Brain Dump

For a few months now, I’ve been writing “morning pages,” a concept introduced by author Julia Cameron In her book, The Artist’s Way. Basically it involves filling three pages of a journal each day upon first awakening with “stream of consciousness” writing, moving your pen (or pencil or crayon) nonstop to record whatever pops into your mind.

artists wayMorning pages are intended to circumvent the “inner critic,” that voice inside your head that judges and picks apart whatever you think or do.

If you listen to your inner critic and believe all the negativity it tries to heap on you, eventually your creativity gets blocked, and you couldn’t write a decent sentence or draw a decent picture or perform a decent free form interpretive dance – or whatever your creative bent is – if your life depended on it.

Cameron recommends that you don’t go back and read what you’ve written in your journal so you won’t be tempted to edit or censor yourself.

You know how as soon as you’re told not to do something that’s exactly the thing you want to do? Okay, maybe that’s just me. And most five year olds. But of course I just had to reread my journal entries.

I’ve culled a few of my thoughts to share with you. If you are a psychiatrist who’s reading this, feel free to list your diagnoses of my mental state in the comments below. Or not.

Here’s a sampling of my journal entries:

It’s funny how old sayings get truncated and then end up making no sense. “Sweating like a pig.” “Happy as a clam.” Then you can’t remember how they’re supposed to go. Am I sweating like a pig at high tide, or am I happy as a clam in a butcher’s shop? Maybe I should just clam up and stop sweating it.

spacer pencilI’m still curious as to why birds don’t interbreed. You know, like a hawk and a rooster. You’d end up with a hawk-a-doodle.

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I set a couple of goals for yesterday, maybe more, and at first I totally forgot about them. Then I remembered that I had set them, but couldn’t remember what they were.

spacer pencil
If something is misspelled is there really such a thing as misspelling it worse?

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Birds probably don’t dwell on rejection.

spacer pencil
Who knew ampersands could be so interesting?

I had it figured out once, but then I got confused again. That happens a lot. Well, maybe not. Just sometimes. I don’t know… I’m so confused.

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I sure have a lot of things to not worry about. That worries me.

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I bet doggie heaven has lots of things to bark at. And smelly things to roll in. And it’s probably right next to kitty heaven so the dogs can sneak over there and eat cat poop. ‘Cuz they sure do love to do that!

Surprisingly, rereading my journal has not invoked that critical voice in my head. In fact, my inner critic seems to just be shaking its head, with that “I don’t even know where to begin” look of dismay.

For once, my inner critic is speechless. Maybe I’ll go do my interpretive dance now.

About Maggie C

Stained glass artist, writer, respecter of life.
This entry was posted in humanity, humor and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to Brain Dump

  1. barbtaub says:

    I came over from Suzie’s blog for a visit. Love the idea of a morning brain dump, but in my case I’d just be writing “caffeine” over and over and over…

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I think I would follow the advice and not read the entries. However, if my entries were like yours, I’d change my mind. They are all doorways to wonderful things.


  3. Heather says:

    This is the greatest! Hawk-a-doodle??? Please fill a few journals and get them published. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I won’t say that I’m going to save this technique for when I’m REALLY stuck (well, I just did), but in any case thank you for it and the bits you let us see.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Maggie C says:

      Part of the concept is that it blocks the censor, but it also helps flush out the detritus that your mind has been collecting. Cameron says that often (usually?) the first two pages are nonsense, but they are necessary to get to the gold that sometimes comes out in the third page. I dunno… it’s a fun thing to do as I drink my morning coffee. Thanks for commenting!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Doug says:

    You’ll never be able to find hors d’oeuvres in the dictionary if you don’t know it has an “H” in front, unless you drop some in the dictionary while you’re eating some — they tend to fall on their correct entry. Missspellling is an art form and some spellers can conjure up demons if they’re not careful especially when just waking up from a dreamp. Some misspellings are much worse than others like for instance… um, I’m looking it up…don’t see it

    Liked by 1 person

  6. GirlAstray says:

    Hahaha finally a clever, funny blog! I was starting to think that everyone is just writing (mostly bad) poetry, meditating and dropping golden wisdoms at every step…really enjoy it, where´s the follow button gone…?

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Funny Maggie-
    I bought that book years ago … it followed a failed attempt at the book How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci… both are collecting dust in my library… get taken out once in a while and put back.

    I get impatient with handwriting when my hand won’t keep up with my thoughts… I missed the point, but find much more inspiration and spontaneity with blogging. It’s nice to have an interactive journal.

    Anyway, that’s my spin-

    Liked by 1 person

    • Maggie C says:

      I’ve got the Da Vinci book, too! And like you, I pull it out every now and again. I enjoy the morning pages when I actually do them first thing in the morning. It’s kind of a meditation. But I usually get derailed by an impatient dog demanding a walk.

      Liked by 1 person

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