Sunday, March 13, 2011

I'm a Failure as a Morning Person

It's confession time -- and I am the only artist out there with this confession, apparently. I owned Julia Cameron's book The Artist's Way. I thought her habit of writing "Morning Pages" was a way cool idea. I tried it, and made it through about one day. A raise of hands, please, how many of you out there embrace morning pages, write their three pages a day, and are consistent with it day after day?

How many of you have stacks and stacks of completed morning pages or filled books? How many of you want to keep those pages forever or throw them away or shred them to create art?

Sorry, I just couldn't do it. Do I write in a journal? Absolutely, and I've written in about ten in the past year, grouped by subject. But I just can't do it as an assignment. I think that's the problem with me. I have so many things on my daily to-do list, I can't add another one "just for fun." I can write in my journal, when I feel like it, which is quite often, but not on a regular basis. If I'd miss a day, then I'd feel guilt, and I can't add more homework or guilt to my life.

So all you wonderful, disciplined artists and writers: keep writing in your regular, same way, and I'll keep writing randomly in my short-attention-span way. We all make the world go around.

Last month, after many years of sitting on my shelf, I finally gave up forever and gave the book to Goodwill. I know where you can get a copy real cheap.


Kim Mailhot said...

When I did it , I did three short pages more like one full page in a notebook. And I think it did do me good, but yes, I did skip some days.
I did get a huge amount of creative juices and confidence in my own artistic abilities through the process of the book though. Maybe you could just do it your own way ? No failure, just adapting it to your style and way of life ?
Whatever you decide, I would say be gentle and compassionate with yourself as you try to make changes for the better. I am trying to learn and apply this big time ! ;)
Have a cozy Sunday !

Melissa said...

I am a morning person....just not a morning pages person! :) I have tried several times but, like you, it felt like punishment not freedom. But there was quite a bit I did get from the dates, just to mention one! So I still have it and pull it out from time to time. But I got my original copy from the Salvation Army thrift shop, so I'm pretty grateful to those who pass it on.

Jess said...

I own this book, too, and I think I got through the first week... never writing more than a page and a half. I just couldn't do it... how many times can you write "blah"? :)

jan avellana said...

hello! i did this for about 6 months, but i was in a group and the support helped tremendously. i found it very general, i tend to be, uh...a bit 'challenged' with routines as a whole, LOL! thank you for stopping by my blog...:)

Eileen Wiedbrauk said...

I feel kind of bashful saying this, but I write morning pages 4-7 days a week and have for the past year and a half. I don't do it if I have to teach in the morning, but otherwise I make time to write before anything ... except coffee. Coffee comes first. Always. Morning pages/artists way were a big part of me realizing I was making art as a writer, but it wasn't the kind of writing I liked and eventually I gave myself permission to do what I liked even if it wasn't popular with those around me.

I find that if I go more than two days w/o writing morning pages, I'm scatter brained, worried, and unable to concentrate. For me, getting it all down on the page is a bit like freeing up extra RAM for my computer.

Arlee Bird said...

I tend to rise early, but I don't write other than the comments on blogs. My writing usually happens in the afternoon or at night.

Thanks for putting the A to Z badge in your sidebar. I'll post a Thank You on my blog this Friday.

Tossing It Out

Scarlett Clay said...

Same here! I haven't read the book but it sounds like that's just as well. I've never been able to get into the journaling thing, even though I really like looking at other people's.
Thanks for stopping by earlier :)