April 17, 2010

Possible Cure for Writer's Block?

First off, a quick announcement! I've been writing a lot about Holly's How to Revise Your Novel class, but I know the price can be a deterrent. SO she's offering a 7-day Crash Revision course for $5!! The link is here, if you're interested.

Now. Down to business.
Julia Cameron, author of the bestseller, The Artist Way, has a tool for overcoming writer’s block that I'd like to try: Morning Pages. I heard about the method from Jennifer Blanchard. She explains the process in detail here, but I'll summarize:

Every morning when you wake up, before you do anything else, you write 3 pages. Hand-written, stream-of-consciousness... whatever is on your mind, write it out. Usually my mornings start off with "oh my goodness I have so much to do today, where do I start?". So I would write that down.

The beauty of this process is that you turn off your inner editor. This is stream-of-consciousness writing, so anything goes, it doesn't have to be "right" or "perfect" or even nice. You write whatever is on your brain. This process will tap into your Muse, giving it a chance to pour out creativity without having to battle the ever-editing left brain.

And apparently, all that stuff that you worry about, all those negative thoughts, will be voiced first thing in the morning, helping you to move past them and have a more productive, more positive day. (Who couldn't use that?)

  • Place a notebook and pen/pencil by your bed.
  • First thing when you wake up in the morning, grab your notebook and write 3 pages. Whatever comes to your mind.  
  • Don’t do anything else until you write your pages. In fact, you might as well just sit in bed and write them.  
  • Once you’ve finished three pages, close your notebook and get started with your day.

 Simple enough. I want to try it. 
Now, I'm not a morning person. Never have been. So giving up some of my precious sleep time will be difficult at first, but I'm sure it'll pay off. And it'll probably help me get onto a more consistent sleeping schedule, which I've been meaning to do for a while.
After two weeks, I'll report back and let you know how it's working. Now... where to find a blank notebook...


Kerryn Angell said...

I'll be really interested to see how you find the morning pages. I've just started reading The Artist's Way and have also never been a morning person.

Rabia said...

I tried morning pages way back when, but like you, I'm not a morning person (my kids have to pry me from bed with their hungry whimpers!). Good luck with it!

Unknown said...

Interestingly enough, I haven't had any problems in the morning yet. I'm not sure why. It takes about 15 minutes and I make sure I get to bed a little earlier. So I just give up a little tv time in the evenings. So far, it hasn't been much of a sacrifice. We'll see how long this lasts.

The Procrastinating Writer said...

Thanks for sharing this method with your readers! I am a huge advocate for it because it's helped me focus and clear my mind/life (I just posted results from my two-week Morning Pages experiment here: http://procrastinatingwritersblog.com/2010/04/morning-pages-an-experiment/).

I think the best part about Morning Pages is that they really do help you move past the things that hold you back, in life and in your writing. I wish you all luck as you embark on your Morning Pages journey!

Unknown said...

Thanks! Even after a few days, I'm already noticing everything clearing up. I can't wait to see what happens after two weeks!

Rabia said...

You're making me want to try morning pages again!

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