Can you go a week without reading? Anything? Books, blogs, social media, newspapers, online content, cereal boxes. If you are anything like me (and I suspect you are due to reading this blog post) going a week without ingesting other people’s words sounds like a hellish kind of existence. From the time I could read, which was second grade back in the day, I have never gone any length of time without reading something. And yes, I was a big consumer of the words written on cereal boxes in my younger years because what else would you do over breakfast?
This is week four of my journey with The Artist’s Way and this is the exercise that has been thrown down like a gauntlet for the week. Can I do it? Interestingly, I’m not fighting it because I recently toyed with submitting myself to this very same challenge. Why would I willingly forgo reading? I was becoming more and more aware of the amount of time this activity takes up for me and every time I’d go somewhere, even if there was no chance I would have the opportunity to read, I would have my Kindle in my handbag. My twelve year would always rummage through my purse and say, yup she has it, to his dad as though they had a running bet about me and my lack of willpower over needing a book handy.
Of course, I never went through with it, although I do leave my Kindle at home on occasion now. But this challenge is far more reaching than the one I imagined as it also includes no television or media like books on CD which I currently have going in my car and I’m very interested in finishing it. No words. No looking up things online at a whim. This is a ginormous challenge but I’m willing to give it a try starting today. The root of the challenge is to clear yourself of other people’s words and ideas so that your own can come springing to the surface. A detox of sorts.
Here are some ideas from the book (and me) about things to do instead:
Let me know in the comments if you have or would ever try such a challenge and I’ll see you in a week to let you know how I made out.