Getting to Know Yourself

The third week of The Artist’s Way is about “recovering a sense of power”. This week looks into several concepts. One of these is anger, and how we should use angry feelings toward ourselves (“Oh my god, I’ve gotten so fat!”) to reveal those things in our lives which we need to be focusing on.

Another of the topics is “synchronicity”, which basically refers to great things that happen to us (coincidences, most of us call them) that help us work toward our goals. Most of us ignore these things, (“Sure, I met this awesome writer agent who is really friendly and helpful, but it’s totally a coincidence and she won’t want to read my manuscript.”) because we’re more scared of actually achieving our goals than never achieving them.

And the third topic is shame, which most of us have way too much of. We think poorly of ourselves because of concepts that society forces on us (“Artist’s are just lazy people who don’t want to get a real job.”) and that keeps us from following our dreams and goals for ourselves.

As of the writing of this post I haven’t been able to find the time to work on any of the tasks for this week, but there is one exercise that was in the bulk of the chapter itself that I thought I could share. It’s a series of “finish this sentence” lines that are meant to evoke some thought and emotion into who you are and what is important to you, as well as your feelings about certain concerns and issues that might be blocking your creativity.

destructionThe bold part of the sentence is the prompt, and the normal font is my response.

1. My favorite childhood toy was…probably my Super Nintendo. I can think of dozens of other toys that I absolutely loved, but the SNES holds a special place in my heart, along with such games as Chrono Trigger, Final Fantasy III(VI), and Uniracers (yes, Uniracers…shut up!).

2. My favorite childhood game was…Jailbreak. It goes by other names in different areas, so for clarification it’s basically hide-and-seek in the dark, where “it” sends people to “jail”. If one of the hiding kids is able to get to the “jail” without “it” catching them, he/she can yell “JAILBREAK!” and everyone runs off to hide again.

3. The best movie I ever saw as a kid was…probably the first live-action Ninja Turtles movie. I saw tons of movies as a kid, but I can specifically remember waiting in line at the theater to see this one and I was definitely not disappointed.

4. I don’t do it much but I enjoy…reading. I read more than most people I know, but still not much considering that it’s one of my favorite things to do. I love reading, but it takes up so much time that I don’t have.

5. If I could lighten up a little, I’d let myself…attend a “Write-In” during National Novel Writing Month. “Write-In”s are basically when a group of writers were are participating in NaNoWriMo get together and hang out at a cafe or at someone’s house and just enjoy each others company while trying to write as much as possible. There are a couple in the next town over every year but I never go because it feels like a very un-adult thing to do for some reason.

6. If it weren’t too late, I’d…go away for college. The degree I got has served me well, so the university I attended was fine, but I always regretted not going away just to experience the whole “dorm life” thing.

7. My favorite musical instrument is…the guitar. It has always been a little difficult for me to play since my fingers are so short, but it’s more fun than the piano, and I just love the sound of a good acoustic guitar.

8. The amount of money I spend on treating myself to entertainment each month is…almost non-existent. In the past couple of months I’ve spent a bit of money on video games for the Vita my husband bought me, but normally I don’t really spending anything at all. If you work it out monthly over the course of a year it’s probably less than $10.

9. If I weren’t so stingy with my artist I’d buy her…some craft courses. There are lots of awesome-sounding writing courses on WANA International and Writer’s Digest, but I just can’t bring myself to spend money on my writing when I have no way of knowing if I’ll ever make any back.

10. Taking time out for myself is…almost impossible. When I was working out West I was accounted for 23-hours of the day, and when I’m home I can’t even sneak away for two minutes without the baby hunting me down and wanting something.

11. I am afraid that if I start dreaming…I’ll crash and burn. I’ve been allowing myself a hope and prayer for the past while, but it’s a tenuous grasp. I worry that I’ll put all this effort into something that I never get anything back out of.

12. I secretly enjoy reading…all these cheesy sexy-vampire-novels-that-are-marketed-toward-teenagers that are out these days. Don’t get me wrong, I still like my vampires to be scary-ass monsters that will rip your throat out, but there’s also an inherent charm to the sexy ones, especially if they’re sexy and dangerous.

13. If I had had a perfect childhood I’d have grown up to be…a writer, for sure. It’s what I’ve wanted since the third grade, so if everything had fallen into place perfectly, that’s definitely what I’d be doing today.

14. If it didn’t sound so crazy, I’d write or make a…series of novels based on all of my favorite video games from my childhood. Games like the Final Fantasy series, Chrono Trigger, the Breath of Fire series, and Secret of Mana all had such amazing story lines, I’ve always thought they deserved to be fleshed out and paid more attention to. I’d love to put 100% of my attention into these things, IF I had any belief that the respective copyright holders would ever allow me to publish them. For now, I’m just spending some of my writing time on the Final Fantasy VI one (a girl’s gotta dream).

15. My parents think artists are…artists? I really don’t know how to answer this one, since I’ve never really asked them. My parents are supportive; whether that reflects their actual attitudes toward artist or not, that’s all I really know.

16. My God thinks artists are…non-existent? I don’t have a God, so I doubt he thinks very much about anything at all.

17. What makes me feel weird about this recovery is…just an overall sense that it’s silly and pointless. I can honestly say that some of the tasks have prompted some “Ah-ha!” moments, but overall I just feel like it’s going to turn out to have been a huge waste of time.

18. Learning to trust myself is probably…one of the harder things I’ve ever tried to do. I might seem confident sometimes, but inwardly I’m pretty sure that I have no real talent and will never succeed in my goals.

19. My most cheer-me-up music is…mostly alternative rock from my younger years. Oddly, even when the lyrics are the exact opposite of “cheer-me-up”, things like the Offspring, GreenDay, and Blink 182 give me a little burst inside. That’s why I have tons of their songs on my phone.

20. My favorite way to dress is…jeans and a tank top. I don’t really like dresses because I hate having to sit properly, and I’m not a huge fan of shorts because I’m not a huge fan of my legs. I prefer tank tops to any other kind of top because they’re cooler (I get overheated strangely easy) and they show off some of the qualities I actually like about my body, like my shoulders and upper back.

So there’s a little piece of me, as per The Artist’s Way’s exercises. Did you learn anything?

What about you? Care to share your answers to some or all of these questions? 🙂

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