books to take to my desert island--I may even READ one of them.

sf
  


15 comments:

Little Ms J said...

A rebel, a ninja... the complete package. A guy I dated gave me The Artist's Way many years ago. I did the free writing pages each morning. Interesting what you find out about yourself.

Lisa and Laura said...

Wow. I've never heard of this book, but it's interesting that she thinks not reading would facilitate creativity. I've always found the opposite, whenever I'm stuck I read a good book and it always seems to help. I can't imagine not reading for a week! That's insanity!

Tyler said...

Well, I suppose if you took a week off of reading then you'd come back with some crazy fervor and probably tear through like 18 books in an hour.

Still, though...There are too many good books that I haven't read to afford taking a week off.

That's quite the stack you've got there!

Corey Schwartz said...

Artist's Way is a great book! My husband and I have both read it and did morning pages for years, though i never managed to get into the "artist's date"

Kimberly Derting said...

You mean if I give up reading I'll know how to sew, cook, and paint? I didn't realize that the only thing in my way was my love of books! Maybe I could play the piano too!!! That would be awesome...

Sara said...

I found my journal from the NO READING week of The Artist's Way (I started it in late 1996) and I wanted to quit it too:

"Not reading is about to drive me insane. I did two crossword puzzles on the plane. Eavesdropped on a conversation. Compared people's haircuts and ears." (And then long rant on ears...)

But it payed off, because I wrote afternoon pages as well as morning pages that week, just to get me through the deprivation hell. So. Just saying. Consider observing yourself as you "give up reading." Rebel against the rebel. Write about it.

Katie said...

I am writing on my phone so this will be short. Hey y'all! SF, I love Sara's idea- to journal about the suckiness of not reading.

Robin said...

I went through The Artist's Way years ago. (Before having a kid.) I don't recall giving up reading...but I did manage to try knitting. For like a day.

And the morning pages are awesome. I was at my best during that time of my life. Think I might need to get back to that. Thanks for the inspiration!!

Hardygirl said...

Bug! Sara, you may have convinced me, but I've already blown it this week (reading an AMAZING arc from a friend) . . . then next week, the beach . . . maybe the next week? I'm not required to do this thing in order, am I? Wait , I'm a rebel. And, I'm forty.

I'll NOT read in a couple of weeks.

Maybe.

PurpleClover said...

Eek! I can't not read. I mean can you read your email? or your blog? or your email? text messages? email?

Like whoa sista! That's insane. Totally Sidharrthean or something. Couldn't do it.

Hardygirl said...

You're right PC.

I'm not doing it.

Jim said...

I guess you will never know the true benifit of self depridation...blah, blah, blah.
Great looking site Sarah, I will check back and see if I can learn anything from reading your thoughts.

Jim Allhiser President/Inspector said...

...uh so much for proof reading my own writing...

ElanaJ said...

Oooh, you rebel you! I wouldn't give up reading either.

Solvang Sherrie said...

Not read for a week? Good luck with that!

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