Four of the five stages of grief in six hours

by Rebecca A. Watson on September 12, 2011

in change, escapism, habits, media, the artist's way, writing

Like I said in my last post, I love libraries. So it should pretty much go without saying that I’m a giant bookworm. I read on the bus, while I’m eating and even on the toilet. (What?!? I have a subscription to Rolling Stone. If you don’t read that every time you go to the bathroom, you fall seriously behind. Those magazines just keep coming.)

boat reading ms becca

Yeah, the lake is nice and all, but this book is *riveting.*

So imagine my shock, nay, my horror when I came upon the fourth chapter of The Artist’s Way, which mandates reading deprivation. For a week.

Of course, the first thing I do is go online and Google how other people dealt with it when I realized, Crap. I can’t read this.

Naturally I went to Facebook to post an update on how humorous/devastating this was, when it dawned on me that I couldn’t read any one else’s status updates. The same realization came with Twitter. And my friend Tori pointed out that the book was written before the information age, so of course it applies to blogs.


I’m still deciding whether this applies to TV. This, ladies and gentlemen, is bargaining, especially considering how I feel about television.

But. BUT! I can blog. Thank Jesus.

After the initial shock and denial wore off (I actually tried to tell myself I didn’t really read that much, so it wouldn’t be a big deal.), I find myself really kind of angry. There’s a line in the chapter that says after awhile you’ll run out of work and have to play (thus, creating art).

I feel the need to prove her wrong. No! I have plenty of work. The closets need organizing, the garden needs harvesting, we even have a BBQ this weekend, so I have to get ready for that. I’m tempted to create the world’s most giant to-do list to keep me busy all week. Too bad I burned my to-do list in Week 2. Arg!

burning paper

I don't regret it. Burning that list was liberating.

I’m a bit surprised at this. Why am I trying so hard to prove this woman I don’t know and have never met, wrong? And why wouldn’t I want to play, anyway?

The thing is, she’s right. I bury myself in books because I tell myself it’s productive and also an important part of being a writer. But I know the dark secret. It’s the easiest way to get out of being creative myself. I’m consuming, not creating.

God the truth hurts.

So at this point, I’ve harvested the garden, organized one of the three closets in our home and gotten the yard all cleaned up for the BBQ. It’s been about six hours since I got my week-long assignment.


But who's counting?

I’m slowly sinking into the depression stage of grief here. (Thank the Universe I didn’t go to the library to get the latest in the Percy Jackson series I’m reading.) There’s a blog I read every morning that really encourages me. Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance is my night-time companion. And you already know what I read while I’m brushing my teeth.

Will I get through this? Oh yes. I can’t resist a good challenge. But I feel like throwing a toddler temper tantrum right now. Maybe by my next blog, I’ll have reached the acceptance stage. Or maybe it’ll be my first vlog, in which I throw my books at the webcam and scream at the mailman for delivering the latest edition of Rolling Stone.

Have you ever done a media fast? Any advice for me? I’m desperate here!

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Sean McLean September 12, 2011 at 10:29 pm

I’m laughing *with* you! And NO you can’t read this until your week is up! I’m going to play “Old Fart” here. We called the “Information Age” the 80’s. 1997 was squarely in the kickoff of that part of the Intertubes we now call the World Wide Web.

You kids get off my lawn! 🙂


Leave a Comment

{ 1 trackback }

Previous post:

Next post: