Thursday, September 30, 2010

The Morning Pages

Thoughtful Thursdays

Copyright 2010 Valerie Jones

“A mind too active is no mind at all.” ~ Theodore Roethke

Morning pages are something I have come to respect. They helped me on my journey to unblocking my creativity.

Morning pages are three pages of writing in longhand. No computers allowed. Morning pages are not in journal form but rather stream-lining what your mind is telling you. “Oh, I hate to get up. I want to sleep. The dog wants outside. Blah, blah, blah and so on.” You don’t even have to spell correctly or write neatly. Just write. If you can’t think of anything to write, write that you can’t think of anything to write. The words will come.

Write the first thing in the morning before the day starts.

As Julia Cameron states in The Artist's Way, “All that angry, whiny, petty stuff that you write down in the morning stands between you and your creativity. Worrying about the job, the laundry, the funny knock in the care, the weird look someone gave you – this stuff eddies through our subconscious and muddies our lives. Get it on the page. We write to get to the other side.”

“Even if we look like functioning artists to the world, we feel we never do enough and what we do isn’t right. We are victims of our own internalized perfectionist, a nasty internal and external critic, the Censor (satan), who resides in our left brain and keeps up a constant stream of subversive remarks that are often disguised as the truth. The Censor says wonderful thinks like: ‘You call that writing? What a joke. You can’t even punctuate. If you haven’t done it by now you never will. You can’t even spell. What makes you think you can be creative?’”

“Make this a rule: always remember that your Censor’s negative opinions are not the truth. Make no mistake: the Censor is out to get you.”

“Draw your Censor. If a serpent doesn’t appeal to you, you might want to find a food cartoon image of your Censor, maybe the shark from Jaws, and put an X through it. Post it where you tend to write or paint. Just making the Censor into the nasty, clever little character that it is begins to pry loose some of its power over you and your creativity.”

“Beyond the reach of the Censor’s babble we find our own quiet center, the place where we hear the still, small voice that is at once our creator’s and our own.”

Have you heard that still, small voice? I have…It can be found in the morning pages.

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