Colleen’s Second Rule for Writing

Morning pages. Have you heard of them? Are you already doing them? Or, perhaps you want to know more?

I was first introduced to morning pages by my first creative writing teacher, Tobin Elliott, author of The Wrong, Vanishing Hope and more. Please visit his site here. It’s an exercise to get the gunk out so that you don’t put your personal baggage into your novel.

He also suggested that I pick up the book The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron – a fabulous book about writing that I prefer to peruse rather than sit down and read all at once. It gets me writing pretty much right away. So, I keep it on my bookshelf and take it down and use it, then shelve it, then use it again.

It’s suggested that as soon as you get up in the morning that you spill your guts out onto three pages. You can do that in a notebook by freehand – I have journals for this purpose. Or you can visit a site called here so you can get the crap out of your head online alongside a community of people. No worries, I don’t get to read your brain farts.

I actually don’t stick to the rule of morning pages. It’s kind of like morning sickness to me. When I was pregnant, I was sick 24/7 for 10 months. When I had severe morning sickness, called hyperemesis gravidarum, I learned that my pregnancy was in fact 10 whole months long. I digress. So, kind of like morning sickness when I was sick at any time of the day or night, I prefer to write my pages any time of the day or night.

And the neat thing about writing down the stuff that’s clouding up my head is that it refreshes me and allows me to better focus on my story for the day.

And days when I’ve missed morning pages, I have been known to write my nonsensical first world problems into my WIP, all of my characters get angry and whiny, and complaining is my main character’s mission – and it has nought to do with the story line. No one wants to read about my problems.

So get the gunky out and write three pages, or 750 words and spill your guts, or if your brain is blank, like sometimes mine is, I have been known to write for the sake of writing.

I don’t know what to write. Today I am so bored. No thoughts here. Nobody home.

Yeah, but it gets even the mundane out, because why would I want to bring the mundane into my writing as well?

Blogging tip for today: Check your links and see it they’re still working.

Next week: I’ll be blogging about The Good King, a Christmas story by Dale R. Long.



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