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"As soon as coffee is in your stomach, there is a general commotion. Ideas begin to move...similes arise, the paper is covered. Coffee is your ally and writing ceases to be a struggle."~Honore de Balzac

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Journaling

Since I'll be facilitating a journaling bootcamp this summer, I decided I'd better get back to my morning pages as advocated by Julia Cameron in her book "The Artist's Way." I tried it before and was doing fine until my husband discovered my journal and confronted me. That took the energy away and I set journaling aside for awhile, too long of a time really, and now I am forced to start again. I even bought the workbook and there is good and bad about that because I love the thickness of the pages and the quotes throughtout but I find writing on the left hand pages to be awkward. Still, I'm glad to have it because of the messages and quotes included and sometimes it's a quote that keeps me going.

For my students, I'm preparing notebooks and I have a ton of paper so there's no excuse not to write, write write. If you're a writer, you are lonely and irritable when you don't write. When you journal, you can write and write and write with no censor or critic peering over your shoulder and, even though you acquire a whole lot of BS, you also acquire some knowledge and insight about yourself. Sometimes one word or a phrase will shimmer. New ideas begin developing in your head. The trick is to keep writing, to be faithful to those three morning pages. and to just do it. These pages are not to be read by anyone else or read aloud. No way! Hide the journal, if you must or warn others they will read at their own risk.

Why are morning pages important? It helps a writer get rid of all the emotional stuff and backstory and total junk that clutters up our writing projects. Writing those pages in the morning gets the brain functioning and soon it's like brushing your teeth, something you simply have to do. It's a lot like walking. Walking is not only good for the body but also for the mind.I have conversations in my head and work things out in my life and in writing. Julia Cameron recommends walking. She also insists on Artist's Dates, an hour or two or three doing something once a week you truly love or are curious about or want to do. It's been two weeks now of the twelve week program and by the time I start my summer class in July I'll be quite a way into the experiment. The trick will be keeping my students involved and inspired. Through writing, we discover ourselves or perhaps rediscover ourselves, those creative selves lost along the way. Try it. Just do it.

1 comment:

KayCreates said...

Great post. Thanks!