Doing It Every Day
The more you write, the better you get. Itâ€™s a common koan, found in just about every book on writing out on the bookshelves these days. Not sure if itâ€™s true because I still think I write a lot more junk than I do "the good stuff." But I try and meet the page or screen at least once a day and hope that whatever comes out comes close to matching the image or thought inside my mind. Last week, after I got off my butt and resolved to take charge of my writing and artistic life, I decided it was also time it take up a new habit or two.
So I wandered over to my artistic bookshelf and revisited an old friend. The book's paper smelled musty, worn with age from having sat on the shelves for awhile now. The front cover said it all, The Artistâ€™s Way, by Julia Cameron. My best friend gave me this copy a few years ago, during a particularly stressful bout of writerâ€™s block. While I donâ€™t feel blocked now, I figured it was time to revisit the discipline and practices therein. More specifically, Iâ€™ve decided to start up the morning pages habit.
In this book, Cameron describes a wonderful practice where writing becomes meditation. She refers to this practice as "morning pages". The practice is deceptively simple: write 3 pages of long-hand every day, in the morning. Whatever is in your head, or not, goes onto these three pages. It sounds easy to do, but many people (myself included), make up many excuses not to write. No more excuses for me. Every morning, before my workouts, before the housework, before the reading and the naps, I crawl downstairs, grab my journal and pen and snuggle into my comfy chair. And I stay there until my handwriting covers three pages in the book. Everything and anything inside my head goes onto the page. No matter how good or bad it is. I write. And when I am done, I do not look back or reread it.
Writing like this, without looking back, is my meditation. I write like this every day to free my creativity and center myself. It gives me permission to write lots and lots of awkward phrases, horrible thoughts and criticism in private. It teaches my inner artist to dance and play while my inner critic isn't telling it to stop being so silly. It gets me ready for whatever the universe and life can throw at me. Itâ€™s good practice for NaNoWriMo, which starts one week from now. And finally, it gets me writing daily. Because this is what writers do: they write.
|Click book to purchase|
|Artist's Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity|
author: Julia Cameron
ASIN or ISBN-10: 1585421464