This is part of my weekly short writing activity series. Just as a reminder, it is a writing exercise that I find can be at least started in a short time period. The goal is to try to get in at least one writing period a day. However, often it must be taken in fits and starts, stealing 10 minutes here, half an hour there, and the like.
Writing Activity #2:
This idea is from Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way program. It’s like journaling but she has guidelines. For example, she suggests writing three pages a day long-hand first thing in the morning and changing blurts (negative self talk) into positive affirmations (statements that see the good in you and/or your abilities). She claims morning pages can help you find your way as you can only complain about something so many days in a row before you are sick of hearing it yourself and become moved to action. She also stipulates that you are not to re-read your morning pages for many months after writing them, though I don’t remember why.
I adapt these ideas to what works best for me. Currently, they’re evening pages as my days mostly start between 5:30 and 6 am and I can’t bear to get up any earlier than I have to right now. As well, they are far from religiously daily. They are “when I remember and when I have the energy pages” for me! I have found there is truth to her claim about becoming moved to action. I often find myself writing goals in my pages. However, I do review them whenever I wish and use them to plan and to brainstorm, sometimes about my life and sometimes for story ideas. I am also big on the affirmation idea. I end my entries with a daily affirmation (written out 5 times) on whatever I’m struggling about that day. For example, “I am a strong writer with many original ideas within me.” Or “I have endless patience for my children and am always calm when interacting with them.” And so on.
Just a note: To be honest, I thought affirmations were hokey at first. But then I caught myself doing negative self-talk about my weight one day while on a walk. I thought, “Heck, let’s try this turn it around into an affirmation idea.” My affirmation that day was something like, “I am a strong, elegant, and fit woman.” I repeated that mantra instead of my negative one for 5 minutes on my walk and I have to tell you, I felt I stood taller and felt more positive about myself after that. Mind you, maybe I’m a prime candidate for the placebo effect too! Whatever, if it works for you, go for it, right?