“The events in our lives happen in a sequence in time, but in their significance to ourselves, they find their own order….the continuous thread of revelation.”
Lately, I have adopted the practice of writing morning pages. I get up at around 5:30 and begin writing before I engage in any other activity. Morning pages are 3 pages of stream of conciousness writing. There is no wrong way to do them. You simply write whatever comes into your mind, good or bad, fragmented thoughts, grumblings. They are not meant to be art or serious writing. They are brain drain; just keep the pen moving for three pages.
I came to the morning pages because I want to work as an artist and also because I have been feeling down, lacking inspiration, blocked. But, because of this practice, my morning ritual, the fog is beginning to clear. My writing is freeing somehow. I seem to be getting rid of all the junk that is in my head and what is left is myself. I am getting beyond the everyday worries and fretting and getting to the fear that has paralyzed me so. I am also becoming strongly aware of my Censor, a nasty little critic that seems to be with me always. The “shoulds” in my self-talk are indications that the Censor is at hand. It says things like “your house should be cleaner,” and “you should be thinner,” or “why are you writing this, no one will be interested, they will all think you are strange.” I am learning to consider that maybe nothing that the Censor says is the truth. Who says I ‘should?’ Who’s should is that? I am discovering often, not my own. So then the “shoulds” are beginning to disperse and the valid feelings I have about what I would like to do become goals rather than shoulds. I can plan and take attainable steps to meet a goal. Goals are positive things.
And so, I am continuing to write every day, three pages, stream of conciousness, even if I wake up grumpy and write “I have nothing to say, I have nothing to say, these morning pages are dumb, why am I doing them. I could use the extra sleep….” and so on. I let my Censor rattle on if it wants to, knowing that I will never go back and read what I wrote and neither will anyone else. These pages are sacred in the doing, but once written, forgotten.
So, you see, I have found a way around and beyond the Censor. I am dumping the junk and getting to the other side, where my artist child lives, where I can once again find joy and fulfillment working with my heart and hands, in my chosen arts, writing and knitting. My hope is that through my writing, I will find my life’s work and feel comfortable calling myself an artist.
If you are interested in working with morning pages and other tools to recover or strengthen your creativity, read “The Artist’s Way” by Julia Cameron. This book is very well written and is a cornerstone of many an artist’s creative life. Ms. Cameron’s writings are useful for any kind of artist, painter, sculptor, poet, weaver, or for anyone who would simply like to live more creatively. I have provided a link on this blog under ‘Books about writing.’