If it seems like I’m moving slower than a week at a time through the Artist’s Way, it’s because I am. I’ve found that sticking to morning pages and artist’s dates do matter on a daily/weekly basis, but sometimes the tasks themselves take a bit more time. I want to get the most out of the experience I possibly can before moving on to the next thing. Besides, deadlines and pressure block my creativity – it’s why I often try to finish a book or product completely before I even consider presenting it for sale. I suspect I’m not alone in this, and I think an unfortunate number of people give up on the Artist’s Way because it makes them feel like they have one more pressure on them when these exercises are intended mainly as a valve.
As to my life pie, things are improved over when I last did them, and the little shape reminds me of some signs and seals work I’ve been doing – the really old occult texts by Agrippa and Barrett show how you can make little symbols on numeric charts like the one on the pie above. It’s oddly relevant.
So, on the six categories and how I rate them right now:
Spirituality – I’ve worked more ritual and spells since the beginning of January than I have in years. I even found myself yesterday doing what I used to do in Mankato, ignoring the need to sleep while I flipped through a stack of magical reference books. This actually suggests I need to cut back, as it’s an overdo behavior. I did work out a new system to stay organized – and to allow for tracking spell components, etc. much faster. I feel like I might be letting it interfere with my other works, so while I”m happy, I’m going to look at managing my time better or possibly dialing it back. My writing is a spiritual expression too, after all.
Exercise – While I feel like I’m better about this than I was when I first did the Artist’s Way, I still have a long way to go. Right now I’m in that frustrating place where the more I do with my body the more I need to do with it, and it runs into time management issues to the point where I look for excuses not to do anything. I need to do yoga and cardio daily. I love to go swimming, but winter in Minnesota makes even an indoor pool look just a touch unappealing.
Play - I acknowledged earlier that the artist’s dates had a more beneficial effect on me than I realized. I need to make sure I do an artist’s date once a week – and if possible, my beauty day once a week.
Work – I’m having a hard time doing enough. I’m hitting my writing/revision minimums, but I’m also feeling a bit lost. I’m starting a nonfiction writer’s workshop in February when the library across the street reopens. I’ve also found a lot of my old work in various places, including the Internet Wayback Machine. I feel like I should do more with it than let it sit.
Friends – I have a select group of good friends. I want to keep all those friends and add a few this year, expand my social life just a bit but not so much I’m struggling to manage everything.
Romance/Adventure – I’m taking ballroom dancing classes with my husband. He wants to make some grand gestures, like taking me to Paris. I realize why. Last year was rough, and this year will be better.