I’m finally getting one of these posts up on time! 🙂

  • Week 10 Theme: “Recovering a Sense of Self-Protection.”  This chapter asks us to examine any toxic patterns that we use to block our creative path and how to overcome them.
  • Morning Pages: I missed a couple of days over the weekend because I was getting up SO EARLY to go skiing.  Got right back into them though.
  • Artist Date: I’m still participating in a free online business boot camp called Women on Purpose, and the calls are so inspiring I’m considering them my artist date.  Probably a cop-out, but that’s the best I can do right now.

Any “Aha” Moments? 

  • Some of the self-inflicted blocks to creativity mentioned in Chapter 10 include alcohol, food, obsessive love, etc.  Another is workaholism, which I

    Social Media. A boon, a block or both?

    at first dismissed as not applicable.  After all, I’m doing work I love, and I don’t have a day job that gets in the way of my creative time.  However, this book was written 20 years ago, well before the explosion of the Internet and Social Media in particular.  It’s tricky because so much of what I do online is work-related, but I also realize that I am often seduced into tinkering around on social media sites when I should be creating.  Updating Twitter and Facebook, blogging and commenting on blogs can seem like “real” work – and sometimes it is – but very often it’s also procrastination, or even worse, total avoidance.  It’s also a bottomless pit.  There is no way to be “finished” with social media tasks.

  • Once again I am examining the amount of time I spend on social media to see if there is a way to balance it more with creative time.  For one thing, I know I have to let go of the guilt I’ve been feeling lately around not being able to comment on as many blogs, or even respond to comments on my own blog.  I genuinely want to support others’ blogs and acknowledge the folks who support mine, but I also know that if I keep going at the pace I kept before the 12 x 12 challenge started, I would never get any writing done.  So I’m still working on striking the right balance. Cameron emphasizes that the things we use to block are not bad in and of themselves (and in fact can be good).  The key is acknowledging when we are abusing them to block ourselves.

A few favorite quotes from the Week 10 chapter:

“If creativity is like a burst of the universe’s breath through the straw that is each of us, we pinch that straw whenever we pick up one of our blocks.  We shut down our flow. And we do it on purpose.”

“There is a difference between zestful work toward a cherished goal and workaholism.  That difference lies less in the hours than it does in the emotional quality of the hours spent.

“We are the origin of our art, it’s homeland. Viewed this way, originality is the process of remaining true to ourselves.”

Do you have creative blocks?  How do you attempt to overcome them?

Weeks 8 & 9 Check-In

Week 7 Check-In

Week 6 Check-In

Week 5 Check-In

Week 4 Check-In

Week 3 Check-In

Week 2 Check-In

Week 1 Check-In

The Artist’s Way

Categories: Creativity, Social Media, The Artist's Way, Writing · Tags: , , , , , , ,

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23 Comments

  1. Social media is indeed a thief of time, and I find myself “popping in” to check on things far too often. I may go to respond to something on the Children’s Book Hub FB Group (which in a sense is part of my creative “work”) but then stop to read regular stuff, and then get sidetracked all too easily.

  2. I should have added that you are doing so much extra with 12 x 12 that I’m sure people understand that you would comment on blogs if you had the time and energy. You are, after all, human like the rest of us, and you have a life beyond all this!

  3. Julie, Thanks again for sharing this process. I’ve given up some of my social media time this year as I’m working on my five pages, five days a week goal. In the past, I felt like I was using blog commenting as my morning pages. The only problem: it wasn’t helping me write anything on my own pages. I understand the pressure to comment. At some point, your blog gets so big that you can’t. Personally, I believe most people understand this. You need to write.

    • Thanks Stacy. I hope people understand. But it’s more than just hoping people won’t be upset. I WANT to be an active part of the community. I never want to get so “big” that I’m a talking head, you know what I mean?

      But yes, the writing has to come first. So I continue to strive for balance.

  4. Thanks for your thoughts on workaholism and social media. They issues are so pertinent to everyone. I just wanted to say… over Christmas I had a HUUUGE illustration job to finish. At the same time, the entire family was going to a small town in the african desert to ‘get away from the city.’ I brought my work along, and because there were no computers, found I had plenty of time to work each day, AND spend lots of time with the family participating Christmas celebrations. That just shows how much time computers suck from our lives.

    I’ve just started artists way (again) as well. But I’m only on week 2.

    • Keep going Jane! It really is miraculous how you begin to transform as you make your way through the program.

      I had a similar experience to yours in Week 4. I won’t tell you why though so as not to spoil it for you. 😉

  5. So thanks Julie… here I am, 4:30 am (actually 4:45 now) with my first cup of coffee, on-line already! However, it’s places like this 12×12 and BiBoIdMo, Children’s book Hub that keep me motivated to write everyday, my crit groups that keep me on track, a few game of Words with friends, a few blogs….Oh I am a “holic!!!! I get the bulk of this done while others sleep!

    • Mona, again I think it’s important to stress that there is a LOT of good that comes from being online too. It’s only bad if it’s used intentionally as a way to avoid creative work. Which I do. Too often.

  6. Great post, Julie. You really have the right attitude towards it all now, just keep going with it. The things I am writing at the moment are really bitty so popping online doesn’t matter and keeps me motivated. Trying to find a balance. Enjoy the Artist’s Way.

    • Great that being online motivates you! It does for me too a lot of times. For instance, if it weren’t for 12 x 12 I know for certain I wouldn’t have written a PB draft in January.

  7. Great post! Julie, finding a balance is a constant struggle. I am convinced it is more of a woman’s struggle because generally women are the ones who have self- or societal- expectations to juggle job, house work, raising children, and a job, and a myriad of other responsibilities. Take a deep breath and find a balance that works today and work that as long as you can. It will change as your life changes. But we women are good at adjusting and finding our balance again. You can do it!

  8. Hitting the target here, Julie. I am, even as a new writer, finding that checking into a forum, visiting every bkog, and trying to decide what to do with my own site is consuming writing time because I am using it as an avoidance. I think that happens in me because RESPONSE is easier than INITIATIVE. Thanks for the insight. Loving the Artist’s Way posts.
    Maybe if I could get at 4 am like Mona below I would have time for both.

  9. The issue of balance is a big one. I know I really struggle with exactly what you’re talking about – the bottomless pit of social media and feeling guilty if I don’t get around and comment enough. But there’s no doubt, it gets in the way of actual writing which is definitely counter-productive. If you come up with a good solution, please let me know!!! 🙂

  10. Jarm Del Boccio

    I struggle, too, with the balance of creating vs. ‘socializing’, although at times, it can be one and the same. I don’t have any solutions yet, so keep us on track, and let us know when you have found a good plan, Julie!

  11. Identifying the distractions is almost as important as setting time aside to write or be creative. Once you know what gets in the way, it’s a little bit easier to catch yourself and stay focused. 🙂

  12. I appreciate your candor. Sounds like we’re all feeling this. I don’t need to add lot, because everyone else has commented. It’s a balancing act that I have to come to grips with — and I’m not doing as much as the rest of you are. 🙂

  13. What the??? Okay…never mind, I get it.

  14. Abstaining from social media I get… But, seems if we block 90% of those other things from our lives, we have nothing left to drawl a creative passion from…Maybe that’s just me, and of course…beauty, like Art…is in the eye of the beholder.
    Bless You
    paul

  15. Time is something I wish I had more of. There are not enough hours in the day to accomplish everything I would like to get done.
    Unfortuneately, it’s my writing that suffers.
    I need to do an overhaul on my schedule!

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