Most of us have been stuck sometime on the next chapter, the next line, or we’re just left staring at a blank page. What am I going to write? And worse, is anyone going to like it once I write it?
Paralyzing fear can overtake the best of writers. Even if it isn’t paralyzing, it is surely enough to make you hesitate before you hit that publish button. Julie Cameron’s book The Artist’s Way is one of the best books I’ve found that takes any artist through the dark side into the light. OK. That’s a bit dramatic. Although, even with a long list of publishing and other notable credits, she stills has to talk herself through the self-doubt.
Her gentle yet encouraging tone lured me out of bed every morning for months, ok weeks, to write my morning pages. Before my first cup of tea or before I dared to be identified by other mortals, I grabbed my pen and my notebook and wrote my 3 pages a day. Morning pages don’t have to make any sense. They aren’t supposed to be the next great American novel. She discourages you even from reading them. Not that I could, given my pre-Kindergarten, left-handed, pinch-in-my-shoulder handwriting.
The point of the morning pages and the other exercises in the book are to move beyond your own insecurities and just create. Damn the inner editor and let it all hang out.
What I found out about myself is that I am pretty ADD in the morning. With 3 pages to write, every image of every school teacher I ever had, every item on every long forgotten to-do list, every story idea, every Brady Bunch show I ever watched all invaded my thoughts. I’m lucky that I don’t have demons to unearth. They would have reared their ugly heads, too. The truth is, the several weeks that I committed to writing those morning pages, I felt better. It was Draino for the brain. Once I got my brain unclogged, I began to feel more creative and produce better writing. Thanks, Julia.