Last month, I took an on-line course taught by Cynthia Morris, called the Fall Writing Fling. Each day we received a prompt and photo in the mail, along with a “writual blessing.” All we had to do was write for at least fifteen minutes each day for the month.
Happily, I completed all thirty-one days. It wasn’t always easy, and there were days I fitted it in late at night, and even while visiting family. But I love structure, and I love the “follow through.” This was, for me, the checking in with everyone else in the group by posting comments. It was really what I looked forward to, a completion of the creative act of writing. That’s what Pat Schneider of Writing Alone & With Others would say. She believes that the actual writing is only part of the writing task; the sharing of the writing, and receiving a response completes the process. In Cynthia’s class, no one read each other’s work,only post three words to describe the process that day, along with comments on the work. I liked reflecting on whatever it was I wrote, without sharing it.
I found that by the third week, it became a habit, and by the fourth week, I really enjoyed it. It ceased being a task.
A friend wondered what I did with the exercises. I said I threw them away, that they were like practicing scales, but later I realized that I did go back to a couple for insights into the story I was working on.
Practice makes the difference.
Does anyone else keep a regular morning pages sort of practice? What are the effects in your life? Leave a comment!