Thoughts on Daily Pages

So, first of all, I haven’t read The Artist’s Way. I do have another book by Julia Cameron called The Right to Write which I occasionally skim when I’m feeling blocked, so I am familiar with the idea of Daily Pages. It’s a simple enough routine–first thing in the morning, you write three longhand pages saying whatever is on your groggy mind. I have been meaning to give that a try for a long time now, but I was just too lazy to commit to it.

Well, I have finally decided to stop listening to my own excuses and just give it a try. I mean, it’s not like I have anything to lose. It gives me a great excuse to indulge in pens and paper, which is cool. I’ve got this nice new notebook from a Spanish company, Miquelrius (it’s decently priced and has these sweet rainbow-colored margins) and all these comfy, lovely gel pens. What’s not to like? So, for the last three days or so, I have been doing my Daily Pages in the morning. BTW, I am finding myself much more attracted to gel pens and spiral bound notebooks than I am to my beautiful fountain pen and Moleskines.  I guess I just feel more comfortable jotting stuff, crossing out, and generally being rough and messy with writing tools that aren’t so exquisite. Go figure.

So far, so good. It’s been really useful, actually, in terms of getting myself sort of unblocked for the day. For example, this morning, I really didn’t feel like writing at all, not because I felt drained or anything, but because I didn’t really know what I was going to write about. During my Daily Pages, I ended up outlining the next few scenes, giving myself at least two more days worth of material. Bye bye, writer’s block.

So far, the benefits have certainly outweighed the (very minor) inconveniences. For me, at least, there’s always just a little bit of trepidation before I start writing for the day, the way someone might get a little nervous before a tough work-out or something. Like, I’m excited to feel the eventual high that getting into a scene or a character will give me, but I’m certainly not looking forward to burning through the first few aggravating paragraphs. The Daily Pages help with that transition a little bit, since my brain is already in writing mode.


4 Responses

  1. I did morning pages faithfully for about 6 months…although I actually didn’t consider myself as a ‘writer’ back then. They helped a lot. I haven’t gone back and re-read them however (although Cameron suggests this) as there was some pretty heavy emotional stuff going on. But they must have done something – the picture book I’ve had accepted for publication came directly out of my morning pages. And I love the Artist’s Way – only ever got up to chapter 8 but I got so much out of it. Definitely worth working through. Good luck!!

  2. Thanks! And congrats on the picture book 🙂

  3. Thanks 🙂 However, it’s not coming out any time soon unfortunately. It was accepted in April 08 but due to a variety of reasons (like their illustrator having a baby) progress was slow. I’ve seen concept drawings etc, but found out late last year that things have stalled due to the economic downturn. It’s still on their publishing list, but it’s not a priority – have no idea when it will be out now 😦 They are actually a therapeutic tools publisher for social workers/counsellors etc and their main business is through therapeutic card sets. Publishing was a lovely aside. I’m just sitting tight and hoping things eventually turn around. I still think they’re the perfect publisher for it so I’ll just try and be patient!! It was a downer though…

  4. Wow, that sounds like real disappointment. Still, it would be better to have the book published under a company that’s the right fit, I’m sure. I hope things turn in your favor soon, though!

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