In Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way, she talks about starting the day with three pages, in long-hand, of stream-of-consciousness writing in order to prime the pump of creativity. Which is all well and good if you have unlimited time. My morning schedule allows time for journaling OR other writing–not both. I love journaling and my “Morning Pages”, as Julia calls them, and I’ve been banging my head on the wall o’ time for years, trying to rush through journaling and still have time for other writing before I have to get ready to go to the job that actually helps pay the bills.
The last three days, I’ve chosen to write blog entries, which makes me feel productive as a writer, but now my brain is starting to feel antsy on the edges because it hasn’t had the freedom of unfettered pencil time. Since my affirmation practice is part of my morning journaling process, no affirmations over the last few days, either. And now I have all the song lyrics about time in my head, just one example of the clutter daily journaling helps clear out.
I pretty much have about an hour each morning. I guess I need to set up an alternating schedule of journaling and blogging/writing so neither side is neglected. Except that I hate strict schedules. Maybe there’s an affirmation for that.
Even though I haven’t been posting here, I have still been writing daily. It is what helps keep me sane (hence the title of the blog). I’ve also been playing with collages as a form of journaling and decided to jazz up my current notebook a little bit. I bought some clear adhesive shelf liner to protect the cover, since my notebooks get knocked around a bit on my desk and in bags with other books and other stuff.
Our lives are so busy nowadays that we rarely stop to think about what we’re thinking. Or even take enough time to actually think what we’re thinking. Thoughts zoom around, competing with television, radio, movies, plus the near- entirety of the world’s knowledge that we can now carry in our pockets and whip out at the first dreaded sign of having a moment’s idle time. Daydreaming, mulling over, ruminating – all take a backseat to the immediacy and retinal overstimulation of Candy Crush and Bejeweled on the playing-card-sized computers we carry around with us. I know it seems like a symbiotic relationship, but I have a secret suspicion our smart phones are more parasitic than beneficial, and may actually be our new digital overlords to whom we have yet to realize our level of enslavement. But I digress.
Unplug. Pick up your writing utensil of choice. (This is mine.) Start writing. Just let the words flow. After a little while, you’ll get to the end of the obvious things in the forefront of your mind. Resist the urge to check Facebook. Or Twitter. Or whatever your electronic crack-du-jour is. Write “I feel…” on the page and then see what your hand writes after it. Do it again. Ten more times. Whenever something you write surprises you, write some more about that. Or maybe “I want…” or “I think…” would be better starters for you. This exercise is for giving yourself time to actually think out the thoughts that sometimes flit away too fast or are constantly preempted by other concerns or distractions. Time to feel the feelings that are too often squashed with chocolate chip cookies and ten more games of Solitaire.
During my writing time this morning, I decided to write out a WANT! list and then rate the items so I could decide what I might purchase next. I discovered that most of the things I wanted to put on my WANT! list weren’t things I could get with money. I discovered that I pretty much have all the stuff I need. What I really want is more time for writing. And realizing that, I can make a plan. And so can you.