“I was interested in how you center yourself and clear your head prior to writing. I have had trouble clearing my mind in getting my ideas out. I truly do enjoy writing but it seems like the first 10 to 15 minutes are wasted just trying to figure out how to begin. Any suggestions or hints?”
Okay, here goes. Your first 15 minutes are not wasted.
This is one of my favorite writing techniques. For those who have heard me speak of it, sorry to repeat myself, for those who haven’t, come, get on board.
This technique was coined by Julia Cameron in her book, The Artist Way. It is writing your “Morning Pages.”
Writing Morning Pages is a mind dump.
Morning Pages are an exercise is to write out what’s on your mind, that junk that likes to cycle and recycle.
Morning Pages are those first pages writers used to crumple up and vigorously heave into the wastepaper basket. Now, with the keyboard, we are missing that satisfying crumbling and throwing, and I suppose ripping the paper out of the typewriter has a satisfying ring to it. Using the keyboard is the same sort of writing though, without the throwing or ripping.
Writing your thoughts instead of allowing them to circle allows you to put a period at the end of a sentence. Our fingers get tired of writing the same old thing over and over. That’s punishment, like sending a kid to the blackboard to write out the error of their ways.
So, write for those 15 minutes, all the junk you don’t want anyone to see. Keep them or delete them.
You’ll find that after writing those few minutes, that you have exhausted your mind’s ramble, and something of importance begins to worm its way in.
I look at those pages as a sort of meditation/cleansing. And it tells your muse you mean business.
After I heard that the simple act of writing longhand (cursive) brings forth creativity, I now think we ought to write our morning pages longhand, Probably compose that way as well. But, we probably won’t. It’s easier to type, as I am now doing.
Apparently, there is a mind/brain connection with the act of writing with a pencil or pen. The movement of the arm connects the brain somehow, it is a feedback system.
I believe so strongly in Morning Pages that I think non-writers ought to use them, specifically those individuals who will tell a story, then retell it, then tell it again.
They have a mind loop.
I know they have a need to tell particular stories, for they have some latent emotional impact, often trauma. It’s a sort of Post Traumatic Syndrome. One psychologist commented, “Tell your stories as often as you want, but I think 10 times is enough.”
Put a period at the end of the sentence. Stop.