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Just write

Inspired by the concept of “Morning Pages” from Julia Cameron’s “The Artist’s Way” (see my previous post for details), I’ve been working on developing a daily writing habit – three pages, longhand, no holds barred. Just write.

It’s fast becoming an addiction!

Pen on Notepaper in Ring BinderSure, I’ve kept personal diaries and journals throughout my life – for as long as I can remember knowing how to write – but this is different. When I journal, I don’t obligate myself to do it every day, nor do I set page targets – I write when and for how long I “feel” like it. (And as you might imagine, this lack of structure often leads to great long gaps where no journaling takes place at all!) Morning pages, on the other hand, have only two real “rules” – write every day, and write three full pages. This, different from personal journaling (which absolutely has its place – don’t get me wrong), is helping me to develop discipline and depth in my writing habits.

I am writing every day, and I keep writing to meet my page target, whether or not I “feel” like it or think I have anything left to say.

And by doing so, surprising things are emerging.

Some of the biggest issues I struggle with as a writer are learning to push aside my inner censor and just write… to quit expecting perfection at the first go and just write… to stop comparing myself to other, better writers and just write. (I somehow doubt I’m alone in this!) The practice of morning pages (though I have to admit that up until now they mostly haven’t taken place in the morning!) is helping me to get past these blocks and find freedom in how I express myself through writing.

And that can only be a good thing.

Have you developed a daily writing practice?
Please share your experience!

Laurel Storey, CZT – Certified Zentangle Teacher. Writer, reader, tangler, iPhoneographer, cat herder, learner of French and Italian, crocheter, needle felter, on-and-off politics junkie, 80s music trivia freak, ongoing work in progress.

{ 8 comments… add one }
  • Elizabeth Beech via Facebook May 13, 2013

    You are making me very excited to start this practice!

  • Excellent!

  • It has been a year of writing after a 30 some year sabbatical!!! It is like a wall has melted and I find I write almost without knowing what I am going to say before hand. As a busy mother of nine children, I have always been an oral storyteller but fear blocked any forays into writing.Whenever I started to record our hilarious life on paper,I wrote stilted mummy drivel I have discovered a creative fountain of written words buried deep within me.Suddenly an idea springs up from my inner self, initiating a flow of words, assimilated emotions, reflections and connections that seem to take on a life of their own.This entire process is joyful and life-giving, like writing with my fingers, not my brain.
    melanie jean juneau (motherofnine9) recently posted… Mother’s? Hilarious Opinions from Little peopleMy Profile

  • Corinne Rodrigues
    Twitter:
    May 14, 2013

    You’ve got me excited to start all over again, Dawn. Tomorrow morning, bright and early!
    Corinne Rodrigues recently posted… 100 Words On Saturday – Week 10My Profile

  • ElaineLK May 14, 2013

    When I took a writing boot camp earlier this spring, the instructor encouraged us to choose a short “mantra” about our writing. This was mine! Just.Write. I’ve slipped a little because my workload has gotten heavier, but I still think it’s valid for me, because I’ve always worried about what I would write, why I should write if I didn’t have any good ideas, and so forth. It worked for me during and after the class. I have to find a way to get back to it. Unfortunately, the whole concept of “freewriting” never did much for me; I didn’t discover any hidden gems in it. I’m glad it’s working so well for you, though! Is writing by hand part of the program, or is that your idea?

    • Laurel Regan
      Twitter:
      May 14, 2013

      Nice – sounds like you’re taking a great approach! The handwriting thing is actually part of the program. In most ways I’d rather use my computer, but I’m giving handwriting a try to see if it makes any different in what I come up with – at least for my morning pages. I’m sure that if a person couldn’t do it, though, they wouldn’t have to in order to complete the program.
      Laurel Regan recently posted… The Artist’s WayMy Profile

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