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Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Today's Morning Pages

Morning Pages (also called Author pages) is a concept I first heard about in Julia Cameron's book, The Artist's Way. The concept per Cameron's book is that you spend some time free writing before you get to your actual writing. I tried it years ago and while I liked the concept (I talked about it on my blog back in 2007--here's the first post), I found that I would spend so much time with my morning pages that I struggled to find the time for my current WIP. I stopped doing it, went on to do many fabulous things, and then came back to it of sorts after a blog post I can't find now where a woman talked about writing about what she was about to write before she wrote it. She found that it clarified her thoughts and helped her focus, kind of brainstorming, kind of outlining, kind of therapeutic. So I tried and I loved it. These days, if I feel the smallest amount of reluctance when I sit down to write (about 85% of the time) I will spend a few minutes writing about how I feel about my writing and what I need to focus on. So, for no reason what so ever, I decided to type today's morning pages into my blog. For posterity sake, of course.

July 17, 2013

I made such great progress at first and then hit a wall. Not with ideas--just life. It's summer which means the kids are home and un-routined. I feel guilty leaving them and it seems I am always leaving. I hate it so much. I also had some edits and two rounds of Galleys for Rocky Road. We went to Jacob Lake to see Nanna {that's my oldest daughter who is working near the Grand Canyon for the summer} and the annual Teen conference. On top of that I've been working on organizing the upstairs study and my home office. There is just so much. My grand plan of writing 3 days a week this summer has become a not-so-funny joke. I have written almost nothing for 3 weeks. I'm rather pissed about it. If not for writing group I would be writing nothing at all--but writing group leads to editing which triggers my "This books sucks" and creates doubt about the excitement I had about this outline and the story. I'm already deviating from my outline which stresses me out. I feel like I need to rewrite my outline but that takes me away from writing the book and I wanted to have a first draft done by August. Argh! I am so tired of feeling the continual stress of a story and a deadline. I don't enjoy writing when it's all wrapped up in anxiety. I so want to enjoy it. I did for awhile--the outline was magical. I need to recapture that and I'm hoping to do so this week at the writing retreat the weekend. If I can update my outline and fix my current chapter I think I can get a ton done. I have today to prep for it. Stress!

I have an hour right now to get this chapter ready for writing group. I love the shoe scene but it isn't plot. I need to make it plot and I need to get right to Sadie calling Next Faces. I need to skip the Ji background stuff--we have enough of that already. It needs to be tight and the action and the questions need to be ramping up.

I'm on it

**I did fix that chapter, cut the shoe scene for now and cut some of the background. I presented it to my writing group who gave me great feedback and then I spent 2 1/2 hours rewriting that scene. I'm happy enough with it now to move forward in the story. Expecting great things at the retreat.


4 comments:

Stephanie Humphreys said...

I feel the same way about summer. All the scheduled writing time seems to disappear into family time, which is usually much more enjoyable. I love the idea of writing about what you are going to write for the day. I'm going to give it a try and see if it helps my writing. (Can't wait for Rocky Road!)

Nancy Campbell Allen said...

Love this post, Josi. I think using the Morning Pages to write about writing itself, or the current WIP is a great idea. And I'm going to hijack it. Writing is hard. Or, check that, writing WELL is hard. It takes so much work but in the end, it's a beautiful thing. Thanks for sharing!

Curtis Moser said...

Ugh...lately I can't even seem to write a single predicate, which is a problem seeing as I'm trying to be a writer.

Heather Moore said...

I don't know why I continue to think I can write during the summer. I hardly ever do, and then I'm frustrated. I should just realign my expectations. Also, I love this idea of Morning Pages. I hardly blog anymore... maybe it will jumpstart something.