In the end, I made it to page 305. I had started at page 231 this time, so that’s a decent page count. I can’t be upset with that. And I did finish a painting and deliver it. That was a first!
I do wish that this could be every day. That I was able to make money doing this. But I am not there yet. I haven’t published yet. Maybe someday I’ll be able to do the full time artist thing, but until then, I will dedicate time to it when I can.
When I was taking life drawing classes, the teacher said that people often don’t consider art as work. They think of it as play, something you just can rhyme off the top of your head. But it’s not true. It is work. I would often be exhausted after three hours of trying to put on paper what I saw with my eyes. It’s a fully physical and mental experience. It’s all consuming and draining. Because you are channeling with your body what is there in front of you, while colouring in the grey spots with your emotions, experience, philosophy or the complete opposite of your point of view.
As Hemingway said, “There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.”
There were days when I sat at our current version of a typewriter – my laptop – and I couldn’t find the story. I stared at the words and was blank. Then there were days when every word was like pulling teeth. Especially that one scene I was trying to make horrific and courageous and difficult. Each word I wrote that day was so exhausting. It was heart wrenching.
Then there was that one perfect day when 16 pages came spilling out of me in a torrent of writing.
I didn’t want to spend time painting towards the end because I wanted to write as much as I could. But I needed to, to keep the creativity flowing around those blockages. I needed that other outlet. Changing locations helped a lot. Just taking myself out for lunch on Friday jiggled some more words loose and I had another great burst of writing – a really interesting overnight scene that added complexity and mystery to one of the main characters, hopefully making the reader wonder.
Would another week, or another 4, have made a difference? I technically can take as many as 12 weeks with this leave, if I can handle the pay cut. Maybe. But maybe I would have spent more time doing other things, taking advantage of the time and completing regular tasks. I did too many errands during the day, just because I was home and not respecting my own working time. Although grocery shopping on weekdays was far superior to the busy crowded angry weekend experience.
I would like to get away next time – to not be at home, but somewhere else specifically for writing. Whether that means going to a cottage or going to a different country, I think it would break that habit of “oh, I’ll just pop by the [X] store and pick up that thing.”
Also,I desperately need to stop going on Facebook when I’m blanking. Seriously. Ugh.
On another note, tonight is the super moon lunar eclipse, and we have some clouds blowing through. I got to see a few phases but always ended up with a cloud when I wanted a picture. But I saw the first chomp out of the left side, the tiny sliver and the red phase. Another cool way to finish off my time. :)