Jentel Day 27: Morning Pages
Step three looks like this: A handmade book by fellow Jentel resident and printmaker Maranda Allbritten, whose work is beautiful, affordable, and well-designed.
In early 2005, about the time I decided to leave teaching full time and pursue the writing life, I took a workshop with poet Mendy Knott in The Artist’s Way. [By the way, her blog has some great advice on revision right now, for you writers out there.] Through her wisdom, motivation, and careful coaching, myself and 5 others in the class worked through the 8-week course book, including the famous “morning pages.”
Morning pages are a ten-minute daily free write where the sky’s the limit. There’s no editing, no going back, no worrying, no critiquing, no goals. It’s just an uncensored time to let the words flow. Even if my thoughts sound like, “I don’t know what to write, I don’t know what to write, I don’t know…” they’re worthy in morning pages.
With the value of this uncensored exercise in mind, I started morning pages today in my new handmade book. I even taped some of my magazine cut outs into the lovely, textured, hand-torn pages.
Step four in life after completion of a manuscript? Who knows what tomorrow will bring! The point here is to break old routines and establish new ones, to rattle my heart and brain enough so that when I come back to fiction again with the focus that I’ve worked so hard for, I’ll be looking through a completely different lens.