Write Morning Pages

This month I’m participating in the A to Z Challenge, blogging every day of the month of April, except Sundays, on a topic from A to Z. I’m posting short-form topics meant to get you talking and sharing! Join the discussion in the comments.

Remember a few days ago, I posted about Julia Cameron’s book The Artist’s Way and how she was encouraging creators to write morning pages? (If you missed it, here it is.) I was skeptical about how I would fit another thing in to my already seemingly packed days.

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But the next morning when I woke, the first thing I did was get out my notebook and write those three pages. I used to write longhand a lot. I’ve switched to typing on my laptop lately. I’ve missed longhand more than I knew. It’s different. It’s slower. It’s relaxed. It forces you to sit there, with just a notebook, with no frenetic computer energy or need to fill the page, just the page and the lines and the pen and your hand. It feels like meditation, compared to typing.

I went from my morning pages to doing the dishes to writing fiction to writing my book about how to write a novel. I felt like a human. I didn’t feel so rushed or nervous or like I had to prove my value, like I had to make up for having been born, pull my weight for the day. Instead I was able to focus on the fact that I do this stuff because I like it. Because I want to.

There is no duty here, only love. Only joy.

Do you write longhand? Have you tried morning pages? I used to read the blog of a writer (I think it was fantasy author Elizabeth Bear) who referred to her constant need to be productive as the “guilt gorilla” — what tactics do you use to assuage your guilt gorilla? What makes you feel more human in your creative practice?

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