House Sparrow / oil on black canvas / 5x7 / $68
IN MY MOST RECENT POST, I WROTE about writing morning pages as instructed by Julia Cameron in "The Artist's Way."
Today, I'm sharing another idea from the book. Make a list of 20 things you like to do - and then write down the most recent time you've done each.
Interesting! As I thought about doing this, I wondered if there even were 20 things that I like to do, and I pretty much convinced myself that there weren't, and so why should I even bother to make the list? My life is so empty and I am so driven that of course there aren't 20 things I like to do. Twenty? Are there even 10? Even five? Two?
This sort of response comes from what Cameron calls the critic brain, the part that tells me that I suck, that I am a terrible artist, that I shouldn't even begin to attempt the painting that I'm making because it will certainly be a disaster, that I don't even have the idea of the skills that I need - and on and on and on.
We all have the critic brain, and it can be paralyzing. Writing the morning pages helps me shut up that voice. While I'm painting, I quiet the critic brain playing Netflix or Prime.
The show or movie needs to be vaguely engaging - but not something that I need to look at, or listen closely to. I've replayed "Gray's Anatomy" any number of times, and "Silent Witness" a few times. Right now, I'm playing "Midsomer Murders," which does require a little more attention than I generally give it, so I often replay parts of it at night - but it does the job.
So - 20 things you like to do, and when you did them last. And then, see if you can make a plan to do one or two of the ones you haven't done in the longest time.
"Undoubtedly, we become what we envisage."
- Claude M. Bristol