I’ve had a complete turn around with this little self-imposed self-improvement project in the past 24 hours. I’ve been doing it quite half-hearted. I mean I’ve been doing the Morning Pages but not usually 3 pages because I found I was torturing myself to fill it all and meanwhile the morning was tick-tick-ticking away and I do want to do other things you know?! So I told myself just to do some writing. Some has been about 1-2 pages which is better than nothing right?
But the thing I’ve noticed about the Morning Pages is how mundane my thoughts are in the morning. I don’t usually do any ‘creating’ first thing and my thoughts are usually about whether or not I’m sad or anxious, how worried I am about the day ahead, that kind of thing. It’s dull to write. So I don’t know, I like the idea but does it have to be first thing? I’ll carry on for the time being.
The Artists Date was kind of tacked on retrospectively. I went out with my camera and sketchbook on a very sunny day and walked through a little glen I never go through. I then went down to the beach and did some sketches of the local heron! For me this is just work though, but I enjoyed it. Does this count?
So up until yesterday this was the full extent of my ‘creative recovery’. Then I remembered oh yeah, I’m supposed to actually be doing this. So I took a couple of items from my ‘things I like to do list’ which I hastily put together last week. I picked two that I hadn’t done for a while and did them. For me this was play my guitar and read poetry.
I used to play the guitar a lot. I started when I was 12 and I was very very good. Then I lost interest, at 16 I preferred talking to people online and attempting to code terrible websites. Last time I played it with any direction was when I was about 21, 4 years ago now. So I got it out and the smell… mmmm… I love that smell. My shiny Spanish guitar looks exactly as it did 13 years ago when I picked it out at the music shop. And my fingers knew (mostly) what to do, the left forming the right shapes, the right plucking the way they’re supposed to. I was playing! It was glorious.
When I first started playing the guitar I loved it because it just sounded good, even the simplest tunes sound good. Before that I played the violin which I hated because it sounded terrible (when I played it anyway) and it meant I had to play in the island’s youth orchestra. I had no friends in the orchestra. I would dread Saturday morning, until one day I had a meltdown one Friday evening and my parents let me leave. I was only allowed to quit the violin because I took up the guitar instead. My interest in the guitar was mainly because there are no guitars in the orchestra… but I immediately loved it apart from that. Funnily enough I got so good that within a year I was the youngest member in the island’s guitar ensemble, this was fine though because it was much smaller, had adults in it too and had no breaks so no enforced socialising.
So I think I’ll pick up my guitar again. I have a new attitude to practicing now, I practice many things daily, there’s plenty of room for another one. This time it’ll be for the fun of it, not to be the best young guitar player in the island. I love that, the lack of pressure. I can’t wait!
The other thing I did was I read some poetry. It was from the fantastic anthology Being Alive. I love poetry, I actually was a bit of a childhood poet. Bizarre. Now for me it’s about realising that there are other people out there who feel as much as I feel. I felt less alone after reading.
Next week I think I’ll be delving into my childhood again!