Monday, January 09, 2006

Resistance, round one.

I've hit my first round of resistance, although it's not to anything I have to do yet. If you don't want to read about stuff happening ahead or my snarling quite a bit about our illustrious author, skip this. Seriously: this is venting, below this paragraph, not so much about content as about tone of saying things.

First, morning pages. There's another AW, for using it at work. I picked it up at the library to see the differences. I think they look very similar on first glance but I'm not going to try to parallel; the book will go back. But, it does introduce morning pages and (slightly renamed) artist dates. I was flipping thru the morning pages and saw the bit where Julia says "I only teach adults" in response to the statement one can't get up earlier. You know, considering that if one's life is full enough (NOT the case in mine) of non-negotiable items, the ONLY thing one can strip is sleep, which is bad for the health, I find that statement insulting and offensive. As if one is childish to want to take care of health (and/or not to want to wake a spouse up so you can do your pages). Honestly, her attitude toward things upsets me more than the process by far. I'm so glad I've never taken a workshop with her, and I won't.

The other thing that fried me was something that's in the future for us. I was reminded by someone else's post that there's a week (number four, specifically) where we give up reading. Which is simply not going to be possible for me. I'll have to make compromises and simply give up most. I'm not sure yet what I'll do about the fact that most of my interaction with friends is online. I may bend there. I must bend it for work. And again she insulted by saying that, at this point, someone always protests they MUST read for work and can't stop reading for a week. And she just reminds them they could always get out of reading for a week for procrastination, in college.

College is a whole different thing. And maybe lots of people can get out of reading for a week for work. I read and write code, design documents, and other things, on a daily basis - that IS my job, and I'm expected to respond in a timely fashion to these things. It's no problem to me to adapt the "week without reading" to say that the work reading, done while in the office during work hours, is a clear exception. What fries me is simply her attitude that anyone can bend their life this way and if you say otherwise you're just fooling yourself.

The tone, the attitude, fries me faster than anything else. Maybe that's another reason people sometimes resist her techniques - at least in print, she often presents it as though you have to be a moron not to do X, and even if you had no reason to resist X before, that's insulting and annoying.


kat said...

i'm glad you kept your post up, it's how you feel and that's totally valid!

as for her words, she also says to approach the book creatively. there really is enough good there that you can take the stuff/words/tone that doesn't work and leave that behind while carrying on with what's working for you.

hang in there! :-)

kathryn said...

Oh yes, I relate. I wrote a post about my resistance to morning pages ( and I too find her declarations irritating. At this point in my life I don't feel a need to "do it by the book" as I would have in the past. I'm also not finding the book truly relevant to me at this point, so I'm going to pursue it less avidly.

I completely agree that getting good sleep is valid, and one need not "suffer for one's art" in that way. As for the reading deprivation, I'll see. I'll read what I need for work. I understand the point of the exercise... to get one doing something rather than taking in more information. The method, though, seems extreme. You do what works for you. Leave the rest.