This week The Artist’s Way programme asked me to dig deeper into spiritual practice by putting down my book and my phone.
Week four has asked a lot of me. Firstly, Julia Cameron prescribes a reading detox. Her more recent update here suggests this is actually a full on media deprivation. Well I failed. I have known for a while.my phone usage is off the chart. I justify some of the excessiveness because my phone is where I:
- Read books on Kindle
- Listen to books on Audible
- Write and read posts on WordPress
- Keep up with the #WritingCommunity on Twitter
- Keep up-to-date on Goodreads
Without excusing myself completely this could all be counted as work right now. It also gives me a sense of community whilst also, of course, writing into the abyss.
My phone is also my crutch, a place where I do not just “work” as I tried to describe it above, but also where I play mindless games. Where I listen to funny podcasts. Where I watch cleaning videos of YouTube. These are less productive, but still part of my down time.
As a nod to the process I did delete some game apps so that I only do a daily Sudoku on there while my husband’s TV is on. But it is a concession to what she asks of us in this week. Alongside this process I have also got a GoodReads Challenge on the go and wanted to get back to that. At least being mindful of my phone time, gave me chance to read. But this isn’t what she means.
So I suppose I admit what I find hardest was adjusting not just to a new way of life, less dependent on my phone, but also the spiritual element that this chapter was talking about. For me, it is very difficult to believe in what she believes in. What I have done more of though is incorporate meditation into my mornings again. This quiet that she believes can help creativity, it’s something I crave too. Reading deprivation is at least a little further forward in my mind now. It’s a tool I will probably come back to but for now, I copped out of this week’s challenge, making smaller changes instead.
I would love to know if anyone else has tried a reading deprivation or phone detox? I can’t be the only one to find it hard.