My Artist's Way Adventure: Week 4 - Recovering a Sense of Integrity

Welcome to Week 4 of my Artist's Way Adventure

If you are unfamiliar with this series, take a look at The Artist’s Way Adventure – Prologue.

Week 4 was confusing. This week was frustrating. I wanted to fast forward this week. I read the chapter at least three times to understand it... The worst part, I don't think I got the point of this week.

From what I understood, Week 4 was about deep-diving into the following: who you are, what you want to do, and doing something about it. What I got from it was you can't read, you can't read, enjoy your suffering, you can't read. I understand that the reading detox was meant to teach a valuable lesson. It was to reveal how much time is spent reading social media, trashy articles, tutorials, and not spending time doing. I get it. I really do.

I really like to read, because of this I was an unhappy camper.

However, there were some highlights.

Artist Way Lesson: Thinking Out of the Box

What is interesting about limits is that it forces you to think out of the box.

I text and message my significant other frequently. I let him know when I get to work, when I leave work, and fill him with updates in between. Going a week in radio silence, he would send me voice messages on Facebook messenger. It was a cute creative way to remain in touch and I appreciated the support I got for my reading detox challenge.

Another workaround that we did to help me 'survive' through the week was him reading my messages out loud. This allowed me to hear what people would send me when we were together. If someone we knew in common messaged me, I told him to either take my phone or use his own to continue the conversation. This way I wouldn't have to resort to reading. I also did a lot of phone calls. The phone calls were nice since sometimes a phone call is more personal than a one-sentence message.

I binged a lot of Netflix as well. I watched the shows "Dear White People" and "13 Reasons Why" which are shows that cover sensitive topics that are too taboo to talk about with friends and family. I find it fascinating to experience day-to-day events through a different set of lenses. These two shows were eye-opening in that aspect and I loved every minute of it.

Usually, I avoid Netflix. I typically spend my time reading or watching videos on Youtube. Since both of those activities require me to read I had no choice but to watch Netflix. While yes, I'm sure the point of the reading detox was not to continue being a lazy couch potato, I did get to benefit from my binge-watching.

What I Learned on Week 4 of Artist Way

I read a lot.

I know I mentioned that earlier. However, being forced not to read makes me realize how much I read from day-to-day. It's similar to how after I got my hip-replacement surgery, I suddenly realized how important walking was.

I went to Barnes and Nobles during my reading detox week. It was difficult navigating through the aisles with my friends without scanning through the titles on the spines of the books. Eventually, I gave up and went to the cafe while they browsed the shop. It's wild how we as humans are quick to digest information around us. We are naturally curious creatures and will read signs even when we don't want to.

As expected, I realized that I spent a lot of time reading. I was able to complete a 13-hour show in a week. 13 Hours. That is a lot of time. If I invested that time to draw or to work on my own personal projects, oh my goodness, I would further along in my artistic journey.

I can't help it. I love to read. I enjoy being a fly on the wall instead of actively participating in conversations on Facebook. I do not do enough things. I enjoy having experiences through the lives of Youtubers.

This lesson was hard. It was a tough pill to swallow, but I was able to admit to myself.

My Artist Date

Similar to how my activities this week were about 'cheating' and finding creative ways to fulfill the annoying tasks this week... My artist date reflected that. Unlike previous weeks, I did not make a plan to go anywhere special. My inner artist was short-changed.

On Saturday I went with my best friend to an outdoor flea market. There we walked and chatted as we explored shops. We haggled our ways to 'great deals'. We bought snacks to give us the calories we desperately needed. We spent an awesome afternoon together.

The 'artist date' truly began at Walmart. I bought a sketchbook as an 'impulse buy'. When I went home I spent three hours on being creative. I wrote, I drew, I colored. I actually did things instead of just reading or watching. This felt was good for my inner artist who needed to draw and color. The best part was while doing my piece, I hit several speed bumps. The paper of the new sketchbook handled Copic markers horribly and I did not spend enough time in the sketching phase.

However as Artist Way put it, we need to practice our craft. We need at least 100 ugly ducklings before we obtain beautiful swan.

Conclusion of Artist Way Week 4

Week 4 was awful. I sooo did not enjoy the reading detox even though it did help me view things from a different perspective. It was a productive week, but it was a very painful week.

I did appreciate all the support I go through my friends and the book itself to survive, but hopefully, there are no future 'reading detox' challenges.

Are you on your Artist Way Adventure? Did you survive your reading detox? Feel free to comment or tweet your responses to Twitter, I would love to hear from you!