BLOCK. It seems to be a loaded word for many of us. Since I don't actually think of myself as a blocked artist, I usually translate Julia's use of blocks into things that slow me down in terms of productivity or things that keep me from leaping and making the original quilts in my head instead of safely being inspired by others' work.
Like Debra admitted on the the Artist Way Quilters blog, I also didn't crack the book until the end of the week. When I finally did read the chapter, the synchronicity–or maybe just plain ole irony–put a big smile on my face. All that stuff about work and workaholism and what was it that kept me from reading the chapter and doing the Artist Way exercises this week? Yep, it was the demands of a project at what I affectionately refer to as my day job. All week long, I've gone into the office early, worked late and come home emotionally exhausted. To me this chapter seemed to be all about balancing creating with livelihood and that constant struggle to find time for everything that's necessary for life. Another quote that grabbed me from this chapter was this one:
When we are really honest with ourselves, we must admit that our lives are all that really belong to us. So it is how we use our lives that deermines the kind of men we are. -Caesar Chavez
When I finally read the chapter and the exercises, I realized that I must have picked up a trick or two from past reading this book and made them my own. Part of exercise 5 is to "do one lovely thing for yourself each day." When work or life become stress-y, this has become my automatic response. During this week, I bought a pot of blooming pot of azaelas at the grocery store when I ran in to pick up milk and coffee, evn though it won't be able to go outside for at least 4 more months. Another day, I took a stroll through an art gallery during my lunch hour. One evening, I enjoyed a nice long soak in a bubble bath.
This week, I managed morning pages 5 of 7 days. Julia mentions in this chapter that Artist Dates are often harder to do than morning pages . . . and so it was for me, this week. I had plans to go to a movie yesterday and never made it. Maybe instead of going into the office to work a few hours this afternoon, I'll go to a matinée instead :-)