Creating a Designated Writing Practice With "The Morning Pages" by Julia Cameron.
I wanted to write today, because I felt like I should. I think there’s such an enjoyment to the actual process of writing itself, and I can go on and on about the amount of joy one can get in the midst of words spoken through them, but I'll hold off for now. I also tend to work through my thoughts within the writing practice. Whether that stems from the tasks that I need to accomplish, or a difficult problem I’m facing, it’s all shown within my daily ritual “The Morning Pages.”
Look, this is my call to action to get you to begin a writing practice, let me tell you the why. I believe we all, at some level, wish to communicate. With my art as an actor I’m blessed with a vessel of communication through other people, and a platform like TV/Film/or the stage. All art is a form of communication, not only that, but as we go about our days, our actions are also communicating whether you're conscious of these actions or not. Everything is saying something, you are saying something. So it’s also How we say it in which writing comes in.
I write “Morning Pages” which is a writing practice coined by Julia Cameron in The Artist’s Way just about every single morning I wake up, I set my intention, intensify/release through meditation, then I begin my writing practice. I sit down turn on a timer for thirty minutes, open my computer, and I’ll write until that timer hits zero. The way in which you write is the most important aspect to this practice.
Julia Cameron introduces the “critic” basically the noise in your head saying, “really, that’s what you’re going to say?”, or “I’ve seen way better, remember that one author you absolutely love…? Yea, right, that person… well this ain’t it dude.” Yea, ouch, ok, thanks, But also, the morning pages gives you an opportunity to practice letting go of that inner critic. I use a keyboard, and practiced enough to not look at the keys, just to close my eyes and type. For those who might not have that ability yet, you can also use a pen, not a pencil, because we aren’t pressing the backspace key and we are not going to erase or cross out our work. I work to let go of the inner critic, and I simply flow with the words that are in my soul. I flow, I jive, I play, I reiterate, I curse, I scream, I cry, I laugh, I high five myself, I jump around and dance, and I sing. I let go. I release. My words have never been more powerful to me then those that I've found from the deepest parts of me. That’s something you can also achieve with this practice.
This technique was offered to me about 6 years ago now by my Freshmen English teacher. She was a writer herself, and practiced the principles of The Artist’s Way. It was the first thing we did when the class started, we all took out our required college rule notebooks, our pens, and for three of those college rule notebooks we wrote. We were challenged to write outside the margins, challenged to draw a picture, or a giant letter Z, it didn’t matter, what mattered was that you listened, to You. I’ve since continued this process.
Though grammar, spelling, or formatting doesn’t really improve, what improves the most is a trust within your words, an understanding that you are trying to communicate and that’s relevant. Whether that’s to yourself or to someone else, it’s how You communicate. Last time I checked I’ve fully filled out 6 different college rule notebooks, which turned out to be about 2,000 pages or so, I’ve since moved to an online database, and haven’t really slowed down. I imagine I could easily fit 10,000 college rule notebook pages. My database of writing is immense, I’m now, unfortunately, in need of beginning the process of organizing those notes. That’s a whole other project for another day.
As great as all of my work sounds, what I’ve found out from doing this has been what I want to lead to, for you. It’s that you’re communicating. Redundant, sure, but purposeful, let’s expand. Do you ever really communicate with yourself on a day to day basis? Do you get the chance to have a real, relevant, caring, and empathetic conversation with You? A lot of people do not have this opportunity, or haven’t had the opportunity to learn the pleasure of doing so. Life is hard, and sometimes you need a friend, who’s the closest person that you can chat to? Yea, it’s yourself, call me crazy, but I am my own best friend. We’re able to tackle some of the most difficult questions in life together, because we communicate. All of my healing can be found within my morning pages. Every time I’ve made a mistake in life, I’ve found my way towards learning from it through communicating through it. You’ll find all the heartbreaks, all the mess, all the pain, but then, you'll find all the healing, the growth, and all the love. It’s all there, and it’s all me. Or, was me, rather, but proof of my journey to get to where I am now, and the joy of that path.
I cannot say the morning pages are going to offer all of this, or maybe it won’t offer you any of this. I do believe that the morning pages can change you for the better, and offer you insight to You, which I find to be an incredible, and invaluable asset. I’ll continue on, will you join me?
Thank you for reading this blog. My goal is to inspire and to encourage development, intentionality, and innate ability within my audience. It would be very helpful to me if you could comment a part of this blog that stuck out to you. My goal is to better communicate to You, the reader, all of the things that I’ve found useful/life changing. Let’s adapt together.