Saturday, January 5, 2008

Doing the Blah Blah Blah

I've just started reading The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron. I'm only a few chapters into the book so I can't say too much about it yet. A friend recommended the book to me and it is intriguing -- it is supposed to help unblock creativity, whether you are a writer, an artist, a lawyer, a dancer, a mom. So here I am, living vicariously through friends who are actors & artists & writers, thinking about my sad, lonely poems crumbling to dust in their manila folders in the basement (okay, the poems aren't sad poems, they are just sad to be in the basement) and about the characters that run around in my head, trying to get out & see the light of day. So I think, "Yeah! Go, girl! Unblock your muse, fly, be free!"

So here's the first exercise. Morning pages. Every day get up and write, longhand, 3 pages. It can and probably will be total junk. It doesn't matter if all you write is "I don't know what to write" enough times to fill up 3 pages. Any old BLAH BLAH BLAH. Eventually more words will come. This is a great exercise. My poetry teachers in grad school had similar instructions, and it works. The more you write, the more you WILL write. Julia Cameron says that this particular method works not only for people who want to write, but also for people who are trying to unblock creativity for other venues.

And I believe her, I really do. But Julia, honey, I get up at 5:25 every morning so I can get clean, get 3 kids out the door, and then leave for work. I come home in time to get kids from the bus & help with homework & get dinner on the table. I whisk them off to after dinner activities, or go to yoga to clear my head. Collapse into bed. Start all over. When can I get these 3 pages written? Longhand?

Get up at 5, she says (in my head). You want to do this? You NEED to do this? Then just do it!

Just do it. I sound like a frikkin' Nike ad.

I read through so many lovely blogs when I can -- usually in the last hour or so before conking out (like right now). I wonder how some moms can organize their lives to write as often as they do... to distill their days into lovely bits so easily... Are they all up, pre dawn-crack, writing morning pages? Julia sez that if I'm feeling jealous, then I probably need to unblock.

Today I am trying to decide what is more important to me at this moment. That last half hour of sleep, or sandblasting the clogged creative passages. Living with envy or without sleep. I don't have an answer yet.

BLAH BLAH BLAH. Is this 3 pages yet?


Sister-in-law said...

Don't be too hard on yourself. After all, look how productive you've been with your blogging since you've been home--on top of work, managing Daniel's conditions, etc. Besides, other than Danielle Steele, who writes in longhand anymore?

Btw, Ida hates "frikkin". She made a comment when Kevin said it, adding that she heard Kathy say it too and that she didn't like it. Of course, I inadvertently said it about ten minutes later! Oops.

Naomi said...

Frikkin! Frikkin!!!!

in search of balance said...

I keep thinking I've commented on this, but obviously I haven't, so here goes.

1. GOOD FOR YOU. Really. This is cool! I hope you'll share more of your writing as you go along in the creative process. I love writing and find I do best when I have a goal, so I've set myself the goal of writing and submitting 6 short stories this year. I'm about done with the first one.

2. Longhand? What's that? *cough*

3. I agree, the more you write, the easier it is. And hopefully, the better

4. I'm still really excited that you're doing this, and I hope to see many more creativity entries from you! Yay!