The Artist’s Way: Week 8

Days I did my morning pages: 5/7


Been a busy week. Some morning I wasn’t able to do the pages for reasons including time and other things.

The book asks if I’ve been tempted to ditch the pages. I haven’t, I’ve just not been as invigorated by writing them, especially at their current length. I worked out the difference between my current pages and the old ones. The old sheets had 32 lines per page, the new ones have 47. Times 3 equals 141 rather than 96 thus 45 extra lines each day. Not a huge amount, but it’s like doing 4 and a half pages instead of 3.


Never one to do things the easy way….


Artist Date:


I played a gig this week. That counts. I thoroughly indulged and challenged my artist self. It counts more because I’ve been finding it a bit of a pain to get any gigs booked at the moment. I’ve been slightly out of touch with the acoustic gig circuit and it’s been slow getting in contact with any promoters and getting sets, finding out which nights are worthwhile nowadays in London, or just not completely booked until February.


I didn’t engage with some of the tasks and exercises this week. I did them, but for some of them I felt like they were unnecessary, which has been a first for me because I’ve gone through them up until now no matter what I thought of them. I made the decision to submit to the course and to put my fate in its’ hands for 12 weeks, but I just didn’t feel the point of some of them.


For example, Task 2 this week required you to dream up a new childhood – to imagine what it would be like if you’d had ‘prefect nurturing’. In the context of how I’ve looked at my childhood and examined all that sort of stuff during this course, that serves no purpose.


I wrote in my journal:

“I don’t feel like doing this because it seems pointless and indulgent and the childhood I had was fucking brilliant. I wouldn’t change things. I am who I am now and I am where I am now because of it, and I am who I am and where I am supposed to be. I hold no kind of resentment against my parents, my childhood or my upbringing. I’ve been privileged.”


I feel this completely.


I got some interesting stuff out of that early patternings exercise, but most of it reinforced how encouraging of self-expression and creativity my parents have been for me and my siblings growing up. I’m very thankful for that.


One of the things I realized last week in looking at themes from the kinds of films I like and this week from patterns of memorable events in my upbringing is that I’ve always had that feeling of us vs them regarding me and my family and the rest of the world. There are a lot of reasons for this, but I just find it interesting. I think it does define my world outlook in many ways.


Here’s an excerpt from that patterning exercise:


18) The thing is, I am suspicious that… no one really gets what I’m actually talking about, nobody really appreciates the things I find most beautiful and most of all, nobody really cares but me.


19) I just can’t believe that… everyone can be so completely unaffected by the music and art that means the most to me, and then really understand where I’m coming from artistically enough to fully appreciate my efforts and what goes into my work.


There’s a whole part of me that feels the way that is expressed in the above two paragraphs, even though I realize somewhat that part of being a good artist is being able to share the things which mean something to you in a manner that communicates and resonates with other people regardless of their taste, background and experience. Still it’s always been a part that has resonated with me.


Oh, I kept my pact about buying clothing each week, and there’s a funny story around this week’s adventure but it’s not for public consumption. If you’re interested you’ll have to ask me in person about the penguins and I’ll explain.


As part of Jewish New year I’ve been reading Psalms and came across these two lines from psalm 47 which I thought I’d share. I liked it so much I’ve written it on my wall above my desk.


Make music for God, make music, make music for our king make music.
For God is the King of all the earth, make music o enlightened one.

Enlightened one is one way of translating the word ‘Maskel’  the root of which is ‘Sechel’. Sechel is to do with one’s intellect. Only the sane and sensible will be the ones who put their efforts into making music to sanctify God’s name and presence in this world.


2/3 of the way through now and feeling pretty good, other than this damn cold I seem to have caught.


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