Goals from Last Week – How Did it Go?
- journal about Moonchild (writing project) at least once – for the second week in a row, nope, didn’t do it.
- work on Moonchild all seven days – I did six.
- work on blog at least five days – DONE.
- journal about blog at least once – DONE.
- bank two more Better Call Saul recaps for this site – nope, didn’t do this either. Rethinking how far ahead I do or don’t want to plan these out.
- seven guitar practice sessions – I did five.
- get up through song 91 of book one of my Hal Leonard Guitar Method Complete Edition book – nope, will tackle this tomorrow.
- seven keyboard practice sessions – DONE.
- Finish page 55 in my Keyboard Musician for the Adult Beginner book – DONE.
- sleep without the phone (a struggle you can read about here) – this will put me at 161 nights in a row – DONE.
- FINISH All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr, which I’m reading for the NOAH (National Organization for Albinism and Hypopigmentation)’s PWA Book Club – DONE. I loved this book!
- write Morning Pages every day – I did five.
Reflections on the Week
Not gonna lie, it was a bit of a rough week. Especially emotionally. Other weeks, it’s been clearer to see what sparked it, as I had a lot of difficult emails and meetings. This week has been a real mixed bag, with no monumental, life-changing behemoth emails or meetings on the docket, but having to sit with the aftermath. I tried to write a post, finally, about what’s going on (which eventually became this post), and found that really difficult, and I suspect that influenced things. So did some difficult conversations.
Just aside from that though, I struggled to keep my shit together. At some point I just said fuck it on some of these goals, and on tracking things using my usual systems. Sometimes, the intensity of emotion I’m feeling lately, mostly anger, makes it hard to breathe. I have a hard time keeping it together when I’m angry, and I’m just a bottomless cauldron of unending rage. I know that’s not pleasant to read. When I started out doing these goal posts and re-entering the blog, I kinda didn’t expect I’d always feel this way, or that I’d find it impossible to keep it out and away.
I’ve also had a hard time communicating how desperately drained I am. I’ve been running on empty for seven months now, so before covid, and have had to do a lot of pushing through anyway this month. I have nothing leftover and I’m finding myself having to reiterate that all the time. I feel like a broken record–on here (I feel like I’ve ranted on about this turmoil in so many posts), in conversation, on phone calls and so forth, and it’s wearing me out.
Sometimes I want to scream it, or tattoo it on myself, or somehow have it burned into my my online presence, because I’m already exhausted, already have been for so long, and this isn’t even counting the exhaustion that came before that, of being a med student, and one with a disability, and having to re-explain this, over and over, just piles on more and more and I’m so past the point of being able to take on one more iota of emotional stress. So, yeah, it was a rough week and some of it I was just trying not to have a mental breakdown out of frustration.
I’m hoping this coming week will be a bit of a reset, as I hope many weeks will be. But I don’t know if that’s realistic. I’m in the thick of it and the struggle is real and all that, and this week may be the worst I’ve felt since starting all this, and that is…saying something. So yeah.
For the second week in a row, I didn’t journal about Moonchild, and I think it’s because I’m not in a phase of the work that lends itself to journaling. I’m more in a research phase, getting the facts (so to speak) from old journals and early versions of the writing, constructing timelines again. I’m taking that goal off the list until I get into the revising phase, at which point I think I’ll end up doing a fair amount of journaling about it. Sometimes, I think I write to find out what I think and feel.
One thing I’ve started doing with a bit more regularity is to digitize my old writing, which I originally did all in longhand. It’s one of the reasons I wanted to get old notebooks out of storage. With the journals, I’m just reading for reference and don’t plan on digitizing. But there’s a lot of actual writing, writing writing, from my twenties that only exists in handwritten notebooks.
I’ve been living with the fear of fires and floods and other scenarios where so much of my work is lost forever for close to decades. Digitizing that material (and holy god there is a lot of it) has been on my goals list every year for years now. There just wasn’t a good way to do it, logistically and practically, but earlier this spring I found an OCR app that is passable.
So I’m focusing now on digitizing the writing writing (not the journals), getting it saved (will correct later, which will be another substantial amount of work) and there will be ongoing goals about that. I’ve been able to make good progress, but the amount of material is staggering. But it will be so much easier to work on writing projects when the work I’ve already done is finally digitized.
And, this maybe doesn’t quite belong in the writing section, but there’s a new project (projects?) cooking. Stay tuned.
I added Artist Dates to the lifestyle section of the goals. Sighs and grumbles. I wonder if it will ever not feel painful to me, like a chore. I wonder if it will ever feel like it’s remotely worth doing. UGH. But I said I’d go along with things from The Artist’s Way and try them out, so I’m doing that. I just don’t like it.
I tried one today, and really didn’t enjoy it. I tried to think of something I really wanted. I love taking walks, and I love listening to music, so I thought I’d go on a walk and listen to music. I know that in the past I’ve done Artist Dates that feel like “shoulds” and never enjoy those but this seemed more up my alley, some time with just music and nature. Except that I don’t live somewhere conducive to walking, or to any contact with nature. It’s something about my current living situation that I find almost impossible to live with. I need some nature access. But, I don’t have any. So I just walked around the same loop over and over and everything was all industrial, as it is here, and loud, so I couldn’t even really hear the music, and it was crowded and just…kind of miserable.
So I have to think of something better for next week. Sighs and grumbles galore.
Goals for this Coming Week
- work on Moonchild all seven days
- work on blog at least five days
- journal about blog at least once
- five digitizing sessions
- seven guitar practice sessions
- get up through song 94 of book one of my Hal Leonard Guitar Method Complete Edition book – the new songs focus on incorporating the C# note into songs
- seven keyboard practice sessions
- Get up to page 57 (first half of the page) in my Keyboard Musician for the Adult Beginner book
- sleep without the phone (a struggle you can read about here) – this will put me at 168 nights (24 weeks) in a row
- write Morning Pages every day
- don’t pick up the phone until after Morning Pages
- do an Artist Date
Argh, I don’t know if it comes across in this post (I hope not), but I feel like I’m leaving this post in such a sour mood. It’s not how I want to start off the week. Even with everything going on, I usually feel kinda okay this time of the week, and that these goals keep me centered and grounded and if nothing else are a way for me to tread water, just get through the day, which is all I can really do these days. But today, it’s not feeling like that at all. Just all sour, all around. But I guess that’s part of the process too, and I wanted to honestly document the process, so, there it is, I suppose.
Have a great week everyone! If you have any goals you want to share in the comments, please do!
- Morning Pages, referred to in the lifestyle section of these goals, is the practice of writing three long-hand pages right after waking up in the morning.
- You can read about them in this post where I introduce what they are and my history with them, and you can find all posts that mention Morning Pages here.
- The practice comes from The Artist’s Way, the seminal creativity book by Julia Cameron. I’m doing a weekly column called The Artist’s Way Reflections, which was introduced here in my blog re-entry post.
- Artist Dates, the practice of doing a solo activity to take time out and connect to your creativity, also comes from The Artist’s Way.
- Moonchild is the name of my memoir project, which you can read about in more detail on my Memoir page or on this old post with a rough sketch. You can also find LOTS of other posts about it here.
- You can check out other posts about goals (goalposts?) here.
Sorry this week was so tough after what has already been an incredibly long stretch of difficulty in so many different forms. For whatever it’s worth, this particular week seems to have felt especially impossible for nearly everyone I‘ve interacted with over the last several days, myself included. So many of us are venturing far too close for comfort to the end of our respective ropes. I hope this coming week isn’t actually as terrible as you fear it might be, and that you feel energized by the new creative projects you’re working on. I think the digitizing goal is a really important one and should maybe even take priority over a couple of the others if necessary.
Thanks so much Claire! I appreciate the support for the digitizing project. It’s sooooo extremely tedious, and if I could pay someone else to do it, I would in a heartbeat, but even back when I was in a much better situation, that was never on the table as a possibility!
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