Something Old, Something New
Last Wednesday morning, for no particular reason, during my morning break, I picked up a new composition book and wrote three pages of stream-of-consciousness, longhand. A wrote three more pages Thursday, Friday and yesterday. That’s right campers, last week I started writing Morning Pages.
More correctly, I started writing Morning Pages again.
For those of you unfamiliar with Morning Pages, I suggest picking up a copy of The Artist’s Way, by Julia Cameron. Cameron advocates that by writing three pages at the start of each day we not only prime the creative pump, but also clear the mind of baggage that might get in the way of creativity (if memory serves, she actually recommends 15 minutes of writing, but almost every mention seems to simplify it to 3 pages). Cameron is hardly the first person to suggest that regular, informal writing can stoke the fires of creativity—who among us didn’t write in journals at the beginning of English classes in Junior and High School?—but she did make the habit a central pillar of her inspirational book.
At several points in my life I have started and held to the Morning Pages habit. I won’t say that it’s always done wonders, but it’s certainly never had a negative influence. The odd thing for me, is that it was done on a whim, and not as a planned attempt to jump start my writing. Perhaps, with all the changes in my life over the last few months, my creative side is trying to be heard. I’m not one to argue with anything that gets me writing more often.
And it’s working. As is generally the case, what gets put into the Morning Pages journal is junk (and probably shouldn’t be reread), but it gets your mind thinking about writing. It starts making connections. It gets your unconscious mind thinking about how to write well, by getting the bad writing out of the way.
I’m going to let this play out, without trying to control it. I’m not going to try to direct what goes into my Morning Pages. The only control I will try to exert is to keep doing them.
In the upcoming weeks I’ll keep you posted as to how it’s working.