Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Morning Pages

Each morning, when I first wake up and before I stuff my face for breakfast, I write three pages longhand, morning pages. The inspiration for it came from a book that a friend gave me last November by Julia Cameron concerning a writer's "diet," but I've read "The Artist's Way" when I first started reading Natalie Goldberg and other writing gurus, so I was already familiar with the concept. (The best explanation that I've found of morning pages can be found here.)

Sometimes, for stretches of days, I feel that the pages are useless. This past week, on vacation, I sort of resented them--they got me up early so that I could have the chance to finish them before family woke up and required my attention. And this morning, my first day back from vacation, I spent longer than usual with them because I wanted to get down to the "real" writing, like my blogs and short stories. Each sentence was torture. I thought, "Do I really need this?"

The thing is, if I don't do these pages, it's an emotional difference, like missing life-sustaining prescription medication in the morning. The first Saturday I was on vacation my brother was up before I could get to pages, so I put them off until the next day. Yesterday I didn't get to them until three o'clock in the afternoon. Both times I got angry--I felt like I had been denied something that was either strongly a part of me or necessary to my psychological well-being.

What is happening with the morning pages when I drag with them is I am self-censoring. I just have to spill them, no matter how crappy they sound or read. And I keep forgetting that. I write so much for the world to read now that I forget to save a little for me.

So we'll try again. Just one more day. :)

Write on.

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