Monday, May 25, 2009

Morning Pages

Every so often you hear writers, artists, and people in general talk about "morning pages" like it's a term everyone should know like "metaphor" or "poem." To me, the use of the phrase "morning pages" in conversation was a verbal signifier of subscription to a granola zen-like writing-type-thing.

Well, bring out the granola 'cause I'm on the zen boat.

I've been reading Writing Down the Bones for the past ten months. It's snippets of advice and suggestion and anecdote are never longer than a few pages long but I find I can't sit and read through more than two before putting the book down. I needed to up the ante. I needed a new writing regime and I needed it to ask a lot of me. I knew, vaguely, of The Artist's Way because I'd read/skimmed The Writer's Diet while spending long hours in a bookstore last year. The author frequently referred to her first book The Artist's Way and basically said that many of the people who successfully completed her twelve week workshops not only "unblocked" their creative selves, they found what was wrong in their lives -- what was "blocking" their happiness. And, happiness found, they lost a shit-ton of weight.

Whatever! I said and left the store. Wrote a blog about it. And never forgot.

So I've was searching bookstores -- unsuccessfully -- for a copy when it dawned on me to check the university library (there are three copies). And it so happens that the university let me check this book out for three months (no idea why) and it's a 12 week program. Sounds fated, doesn't it?

So here I am one week in. I'm doing it. Writing my morning pages ... not quite as stream of consciousness as they should be. They tend to take me an hour when they should take only 30 minutes, but they still feel good.

I'm hoping that this poor man's therapy will help because I find myself not writing these past few months. No new ideas. No work on old ideas. No editing of half-baked ideas. Sure, I'll open a word document, change a couple of phrasings, get frustrated and close the thing, but that's not helpful, nor is it forward progress.

Highly Recommended