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I've been working with The Artist's Way for eight weeks. The book itself has been helpful to me, even though I don't consider myself "a blocked artist" in her terms, because I'm writing and creating regularly. So the changes may have been a bit less dramatic than her descriptions. Then again, some of her descriptions are a bit dramatic.
Anyways, here's what I like about the morning pages. Firstly, it takes me an hour. I don't love the fact that it takes me a friggin hour to write down three pages of stream of consciousness. I do, however, like that by eight o'clock every day, I've already written for an hour. So if my day is crazy and I can't get to writing, I know that at least I have ticked that particular box.
Secondly, it helps clear my head of all the whiny, anxious, troublesome stuff that sometimes bog me down when I sit down to write something that isn't a stream of consciousness, like this post or a short story or a scene in a novel. I use the morning pages to think about what my day's going to look like, what happened yesterday, all those things that distract me from writing. It doesn't take care of all the distractions, not by a long shot. For instance, as I'm writing this my kids are doing their school work at the same table, occasionally reading to me choice parts of their texts or asking me questions about the feature of persuasive writing.
And finally, I like the morning pages because they help me sort out my thoughts. The other day I was sorting the art supplies with my daughter. We took everything out of the various boxes and put it all on the floor, and then we sorted it out: what we wanted to throw out, what we wanted to keep, and where we wanted to put the stuff we kept. The morning pages are a little bit like taking everything out and putting it on the floor. It's a dump of everything that happens in my mind that morning. Later, if I have time, I can sort through it and see what I want to keep. Most of it gets thrown out because it's whiny and petty stuff, but now and again I have a useful thought which sparks a writing or research session. And for those days, it's totally worth getting up an hour earlier. Of course, if I don't get to a writing session for a long spell, I just have a pile of stuff on the floor which may not be as helpful. But so far it's working.
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