Monday, May 24, 2010

Are You A Morning Person?

Okay, I should rephrase the question.
Are you a Morning Pages person?
If you've read The The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron, then you probably know what I'm talking about. If not, let me explain one of the coolest ways I know to tap into all the awesome creativity slumbering in your brain. The simple description is: write three pages of longhand in the morning. Yes, I write mine soon after I wake up. I know, scary. This is stream-of-conciousness writing. Nothing fancy, unless custom drapery patterns or new ways to fold dinner napkins are running through your mind when you wake up. One of the functions of Morning Pages is brain drain. This point frightened me at first, beacase really, how much of the grey stuff can I afford to lose? What else about the pages? (Yes, I'm now quoting phrases from page 10-11.) The great news is there is no wrong way to do morning pages. See, this is my kind of writing exercise. No wrong way - so freeing. Also another function of the pages. Write whatever comes to your mind. It doesn't have to be pretty or make any sense. Sometimes they will, mostly they won't. The pages are a way to get all the stuff that stands between you and you're creativity - out of the way. Worries, fears, rants, petty stuff, deep questions - get it all out on the page and make room for the patient creative works waiting for your attention. Another benefit? Doing the pages help you get past your Censor. I'm not going into a long explanation of your right brain/left brain here, but if you have ever tried to write anything - then you know what I'm talking about. The little voice in your head that might say, "Are you serious? Calling him Darrin? Where are you - on an episode of Bewitched?" (Yeah - way too much airtime for my censor -sorry!) So the morning pages trains your Creator to take center stage and your Censor to sit down and be quiet. And the obvious benefit of putting your Censor on the bench? Yep - you guessed it - the major block to your writing is out of the way!

This would be the point in my post where I would show you examples of some the free-writes I've done in my morning pages. But I'm not. If my psyche thought there was any chance I was going to put morning pages on display - I'd lose all that creative freeedom. Antoher rule of the pages - don't show them to anyone! It's tempting, especially when you've done it for a while and you want to show someone that you've been writing something. But don't do it. So forgive me, you'll have to create your own example. Go ahead. Give it a try. Stick with it for at least two weeks and I'd love to know if you notice any changes in your writing.

7 comments:

Valerie Ipson said...

I haven't done this except as a writing exercise like ONCE. I may have to give it a try to see what might happen.

How's your novel writing (reworking) going?

Tamara said...

If I cry heaving sobs on your shoulder would that explain my progress? Haven't touched it since our ANWA meeting. I try and tell myself all this down time will give me more objectivity. Right?

Karen Hoover said...

Morning pages have saved me in so many ways. Love, love, LOVE writing morning pages, though I must admit I'm not as consistent as I ought to be. I'm consistent over the years (started in 2000), but not daily. Guess I need to rectify that. Good blog, by the way. :)

Lani Woodland said...

I haven't ever done morning pages. I'm going to have to give it a try. Thanks for the tip!:)

Amber Lynae said...

THis is the second mention I've heard of the Artist's Way.... I definitely want to know more. I will have to get my hands on a copy.

RaShelle said...

I've never heard of morning pages before. It could be why I've spent hours pouring over other people's blogs the past couple of weeks, while my characters are inside my brain "pounding away" saying "excuse me, we'd like to come out now."

melissa said...

I like this idea. I do a lot of just writing. Things from my head. Most of the time I don't care if it makes sense I just need to get it out.

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