The Artist’s Way Part Deux is officially underway. “There With You” was born during the first Artist’s Way journey; I’m pretty excited to see what comes from this one. (There’s already an idea brewing. More on that in a bit.)
What I’m not so excited about? Morning Pages.
The philosophy behind Morning Pages – three hand written pages first thing in the morning – is that by writing out whatever is in our heads, we clear out a bunch of mental clutter and go through the day with more focus, clarity and receptiveness. The writing can be anything – a summary of the day before, feelings about something that’s going on, your grocery list, whatever. And if you don’t know what to write, fill three pages with “I don’t know what to write.”
It’s a pain.
I hate getting up half an hour earlier to do them. Usually I feel stupid while I’m writing them (this is probably because I’m generally an incoherent wretch for the first 30 minutes I’m awake). And it feeling like homework doesn’t help, either.
But they work. Dammit.
Full disclosure: I’m going to do Morning Pages in a journal I got for Christmas that’s just been sitting on my shelf. This is probably cheating because I’m pretty sure they’re supposed to be done on regular sized paper. But, I think the most important thing is to do them, right? I’m far more likely not to slack off (which happened last time) if I fill up small pages rather than big ones.
Artist Dates, on the other hand, are fun. They’re solitary outings taken once a week. A long walk in the park, a trip to a museum or gallery, taking some kind of class or even just a visit to a store or coffee shop that you’ve always passed but never been in. Stuff like that. The idea is to shake up your regular routine for a couple of hours a week and to do it all by yourself. It opens your mind. And it also works.
There are a couple of things percolating in my head at the moment – the follow-up to “There With You,” and either a screenplay or novella (depending on how I end up writing it) that’s set in and around a reality TV show. Hopefully by the end of this 12-week course I’ll have the screenplay/novella finished and a rough outline for the next book. Goals, people! It’s good to have ’em. 🙂