If you’re a writer, have you ever found this to be so? For me, it doesn’t even have to be a “good” writing day, when everything sort of comes together perfectly in the way I imagined it. Simply having that hour or two to sit with the pen and notebook and scribble a few things down will do.
Julia Cameron is a writer and writing teacher who wrote The Artist’s Way, a book I read and loved and worked through back in the day. One of her methods for artists is to write “Morning Pages” everyday, at least three pages by hand in which you simply write whatever comes to your mind. It doesn’t have to be anything special, not fiction or an essay or any kind of “art”. Closer to journalling, I liked to call it “brain drain”. For example:
Feeling crappy today. I want to work on the novel, but who will ever care and why do I bother? I need to call mom, and pick up some milk later. I think M is mad at me, I’m not sure why, but I think it has to do with what I said to her the other day, she took it the wrong way. My head aches, pulsing like a drumbeat. Maybe I’ll call in to work today….
and on and on. Once all that mental clutter is out out of your head, you can get on with the business of writing or making art in whatever way you choose. It’s like lancing a boil. I don’t do this type of writing too much anymore, at least not lately, but I know when it needs to be done.
And when I don’t get that time for myself for writing? If it’s just a day or two, I can handle it. Heads won’t roll. But if life gets in the way for a series of days, and I can’t get to the notebook or the computer, best to stay away from me. I’m in a dark place.
I’m a much happier, healthier person when I’m able to get even those few minutes to myself. When words get written down on paper or typed into the computer, it’s a good writing day.