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Creativity Goals Check-In September 20, 2020

notebooksGoals from Last Week – How Did it Go?

Writing

  • work on Moonchild (writing project) all seven days – did six.
  • work on blog at least five days – did four.
  • at least seven sessions of digitizing old writing – DONE.
  • craft and send an important tweet – didn’t even think about it, will have to put this back on for next week.

Music

  • seven guitar practice sessions – did six.
  • get up through song 98 of Book One of my Hal Leonard Guitar Method Complete Edition book – just one new song this week, it has melody, harmony and rhythm parts and it’s long so it’ll be plenty to keep me busy – DONE.
  • seven piano practice sessions – DONE.
  • Continuing on my quest to catch up on Technic and Composition sections previously skipped in Keyboard Musician for the Adult Beginner book, I will do the composing for Unit 2, Technic and Composing for Unit 3, and Technic for Unit 4 – DONE.

Lifestyle

Reflections on the Week

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The Artist’s Way Reflections – Week Three: Recovering a Sense of Power

MPjournal early fallIn today’s column, I’ll look at all of the essays, exercises and tasks of Week Three in The Artist’s Way, except for Synchronicity, a fairly long section, which will be the focus of next week’s post. That’s a whole beast of a topic to tackle.

In thinking about this week and all its topics, including Synchronicity, it strikes me that this one line in the Detective Work, an Exercise section could be the topic sentence for the whole chapter. It reads:

“Many blocked people are actually very powerful and creative personalities who have been made to feel guilty about their own strengths and gifts.”

She goes on to say that:

“Made to feel guilty for their talents, they often hide their own light under a bushel for fear of hurting others. Instead, they hurt themselves.”

To my mind, all the little essays in this chapter illuminate more about these lines, and get at how we lose our power through shamings and criticisms, how we give away our power by ignoring the messages from our difficult friend Anger, and how to start to take it back with detective work, synchronicity, and finally, growth.

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Creativity Goals Check-In September 13, 2020

window sept 13Goals from Last Week – How Did it Go?

Writing

  • work on Moonchild all seven days – only five
  • work on blog at least five days – DONE.
  • five digitizing sessions – DONE and then some; I did seven – nothing like the threat of wildfires to light a fire under your ass.

Music

  • seven guitar practice sessions – DONE and then some – I did ten to get caught up back on track from previous missed sessions.
  • get up through song 97 of Book One of my Hal Leonard Guitar Method Complete Edition book – the new songs focus on the A7 chord – DONE.
  • seven keyboard practice sessions – DONE.
  • Finish Unit 7 in my Keyboard Musician for the Adult Beginner book, and then go back and do the Technic and Composition part of Unit 1, and the Technic of Unit 2 – DONE.

Lifestyle

  • sleep without the phone (a struggle you can read about here) – this will put me at 175 nights (25 weeks) in a row – DONE, but it was really, really, really hard this week.
  • write Morning Pages every day – yeah no, I did three.
  • don’t pick up the phone until after Morning Pages – of the three pages I did MPs at all, I think I resisted picking up the phone till after on one of them, which was Monday, before the fires.
  • get up through at least page 210 in The Book of Longings by Sue Monk Kidd (and I wouldn’t be surprised if I get further) – close, I got to page 198.
  • do an Artist Date – DONE. Once again, I took time out and watched a movie.

Reflections on the Week

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The Artist’s Way Reflections – Week Two: Recovering a Sense of Identity

brightcitrussunflowerThis chapter, like the name says, focuses on identity. It seems so simple, but I think a blurring of identity underlies a lot of creative blockage. It gets blurry because we get inundated with messages–family, friends, teachers, social media, TV at large–that tell us what we should want, who we should be. And there are parts of ourselves we give up for various reasons. It’s all too easy to get to a place where you’re going through life unsure of who you even are.

I definitely felt that in medical school; I saw myself going through the motions of doing all the things I was supposed to do, and all the things I had to do on top of that, and it all took so much time and energy that I felt like there was so little me left. I’ve also felt something similar in destructive relationships.

For whatever reason, it’s just so easy to lose yourself. At least, it is for me. So, I like this chapter and its tasks and how the focus on self-definition and sorting out the signal from the noise all around us.

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“Please, Picture Me, In the Trees”

(Apparently, I can’t stop naming my posts after Taylor Swift lyrics, and so, I’ll post the lyric video for “seven,” the song this comes from, at the end of the post).

IMGP6957eCAMP_ORKILA_ROAD_ORCASLately, I’ve been dreaming of Orcas. The island, not the whale. And the metaphorical sense of dreaming. Daydreaming. Yearning.

With my whole med school life falling apart, all I want to do is go to the woods. Work on my writing, music, podcasting, work on work (I’m looking for work in the wake of all the school fallout) and have trees and water as solace and spiritual recovery, because nature connection is my spirituality and I feel like starving a little without it.

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Creativity Goals Check-In September 6, 2020

goals8

Goals from Last Week – How Did it Go?

Writing

  • work on Moonchild all seven days – DONE.
  • work on blog at least five days – DONE.
  • journal about blog at least once – DONE.
  • five digitizing sessions – DONE.

Music

Lifestyle

  • sleep without the phone (a struggle you can read about here) – this will put me at 168 nights (24 weeks) in a row – DONE.
  • write Morning Pages every day – DONE.
  • don’t pick up the phone until after Morning Pages – I held off on picking up the phone until after MPs on four days, and definitely felt the MPs went smoother and faster on days I didn’t look at my phone first.
  • do an Artist Date – DONE. I took time out and watched a movie.

Reflections on the Week

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The Artist’s Way Reflections – Time Travel: Creative Monsters and Champions

task7Today’s column will cover the Time Travel tasks from Week One. Next week, we’ll move on to Week Two. You can find the full schedule for the rest of the year at the bottom of this post!

I decided to pull out the Time Travel tasks (Tasks 3-7, so most of them) from Week One in their own post for a couple of reasons. One was to be able to ease in, pacing-wise, by spreading Week One out over two weeks here.

Sometimes starting (or restarting) The Artist’s Way can feel a bit like thawing out something frozen, and there’s something painful and scary about that. It can be like melting something that solidified inside you. And it’s not easy.

To me, these Time Travel tasks feel like the first steps in that process. And they can be hard. Last time through, in March, I skipped most of them and only half-heartedly and incompletely did the ones I didn’t skip.

I thought they deserved extra attention in their own post as an acknowledgement that they’re hard, and a way of tackling them together.

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My Pop Culture Digest – August 2020

folklore coverIt’s going to be light this month. It’s been a month of a lot of personal emotional turmoil and change, and somehow in that, I haven’t consumed as much pop culture as usual.

The only TV I watched was some Veronica Mars early this month with my good friend, and I haven’t watched any since he moved last week, and some Better Call Saul for recaps for the site.

I tried to watch the Bachelor GOAT episode for Ali’s season because it was one of my favorites (Kasey has to be one of the most memorable characters of all time on that show) but those GOAT episodes are just TOO LONG and I gave up and listened to podcasts about it instead.

Speaking of podcasts, oh podcasts, this month, I think due to sheer emotional exhaustion that’s been going on for months, I just couldn’t with much other than replaying old episodes of Bachelor-related podcasts from old seasons back in the day.

Most of my pop culture consumption this month was in the arenas of music and books. Some are repeats, and some are new.

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Creativity Goals Check-In August 30, 2020

goals6

Goals from Last Week – How Did it Go?

Writing

  • 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.

Music

Lifestyle

Reflections on the Week

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The Artist’s Way Reflections – Week One: Recovering a Sense of Safety

MPs coverSo here we are (again, for me, so many times over), Week One.

I’ve had a lot of false starts with The Artist’s Way, AW for shorthand as it’s known around my journals, so this chapter is well-trodden ground. So much so that some parts I know so well that I could give a good gist without reading it anew. Like knowing almost all the lines and all the music cues in a favorite pilot episode.

Technically, Week One in The Artist’s Way book will span two weeks here, since next week’s focus is on the Time Travel tasks from Week One (for the full schedule, check out the bottom of this post). So we’re easing in a little here.

Since this is the first post based on a Week chapter, I’ve been thinking a lot about how to structure the posts. I’m thinking I’ll go section by section through the chapter, giving a bit of commentary on each. I’ll pull out a favorite of the quotes scattered throughout the chapter, and then discuss or post excerpts of the tasks. I’ll pepper questions into each section. If you’re joining in, now or in the future, feel free to answer as much or as little as you’d like.

The picture on the right is a picture of my current Morning Pages journal, which is almost all used up.

Week One: Recovering a Sense of Safety

Shadow Artists

In this section, there are several examples given of how a blocked creative person can be a shadow artist. Sponsoring a creative person but not allowing your own creativity (there was an amazing story about a blocked billionaire who gifted an artist with a year’s living expenses so they could focus on their art, so I’m just saying that if there are any benevolent billionaires out there looking for creative people to sponsor, I’m right here). Investing in supporting a loved one’s creative career while never igniting your own. Representing artists, working as a critic, becoming an art therapist or a marketing exec instead of an artist, going to law school or med school instead of writing (ummm ooops?), all these ways of being on the periphery.

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