Tag Archives: tasks

Weekly Writing Prompt — March 20, 2013 Edition

Welcome Spring! And Welcome to another week of creative recovery and writing focus.

We are in the throws of Week 12 of The Artist’s Way. This week’s tasks focus us on Recovering a Sense of Faith. In this final week, we acknowledge the inherently mysterious spiritual hearts of creativity. We address the fact that creativity requires receptivity and profound trust — capacities we have developed through our work in this course. We set our creative aims and take a special look at last-minute sabotage. We renew our commitment to the use of the tools. 

Again, we’ll be looking at Trusting, Mystery, The Imagination At Play, and Escape Velocity. If you haven’t checked out the readings in The Artist’s Way, I highly encourage you to do so.
This week’s Tasks:
1. Write down any resistance, angers, and fears you have about going on from here. We all have them.

2.  Take a look at your current areas of procrastination. What are the payoffs in your waiting? Locate the hidden fears. Do a list on paper.

3.  Sneak a peek back at Week One, Core Negative Beliefs (page 30). Laugh. Yes, the nasty critters are still there. Note your progress. Read yourself the affirmations on pages 36 and 37. Write some affirmations about your continued creativity as you end the course. 

4.  Mend any mending.
That’s all for this week.
Remember Next Tuesday is our next Workshop at the North Bend Library Meeting Room. 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Please RSVP if you plan to be there so I may plan accordingly. Certain exercises don’t work with certain numbers. So, it’s always helpful to me from a planning and logistical point to know how many folks will be there. Be sure to bring some work to exchange. Feedback is one of the most critical things we can receive from SnoValley Writes! participation.  As always, be sure to bring something to write on/with (notebook & pen, or laptop).
Don’t forget, we have three separate writing cafes for you to set aside writing time and network with other local authors. Plan on attending at least one this week.
And now your moment of Writing Zen:
“Develop interest in life as you see it; in people, things, literature, music — the world is so rich, simply throbbing with rich treasures, beautiful souls and interesting people. Forget yourself.” ~Henry Miller. 

What did you Write today?

Casondra Brewster
Sno Valley Writes!
Helping Writers Reach New Literary Peaks Since 2008
Check us out on Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/SnoValleyWrites

“But words are things, and a small drop of ink,
Falling, like dew upon a thought, produces
That which makes thousands, perhaps millions, think.” ~ Lord Byron

Weekly Writing Prompt — February 13, 2013 Edition



Quick administrative notes before we dive into this week’s writing tasks –

We need a “host” for the Write-Ins on Friday mornings and Mid-Day on Mondays.

Any volunteers?

Our Friday one is 9:30 a.m. to Noonish (currently at the Black Dog) and Mid-Day Muse is from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. (currently at Pioneer Café).  Locations could be changed, but SnoValley Writes! needs someone to volunteer to make sure that a table of writers is started. Let me know if you’re interested in  doing this.

Alright…now for our writerly workings for the week…

We’re working through the tasks of Week 10: Recovering a Sense of Self-Protection within The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron.

Note:  Many of you have come to me and said that this work we’ve been doing going through The Artist’s Way has been enlightening, difficult, helpful, hard, and oh, so, inspiring. I’m glad so many of you are getting so much out of it. Like I’ve told you in the past, this is my third time through it and I still gather benefit from the exercises, tasks and stories within its pages.

Now for this week’s Tasks:

  1. The Deadlies:  Take a piece of paper and cut seven small strips from it. On each strip write one of the following words: alcohol, sex, work, money, food, family/friends. Fold these strips of paper and place them in an envelope. We call these folded slips the deadlies. You’ll see why in a minute. Now draw one of the deadlies from the envelope and write five ways in which it has had a negative impact on your life. (If the one you choose seems difficult or inapplicable to you, consider this resistance.) You will do this seven times, each time putting back the previous slip of paper so that you are always drawing from seven possible choices. Yes, you may draw the same deadly repeatedly. Yes, this is significant. Very often, it is the last impact on the final list of an annoying, “Oh no, not again” that yields a break, through denial, into clarity.

This one is a lot of work and I really want you all to work on this one. So, be sure to get it done.

And now your moment of Writing Zen:

“Only when he no longer knows what he is doing does the painter do good things.” ~Edgar Degas

Don’t forget, Writer’s Café tonight!  6 p.m. at Sawdust Café in North Bend.


Weekly Writing Prompt — February 6, 2013 Edition

I’ve lost count how many years I’ve been sending out these prompts. I know it’s been a lot, however. I hope that it helps keep you focused on your literary passions and continuing to seek out your dreams and goals. 

We are continuing with Week 10 of our group effort working through The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. This week we explore the perils that can ambush us on our creative path. Because creativity is a spiritual issue, many of the perils are spiritual perils. In the essays, tasks, and exercised this week, we search out the toxic pattern we cling to that block our creative flow.

But, before we dive into that, a few administrative notes… We continue to want to make our Web site the best it can be. Please let me know what you would like to see with the Web site. We are open to suggestions. Just remember, this is volunteer work and we have zero budget. Anyhow, let me know and we’ll do what we can to increase the sites usefulness to everyone who calls themselves part of SnoValley Writes!

Also, next work session is Feb. 12 at 6 p.m. I’m looking forward to seeing you all again (and hopefully this nasty crud I’ve contracted will be gone). Please RSVP, so I can lesson plan accordingly. Homework is to just be there and be ready to write.

Okay, onto Recovering a Sense of Self-Protection.

I must say that personally, it’s good that this chapter is coming at this time in my life. Self-protection hasn’t been one of my strongest characteristics and I’ve been working hard to improve that. Won’t you join me?

In Week 10 Chapters, the author talks about the dangers of the creativity trail, workaholism, anxiety, creative drought, fame, and competition. I encourage you all to get The Artist’s Way and read these sections.

Our first work is to take a workaholic quiz:

  1. I work outside of office hours: seldom, often, never?
  2. I cancel dates with loved ones to do more work: seldom, often, never?
  3. I postpone outings until the deadline is over: seldom, often, never?
  4. I take work with me on weekends: seldom, often, never?
  5. I take work with me on vacations: seldom, often, never?
  6. I take vacations: seldom, often, never?
  7. My intimates complain I always work: seldom, often, never?
  8. I try to do two things at once: seldom, often, never?
  9. I allow myself free time between projects:  seldom, often, never?
  10. I allow myself to achieve closure on tasks:  seldom, often, never?
  11.  I procrastinate in finishing up the last loose ends:  seldom, often, never?
  12. I set out to do one job and start on three more at the same time: seldom, often, never?
  13. I work in the evenings during family time:  seldom, often, never?
  14. I allow calls to interrupt – and lengthen – my work day:  seldom, often, never?
  15. I prioritize my day to include an hour of creative work/play:  seldom, often, never?
  16.  I place my creative dreams before my work:  seldom, often, never?
  17.  I fall in with others’ plans and fill my free time with their agendas:  seldom, often, never?
  18.  I allow myself down time to do nothing: seldom, often, never?
  19.  I use the word deadline to describe and rationalize my workload:  seldom, often, never?
  20. Going somewhere, even to dinner, with a notebook or my work numbers is something I do: seldom, often, never?

In order to recover our creativity, we must learn to see workaholism as a block instead of building block. Work abuse creates in our artist a Cinderella Complex. We are always dreaming of the ball and always experiencing the ball and chain.

There is a difference between zestful work towards a cherished goal and workaholism. That difference lies less in the hours than it does in the emotional quality of the hours spent. There is a treadmill quality to workaholism. We depend on our addiction and we resent it. For a workaholic, work is synonymous with worth, and so we are hesitant to jettison any part of it 

In striving to clear the way for our creative flow we must look at our work habits very clearly. We may not think we overwork until we look at the hours we put in. We may think our work is normal until we compare it with a normal 40-hour week. One way to achieve clarity about out time expenditures is to keep a daily checklist and record of our time spent. (I did this in my morning pages for some time…It’s very enlightening.)  Even an hour of creative work/play can go a long way toward offsetting the sense of workaholic desperation that keeps our dreams at bay.

Because workaholism is a process addiction (an addiction to a behavior rather than a substance), it is difficult to tell when we are indulging in it. An alcoholic gets sober by abstaining from alcohol. A workaholic gets sober by abstaining from overwork. The trick is to define overwork – and this is where we often lie to ourselves, bargaining to hold on to those abusive behaviors that still serve us.

In order to guard against rationalization, it is very useful to set a bottom line. Each person’s bottom line is different but should specifically mention those behaviors known to be off-limits. These specific behaviors make for immediate recovery than a vague, generic resolve to do better.

If you really have no time, you need to make some room. It is more likely, however, that you have the time and are misspending it. Your tie log will help you find those areas where you need to create boundaries. Boundary is another way to say bottom line. “Bottom line, I will not ________________.” That is your boundary. (We’ll be practicing this soon.)


And now your moment of Writing Zen:  “Saying no can be the ultimate self-care.” ~Claudia Black