Have you heard of the Artist Way? I'm going to sound weird and cult-y for a minute, but it kind of is weird and cult-y, so go with it. The Artist Way is this philosopy slash spiritual system to help blocked artists unblock. Using things like the Morning Pages, and Artist Dates, as well as tasks, it kind of forces you to face the reasons that you're blocked and work (really WORK) to tear down those walls. And you confront some...stuff. Childhood stuff, college stuff... stuff. It really makes you confront your blocks as an artist. It's awesome, and terrifying at the same time.
One of the main processes of AW is the morning pages. Oh my various gods the morning pages. Three pages of absolute stream of consiousness every day. Let me tell you, getting used to them SUUUUUUUCKS!! But honestly, once you are used to them, you have to do them every day. I actually get uncomfortable and disoriented if I don't write them every day. The notebook stays right on my bedside table, so I write first thing in the morning, right after i put on my glasses. I've taken my morning pages notebooks with me to Viking encampments, stays with friends at renfairs, everywhere. It's cathartic. Julia Cameron (the author of the book) calls them "brain drain", but I call them "brain vomit". Getting it all out there on the page so it's over and done with.
And let me tell you, I have worked through some major poo-doo on those pages.
But that's not what Im going to talk about today.
A week or so ago was the "no reading" week. Doesn't seem so difficult does it? Well let me tell you, it is hard. And I took it a step further. Now, I don't read the newspaper, and I can't even tell you when I was last able to just pick up a book. So I gave up social media for 7 days. And it was a life changer. You really don't realize how much time is wasted on Facebook.
Day 1 I got off work, got groceries, mealprepped, and cooked 10 days worth of food.
Day 2 I cleaned the entire house.
Day 3 was my day off, and I spend most of it bumming around with my bestie. We went to a pretty cool coffee shop and a couple of magickal stores. At the coffee shop I got to talking to the staff and showed them some of my artwork. And they loved it! so on...
Day 4 I dropped off three of my larger pieces to Caffine Dreams to be displayed there. It's a really awesome venu, and my stuff is right by their amazing corner fireplace. It looks phenom.
Day 5 thru 7 I seriously don't even remember what I did, I just know it was actually STUFF instead of sitting on the couch scrolling through memes and gifs. Wait, there was quite a bit of subversive cross stitch in that time frame...
And you know what? I didnt really miss Facebook. It sucked away so much of my time. I took it off my tablet compleetly. And while I kept it on my phone, I hid the icon so that I'm not just clicking it to click, you know? I've been keeping up that "media blackout" momentum too. Housework has been easier, not so rushed. Even prepping meals is becomming part of my everyweek routine, which of course steamrolls into making my home time easier. Win/win.
Am I going to give it up forever? No. I get about 90% of my art shows from Facebook via Art Pop! and the pop up shows they curate (an awesome group of artists to work with by the way). But I see myself using FB a lot less in the weeks since the "blackout", and then mostly for pictures of Bam and which Stranger Things kid I was. (don't ask, I'm not happy with the Barb-rific result). I'll fully admit, I love the rush of dopamine that I get when I see notifications and likes, but I know I can live without them. And can live happly without them.
Pintrest, however, you will take from my cold dead hands.