This morning I started reading “The Artist’s Way” by Julia Cameron (up to the end of week 1), and I have to say I’m really looking forward to the journey of using this book. I first became aware of this book through an article by Mandy Stadtmiller about how morning pages helped to give her career and creativity a big lift, and I figured I’d give it a try.
Having just finished my first actual “book”, not a collection of stories and detritus, I felt like I could actually call myself a writer, but I had massive issues with thinking of an idea and following the idea through to its conclusion. See right there, I stopped midway through my previous thought, to see if I was using the proper wording I wanted. These are the kinds of things that would fuck me up. That, and being distracted by Twitter. But, baby steps. One habit at a time. Hesitation is the habit I’m working on now. I’ll tackle my social media addiction another day.
My new theory is; “I don’t need to write perfectly, I just need to write, and whatever happens, happens.” You know, I had written a shitload of short stories, poetry, letters and other shit, but it wasn’t until I did my first morning papers where I just let shit flow, that I actually can look myself in the mirror and say, “You’re a writer, mother fucker.”
I feel empowered. I know there are going to be a lot of emotions on this journey working with this book, but I don’t think I’ve ever been so optimistic about a journey before. I’ve literally started. Right now.
For example, I have been up for about 3 hours. I’ve literally spent 1 hour with my wife and daughter getting breakfast (coffee and an orange for me) and I have spent the rest writing. I wouldn’t have spent so much time writing because I would always hesitate. I would write specifically to try so hard to develop my voice, that I would forget to just naturally use the one I already had. Granted, it’s an abrasive, “in your face” type style and I’m sure it could use some refinement, but it’s MINE.
I’ve feel better than I have felt in years. I’m at my keyboard smiling like a fucking idiot child who has been given a chemistry set and told, “If you want to burn the fucking house down, it’s okay.” I’m happy. I feel adventurous. I feel like I can do anything. I feel like I can write anything.
The only thing that I’m a bit wary of, is this idea that within the book there are times where I am going to be assaulted by emotions and revelations about myself and the life I lead that is going to prompt me in certain directions that I wouldn’t otherwise take. Such as, what if my morning pages and the revelations dictate that I’m not supposed to be married? What if they dictate that I shouldn’t be a writer at all? What if I’m suppose to not be living in Pennsylvania or Florida or New Jersey? What if they cause this massive upheaval in my life that my family is simply not ready for? IS this part of the ongoing revisionism that comes with being creative, or is it just the natural order of things when you begin to take a shovel to the innermost, cobwebby recesses of your mind? I’m optimistic that this process will produce nothing but amazing results, but I’m scared at the room I’ll have to make in my life as a result of the process itself.
I suppose a certain amount of fear is healthy. In either case, I’m ready for it. I just hope that my life can stand the changes that I know are coming.
Here’s to the revolution, mother fuckers. Cheers.