I have begun week 5 of The Artist's Way. Week 5 was the cruelest of all, and the hardest to complete: reading deprivation.
How well did I do? Good...and bad.
I did not read a single book--though I did have to thumb through a couple while working on my own book. I didn't read a newspaper or a magazine, though I did read a few particularly juicy headlines at People.com, such a sucker am I. And let me tell you, this was harder than I imagined because lately I've been reading a lot--about two books a week, and I WORK in a bookstore...this was the cruelest part.
I didn't read blogs for the most part, but I'm sure some statcounters out there will prove I broke down a few times, especially for doses of Susan DiPlacido's American Idol snarkisms because she dishes it so good.
I didn't read much of the news on the Virginia Tech shootings--which I think was actually a good thing for me. I've picked up the thread now and absorbed the more synthesized, less sensationalized bits of it. (I learned that the great poet Nikki Giovvani, for instance, had voiced concerns to her colleagues about Cho months back, which went unheard). Then I grieved over the incredible loss of life going on on a daily basis in Iraq that makes 33 people look like small change, and I wondered how we can be so devastated by our own losses and so immune to others'.
What I did do:
- Wrote so much I had to buy a new journal (isn't it pretty?The image comes from The Book of Kells):
- Hiked three miles straight up and down a mountain.
- Made some jewelry for gifts:
- Finished a very solid draft of this chapter:
This was kind of the gateway chapter for the rest of my revisions (and had a LOVELY conversation with my editor that changed my attitude about my revision altogether).
Now, I'm gorging on reading. First is Paul Auster's The Book of Illusions, which I'm halfway through. Followed by some ARCs of: Mary Modern, by Camille DeAngelis; No one belongs here more than you, by Miranda July. Then, The Minotaur Takes a Cigarette Break by Steven Sherrill; a YA book, The Hollow People and then three titles my cousin recommended I read, one of which is in French--(we'll see about that, dear :)
The best thing about not reading? That I was forced to channel my energy elsewhere, including into my writing. The worst part? I LOVE READING!!!!!!!!! I missed it; craved it, lusted after it.