Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Getting the Gunk Out

I've started doing Morning Pages again.  In The Artist's Way, Julia Cameron defines Morning Pages as "...three pages of longhand writing, strictly stream-of-consciousness . . . They might also, more ingloriously, be called brain drain, since that is one of their main functions."

I call it "getting the gunk out."  I try to get on the page all the stuff that's clogging up my brain - anxieties, fears, worries.  It's all the stuff that's dulling down my imagination.  It's the stuff that makes me feel like I'm slogging through uninspired muck.

I'm not sure if it's helping, but it's definitely not hurting anything.  Do any of you do Morning Pages?  Or do you have another system for caring for your creativity?  How do you put the verve back in your verbs, the nuance back in your nouns, the sizzle back in your stories?  (I know, sizzling stories?  See, I told you I need help.)   


  1. Hi Madeline,
    Morning pages is a great idea. I don't do that, but this week someone in my critique group mentioned that she keeps a dream journal and jots down her thoughts as soon as she wakes up in the morning. That gets her creative flowing.
    Maybe I should try it.

  2. Thanks, Donna! I like that idea. I sometimes remember bits and pieces of my dreams (rarely the whole thing) and/or how they made me feel. All those tidbits tied up together might turn into something interesting...

  3. Morning pages...would be lovely. However, I have a household to get up and moving every morning. Teen-waking is challenging enough. :)

    To switch things up, I tend to try a different form. If I'm stuck in a novel, maybe a side trip with a short story helps me get back. Sometimes, it's poetry or taking pictures. Reading great authors always helps. Best of luck!

    P.S. I signed up for NaNoWriMo and would like to know your username so I can be your buddy? *shakes pom-poms and then, well, kicks leg awkwardly knocking over my glass of tea*

  4. Thanks, Stacy. The Morning Pages are working pretty well so far, but I can use all the good ideas I can get! :)

    We can definitely be NaNo buddies - I'm Wrtrgrl, and I know you're using your name, right? I haven't spent too much time over there lately - got to get moving!