I took it seriously, as if I were in a weekly class with Julia, and she did not let me down. The first and most important exercise was to write, to keep a journal called "The Morning Pages": three handwritten pages (for me, single spaced college ruled paper) stream of consciousness ramblings every day before doing anything else. I allowed myself one cup of tea, and in my quiet kitchen I wrote.
Of course it wasn't easy to begin. My first page starts with a whine from deep within the years of stored negativity, self doubt, and fear: "I don't really feel like writing yet. I've got a headache and now my morning routine is broken." Then the flood began. I continued to write those pages every day for at least six months, and then sporadically throughout the next several years.
Their purpose was not to start something new, but to release the negativity and the pain about creative failure from my head and onto the page, so that I could move on to other exercises intended to foster positive action. This writing was not for the eyes of others, and I rarely ever reread what I'd written. It was meant to be a purge. Although, upon revisiting some of those pages ten years on, it is very revealing just how much that purge has taken, how much I've changed since then.
So why publish a journal (in the form of a blog) now? Obviously what I intend to share here will be a different sort of record of self-expression. I feel I have long since come out of the darkness and I'm ready for sharing and feedback of a more supportive and practical nature. Those among you on a similar journey will understand. Hopefully you will follow, comment, and supply links of interest. I'm looking for some of you to become part of my new support team, or what Julia calls "The Sacred Circle". More on that next time.
|The girl on the left always dreamed of becoming an artist|