Every day l get up while the house is still quiet, grab a cup of coffee, climb back into my bed and spend about an hour free writing about everything and nothing.
I first started writing Morning Pages a year and a half ago after reading It’s Never Too Late to Begin Again-Discovering Creativity and Meaning at Midlife and Beyond, by Julia Cameron. I was still working and looking for a way to kickstart my retirement. Cameron’s Morning Pages, “the bedrock tool of a creative recovery,” kickstarted a lot more than my retirement. I knew I wanted to write, but up to this point, I was just dabbling. Writing bits and pieces of memoir and a short story here and there. Morning Pages have me writing every day. If I can’t think of anything to write, I sit and listen to the day begin. Roosters crowing, the rain, an alarm going off down the hall. Eventually, a thought comes whispering in and I put pen to paper. Some of these early morning writings have found their way into my blog, some are creative musings, some are a form of prayer, most to lead to personal growth.
Often, I find it difficult to sit with the pages, wanting to escape writing what will inevitably lead to personal growth. These pages, generally, start out with me whining and complaining about some real or perceived injustice ultimately leading me to an “A-ha” moment. The light goes on and everything becomes crystal clear. Sometimes, I ignore these revelations, because they expose me as part of the problem. (Me? Can you imagine?)
All too often, I close my notebook, get up and walk away. Eventually, the same problem will weasel its way back into my journal a week or so later and continue to do so until I act on it. That’s when it’s time to step out of my comfort zone and face things head-on. While this is both exhilarating and nerve-racking, Morning Pages is not a bull-in-the-china-shop approach. I’ve learned to take a deep breath, ask for guidance, and watch for answers.
Morning Pages have encouraged me to heal damaged relationships, confront addiction (I’m currently coming off sugar), make life-altering decisions, and decide what to wear to the party.
I’m proud of my commitment to my morning writing. I’m finding my creative voice and an outlet to approach life’s problems in an appropriate way. It has opened my eyes to what’s really important, encouraged me to face my fears and celebrate beauty in everyday things. I see changes in myself, some subtle, some not so subtle and am excited to see where the writings will take me next.
There are three more aspects of Cameron’s book I am exploring. Solo Walks (no dog, no friend, no spouse, no cell phone), Artist Dates (also done alone to explore what might “delight you”) and, Memoir (a 12-week venture I will be stretching to 12 months). These subjects will be addressed in future posts. So, stayed tuned.
“Smiles are contagious; let’s start an epidemic”–Laura Smith