Every morning I loosely follow Julia Cameron’s advice from “The Artist’s Way” (which happens to be the same as most other authors I admire), by making the first thing I do is write at least three pages without thinking. Okay, actually, the first thing I do is clean up puppy mess, take a shower, make coffee, etc. Then I sit down and open my spiral notebook and write.
Usually it’s just a ‘brain dump.’ For example. “I have three loads of laundry that need to be put away, but I’m too tired and I don’t want to go to work today and the kids are stressing me out, but ooh the early morning sun is so beautiful and I suddenly have the energy to rule the world and be a patient person and make a difference and go the extra mile and geesh I’m so tired, I should have slept in 20 more minutes instead of getting up at 5am, and maybe I should have showered after all, but the thought of drying my hair…”
You get the picture.
But every so often, and I’m talking *maybe* once a month, there’s nothing in my brain to dump. Perhaps I’ve had a relaxing weekend. My to-do list at work is manageable, a huge catering event behind me. My husband helped me with chores, making my housework less of a burden. The kids have been sweet and loving. I got to go shopping. Whatever the case may be, it’s always such a surprising morning when I have nothing to “say.”
Then I’m free to write. Really write. As in, put two thoughts together that connect, with sentences that please me. It’s a little overwhelming at first. Mixed in between each thought might be another thought feeling like a fraud, feeling stupid, wishing my projects were already finished and that I was in the middle of a book tour. But then, when I’m finished, I look back and see the tiniest whisper of a story or poem.
Who needs caffeine when I have a whisper of a poem swirling about my head!? It’s enough to get me through the toughest of days, the thickest of brain fog.
I had a bit of encouragement this weekend, when I found out The Gotham Writer’s Workshop cited a tweet of mine as a good way to write micro-fiction. They may have well as told me that I just won the lottery, it was that exciting to come across. It may have been what helped me in this morning’s writing session.
These rare days when I feel the dots are connecting, that a tweet here and a blog post there and a journal entry over there are starting to compile a portfolio, well, they are some of the best days I could ask for in terms of my creative goals. Every page is one step closer to a finished book.