11 May 2011

Word Count Blogathon Day 11: Relaxed Morning Pages

And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise.  The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt. 
~ Sylvia Plath

The key to Morning Pages is to relax. 

There is no one looking over your shoulder but you.  The point is to free write and get the ink flowing.  I know I’ve said this before, but at least for me, my poor little brain [or psyche] cannot seem to remember!  It stubbornly reverts back to an impossibly high standard that not even Jane Austen could reach!

Writers are human too.  [Although I swear I have ink in my veins instead of blood.]  We hear voices.  Some are good: they are the voices of our characters. Or the voices of supportive friends and family encouraging us to keep writing.  Some are downright evil: the voices of non-supportive friends and family, editors with an axe to grind [thankfully I’ve found those to be a minority!].  But our single worst enemy? 


Our own fears, doubts, negative [and false] self-image.  We are the only obstacle holding us back.  Having lived with this type of harsh self-criticism for much of my life, I have tried various methods to silence them.  And I’ve discovered that I can’t really shut them up.  I need to shut them out.  Hire a second, bigger chorus to sing louder and in more beautiful tones in order to drown them out. 

This is the only way I have attained any peace, any writing sanity.

The alternative is to end up with an office strewn with unfinished manuscripts, half-begun short stories and un-submitted poems.  Oh, we use all sorts of excuses to explain our unfinished business: fear of rejection, haven’t found the right editor, it’s already been said before, etc., etc.  Rejection is indeed difficult to take, and finding the right editor and publisher is key, but there is more than one editor/publisher out there and in this age of self-publishing and blogging, those two excuses fade like dandelions gone to seed.

As for the excuse that it’s already been said before [oh yes, writers think this sometimes!], perhaps it has.  Actually, yes, it has.  But it has never been said with your voice, your heart, your experience.  We are each unique and un-repeatable gifts, with something very valuable to offer the world.  Your voice, your pen – is very much needed.

So get out there and write!

Oremus pro invicem,
~ Mikaela
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