I often get questions about how to use writing as a tool to help discover your deeper meaning and purpose, or to help uncover what you may be truly longing for.
As a starting point, I always recommend Julia Cameron’s practice of writing Morning Pages.
Morning Pages are three pages of stream of consciousness writing, written long-hand and first thing in the morning.
You write without stopping and without rereading anything you’ve read.
It’s deceptive in its simplicity, yet powerful in what it makes possible.
I recently thought maybe I shouldn’t be writing my Morning Pages in my notebook. The past week’s sessions had been full of mucky thought-spew. Did I really want all that cluttering up my notebook, laying there on those supple pages? For that matter, should I even use my nice pen? Maybe I should move to pencil, to emphasize the transitory, throwaway nature of the whole thing. Julia Cameron suggests writing on a legal pad, but when I considered doing that, I felt morose.
These pages have become integral to my life.
They’ve helped me remember me; they’ve let me glimpse what’s possible.
They’re a jumping off point, an intake of breath before the swell of my day arrives. And I want that experience marked in importance.
I suppose Julia Cameron mayv’e suggested legal pads to encourage the easiness, the low-stakes of it all.
Lord knows, we writers love our notebooks. That first stroke of ink on a fresh, creamy page is filled with reverence. Maybe she wanted to dial it down a bit.
So, for now, I’ll keep racing across the pages in my notebook. Some days my Morning Pages are barely legible; and even if they are, they’re hardly ever worth rereading. They’re mostly filled with lashes of rushed thoughts, incoherent clamors, plaints and pleas, all interspersed with random questions to nonexistent readers.
And yet, every once in a while, I’ll stumble onto something precious when writing them.
Some days the whisper of a new idea will show up, often unbidden and dusty from the torrent of thoughts that fell before it on the page.
On other days, I uncover something deep within, a buried, often surprising, truth about something I’ve been longing for but didn’t realize.
It causes me to step back, if only for a moment, and wonder Where did that come from?
That’s when I remember that writing, and the ongoing practice of writing Morning Pages, opens us up to deep possibility. The possibility of clearing away what’s limiting and small about being human, and the possibility of opening up to the Divine, the source of all creativity, of life.
And so, I keep my pen moving, every morning, and I continue to write, all with the unfailing hope I’ll get to glimpse that possibility AGAIN.