Poetry Dowsing Week Eleven: Uncovering a Sense of Discipline

Poetry Dowsing Week Eleven: Uncovering a Sense of Discipline




This is a weekly exercise for a 12 week program for creative exploration and self care. A new exercise will be posted each week for the duration of the program. All post titles are matched up to the chapter names in Julia Cameron’s book “Finding Water“, which is our source text. Please read Poetry Dowsing: A Path to Your Creative Well for more information.

Week Eleven Intentions

This week our intention is to set a goal to maintain discipline in our creative endeavours. This is not intended to be harsh. It may be necessary to rethink the connotations of discipline. If you find yourself slipping off track, gently course correct to your creative commitment.

A personal note about discipline

I used to feel that discipline was connected to a harsh way of living. And it can be. But, sometimes it’s important to relearn connections to words. As a parent, discipline was an important part of teaching my children. This didn’t mean I needed to engage in punishing behaviour or that I should take all of the fun out of learning. It did mean that certain tasks needed to be completed and I would be there to lead them into creating healthy habits.

When I think of discipline as a set of healthy habits, it seems more reasonable. In the case of creative discipline, that’s something I can create for myself. My morning pages have become part of a healthy habit I engage in on a daily basis. I was concerned about that going into this process. Writing by hand? Three pages? Every day? I wasn’t sure if I could maintain that habit.

There have been days when I did not do my morning pages. They have been few, but my personality doesn’t deal well in gray areas. Instead of claiming that I was a failure and flailing about because I had lost my discipline for the day, I chose to be more forgiving. But, forgiveness came with the understanding that the next day I would dust myself off and head back to the page.

I plan to continue morning pages beyond this twelve week program. That discipline has provided me with something predictable. Sometimes I whine in them, sometimes I write about how I don’t know what to write. But, I always write. That is the discipline.

And today a haiku and a character appeared out of nowhere. Sometimes, in the middle of the mundane, I surprise myself.

This week’s dowsing exercise

This week we are one week closer to completing our twelve weeks of self care in creativity. One of the things that can help us with self care is discipline. For this week’s exercise we are going to exercise a form of gentle self discipline.

This week spend twenty minutes engaged in the practice of poetry. This could mean anything related to poetry. Perhaps you are reading poetry or learning about a new poetic form. Consider looking at an old poem and rearranging it or doing some edits. Maybe you want to work on a new poem or search out a poetry prompt online. Whatever it is, engage with it for twenty minutes each day.

You may need support for this. Let your close friends and love ones know that you need this bit of uninterrupted time. Find another poet friend and hold each other accountable. Do whatever works for you. And if you miss a day, acknowledge it. Then get back up the next day and spend twenty minutes on poetry.

You can do this!

This week’s quote:

“The imagination has resources and intimations we don’t even know about.”

-Cynthia Ozick


Important reminders

  • This process centers on recovery and self care in regard to your creative self. Be gentle!
  • Make adjustments as needed, you know yourself best and your positive mental health is paramount.
  • Commit to using your basic tools of Morning Pages, Artist Dates and Walks.
  • Sharing is not mandatory, but we’d love to share the journey with you! Tag all posts regarding these exercises as #PoetryDowsing so we can support you within the Twitter community.