I woke up at 5 a.m. this first day of the month eager to write "Morning Pages." For several years I've followed this writing practice which I learned from Julia Cameron, author of The Artist's Way, The Sound of Paper, and The Right to Write. Cameron has been my writing/creative living coach for many years. With her promptings, I've filled many notebooks with random writings that have helped me live and think more creatively, sort through life's many ups and downs, and hone writing skills. And lately, these writings are showing up in this blog.
Here's the Morning Pages routine. I hop out of bed, make a cup of coffee, grab the really cool tablet and smooth writing pen that I bought at the Flax art supply store in Chicago, and then get comfortable on the sofa. Willie joins me there, going back to sleep curled by my side. He's ready to start his job--being a loving leech--whenever he's needed.
At 5:20 a.m. I begin to write, the exercise being to just fill three hand-written pages--no re-writing, editing, or obsessing over the value of what I'm getting down. This morning I had no topic as I began to write. Not important. All I have to do is get three pages done and then I can quit--no matter if it's drivel. So, I write about this past weekend's visit with friends, describing the ballgames, storytelling festival, sibling relationships, and political discussions that made up the visit. I'm cruising by now, so I describe an upcoming visit to Baltimore, and plans for a fall wardrobe makeover based on what I'm learning from Bravo's Tim Gunn on his Guide to Style program.
At 6:05 a.m. I have three pages written. Willie wakes up and I can stop writing. Piece of cake--not a single drop of sweat or blood exertion staining the pages! Routine is a good thing for a writer. By following an established ritual, writing becomes as much a part of daily living as brushing your teeth or feeding the dog. You just do it without a lot of thought. Throughout the day you think and then get those thoughts on paper--it's a natural process.
Writing ranks way up there with public speaking on most people's dread meter. We admire good writing, enjoy reading it--and for the most part--believe that we can't do it. All of us are writers. The trick is to just make writing a part of our daily life. And, you know how that goes. Sometimes we'll do well and other times it won't be worth much. No matter, I still have three pages for October 1--enough fodder for this post. Tomorrow I'll write again.
- Recent retiree--35 year's experience teaching reading, English, adult basic education and volunteer leadership skills. Started this blog to exchange ideas and commentary with friends and others having an interest in joining the discussions. Greatest life accomplishments include: 1.organized my 3rd grade class to check out library books for me to get around librarian's weekly limit--Amazon.com, the Mullins Elementary 3rd Grade Class of 1956 is still waiting for "thank you" notes; 2. volunteered in the Peace Corps, island of St. Kitts, West Indies; 3.taught adults to read, earn their GEDs., and speak English as a second language; 4. bought a border collie puppy for $6, got evicted rather than give him up, and began a life-long love affair with all things "Dog"; 5. joined a physical fitness boot camp in my mid-50s--don't mess with someone who's been doing regulation pushups in wet grass at 5:30 a.m.; 6. walked across Northern England with best friend Sally--over 80 miles from the Irish to North Seas; and 7. travelled to many foreign countries for pleasure and work.