Image: markb via flickr

Image: markb via flickr

One of the suggestions for last week’s Artist’s Way was to do a little “reading deprivation.” I never got around to undertaking it last week because I couldn’t quite wrap my head around what it actually entailed. Finally, I did a bit of research to see how others had handled it. On one end of the spectrum, people just cut out pleasure reading, only doing what was necessary for work or school. On the other end of the spectrum were those people who cut out all media–we’re talking TV, radio, music with lyrics, Internet, books. A tad bit daunting.

So, today I decided to try for a middle ground. Today I knew I had critiques to get done for class & then needed to proof some work stuff. So, when I logged onto the computer, I just quickly checked my email & then got to work. I skipped Facebook. I didn’t even update my Twitter feed to say I was trying this deprivation thing. And, I refrained from checking every news site & blog I have bookmarked. I only looked at what I needed to.

I was done with work by 2 & decided to really go for this reading deprivation thing. I decided to go big & cut out Internet, TV, radio, music with lyrics, & the printed word. And that’s when I realized I didn’t have a clue what to do with myself. Now, given that we’re experiencing a bit of a heat wave here in LA & I don’t have AC, I’m loathe to do much, so sitting down with a good book sounds really good. Anything that requires as little movement as possible. So, I found myself sitting on the sofa staring out the window, bored. I tried meditating, but the dogs had other plans. I tried listening to some instrumental music, but I no attention span. Now, I know I could have tried writing–believe me, I don’t read my own stuff as I write…to painful. But staying away from the computer just sounded so good. On a hot day, being near my rather toasty laptop is the last thing I want to do. So, I seriously was twiddling my thumbs. Actually, I was noticing that if I pressed my fingers together–tip-to-tip–I could not only feel the pulse of blood circulating, I could see the skin go from white to pink from the pressure. And while I debated using the time to clean or do a bit of organizing, I wasn’t that desperate to succeed with this. My hobbies, all involve words. I love to read. I love to write. I love to listen to music. By 6, I decided to go to the gym & to bring a book.

Yes, I caved. Four hours was long enough. I may try this again. Actually, I’m making a concerted effort to limit my Internet-wasting time. I just checked my email & am writing this blog post & then I’m off for the day. Maybe this would be better tried on a cooler day when I might actually want to leave the house & move. For now, I’m finally getting around to reading the Harry Potter series. I saw the new movie last night & am feeling the need to know the whole story. I’m sure the movie, while good, left out so much. I previously had only read books 1-3. So, now am starting over with book 1, & will make my way through the series. So, either I’ll fit in a bit of reading deprivation here & there, or I’ll just wait until I finish the series, I come up with a new hobby, or the weather cools. Which ever comes first.