The Canadian Writers' Collective

Writing, and writerly tangents

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Starting Out Write

by Melissa Bell

Lots to do today, my friends. Another gorgeous day in the Big Smoke and so today it's Blog-Lite(tm).

While I’ve had it sitting on my bookshelf for years (purchased on sale at Winners, I think), I just recently began reading Vein of Gold by Julia Cameron - who also produced The Artist’s Way. They’re great books for artists of all disciplines, or for anyone who would like to bring more creativity into their lives. We’re all artists to some degree, right? – even if we’re not ready or willing to accept that, each of us has the gift to create something.

Newly inspired, I decided to start getting back to the habit of the Morning Pages. The Morning Pages (a.k.a. MPs) are simply three pages of stream of consciousness writing that you do immediately upon waking. They are handwritten (that’s one of the “rules”), single-spaced in a regular 8-1/2” x 11” notebook. On average, it takes about 45 minutes to complete. They are not meant to be written as a journal of events (although they can very well be) – the real purpose is simply to warm up the brain for the day – to encourage it to think in a non-linear fashion. Yes, it works, and very rare is the occasion when filling up three pages is an actual chore. It might sound like that at the outset, but when the head is still fresh from dreams and mildly groggy, it’s quite fascinating what winds up landing on the page. I’m not trying to sell anybody on the fact that it’s brilliant stuff, but when one goes back and reviews it several months later during more wide-awake moments, it’s quite an interesting read. I would whole-heartedly encourage anyone and everyone to give The Morning Pages a go for the next month just to see where it takes you and what you might learn along the way.


Blogger Andrew Tibbetts said...

I tired this a few years back. I realized how little actual handwriting I do anymore. Ie, none. I type my friggin grocery lists for goodness sake. If I want a chart to monitor how much exercise I'm doing, I'll fire up the computer and create one with a charting program. I can barely sign my name to a check. I think if I did this again, and I'd like to, I'd have to break the 'rule' of handwriting. My hand was so sore after three or four days it was all I could write about. Good luck with MP's, MB.

Sun Aug 12, 02:40:00 pm GMT-4  
Blogger Antonios Maltezos said...

I might just give this a try, Mel, on my days off at least. It's good to shake things up from time to time, break a routine, especially if that routine has begun pushing the writing aside. Thanks.

Sun Aug 12, 07:58:00 pm GMT-4  
Blogger Steve Gajadhar said...

I'm still working on doing a morning run. Maybe I could write while I'm jogging? Dictate?

Mon Aug 13, 07:33:00 pm GMT-4  
Blogger Tricia Dower said...

I remember you suggesting this before but I've never tried it. I'd be better to get up in the wee hours when I (usually) can't sleep and try it then. When I finally do get to sleep, I'm too dopey to do anything for a good hour after I wake.

Tue Aug 14, 12:47:00 am GMT-4  
Blogger Denis Taillefer said...

I tried this a while back, after reading The Artist's Way, and I did find it rewarding. It was close to impossible trying to read the stuff afterward though (my handwritting is too quick and spazy) and maybe that's a good thing. Thanks for the reminder, Mel, I just might give it another go.

Tue Aug 14, 08:44:00 am GMT-4  

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