Miss Pelican's Perch

Looking at my World from a Different Place


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The Daily Examen

Candles in the Dark

I am quite ashamed of myself. I made an agreement with myself that I would become involved with a daily self-assessment practice. My plan was to take a few minutes each day to write in my journal an inventory of my behaviors, both good and bad. If I had been unkind that day or morally failed to step up to the plate in some situation, I would note that in my journal so that I could own it, make an amend if necessary, and in general try to improve myself.

In addition to confessing faults, I would also note those things for which I have gratitude.

I have a roof over my head, food on my plate, clothes on my back, and an income. I live in a place where I am relatively safe, there are people who care for me, and in some small way I am making an impact in the world. I am more fortunate than 99% of the rest of the world.

Yet I consistently fail to state that gratitude for what has been provided to me.

That selfish, self-absorbed, center-of-the-universe attitude — well, I own it. It is mine. And I need to excise it from my life.

One way that I will deal with this is to get back on track with writing a daily examen. Let this be the first entry:

Thank you, Lord, for the opportunity.

Ljg

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Flipping the Switch

As I have stated many times in the past, I think it is vital to a writer’s life that she or he write every day.

Just as doing a cardio workout or a strength-building regimen on a daily basis would keep a person physically healthy, writing every day keeps a writer’s skills toned and in shape.

Writing for a few minutes every day also helps the writer gain insight. That insight can be on anything from the writer’s personal life to the broader world where solutions to social and political problems may find their way into a finished essay.

Sometimes the insight comes slowly. Fragments of thought become words, words develop into plots, characters come to life and stories are born..

Sometimes just putting the first word on the paper will flip a switch and light will suddenly illuminate the imagination.

That being said, once again I give my admonition to write on a regular basis and write often.

 

ljg

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Starting The Artist’s Way, Again

homegirl cafe angelas green potionI was gliding across the blogo-vlogosphere this weekend and I noticed a large number of Creatives are engaging in The Artist’s Way program and posting their reflections and insights on their social media platforms.   (For those readers not familiar with the book/program, please click here for a quick explanation.)

I have attempted to do the program several times,  but I always got bogged down by the author’s meandering and unfocused writing style and would eventually give up the reading.   However, the tools the author insists that Creatives follow in overcoming their expressive blocks and reclaiming the inner Artist have been amazingly useful.   One tool consists of writing “morning pages”, three pages of long hand writing done every morning upon waking.  Even if one is not a writer, this journaling activity helps the Creative break up and move through blockages.     Another tool is the Artist’s Date, a regular activity to stimulate and refresh the creative output.

I was so inspired by what others have been doing with the program that I decided to give it another go.  I went on an Artist’s Date this weekend (see the previous post) and this morning I did Morning Pages writing.    I will try to do the readings and I intend to post my Check-ins each week here.

I don’t have the courage and lack of vulnerability to vlog about my experience, so I will stick to writing about them here.  However, I will enjoy other Creatives’ vlogs, such as this one by Burgess  Taylor.

Later….

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The Natural Process of Handwriting

homegirl cafe angelas green potionAs you can tell from my recent posts, I am big into handwriting notes and plans.   Mind you, when it comes to actually composing an essay or story, I still use a computer (as I am now) for expediency, but when it comes to the organizing, researching, or processing ideas and emotional content into words, I must use pen and paper.

Why is that?  I am not an expert on brain function, but I have enough experience to realize that I retain more when I write.   When I am in a lecture setting, I take copious notes by hand.  However, I rarely keep those notes.  The act of writing forces my brain to remember what I hear.  I see students in the classroom pull out their laptops to take notes.   From what I have heard, their retention of the material is far less than the retention of a student who handwrites notes.

Similarly, I think the physicality of writing by hand parlays itself into the inspiration and development of ideas.  By nature we are tactile creatures.  Paper feels real.  Digital bytes on a screen are not real. Writing by hand takes more effort than typing; therefore, it is more intentional.   I think that conscious, intentional, sensory experience in the creative process draws forth ideas and helps to flesh them out.

This might not be the case for everyone.  I know writers whose ideas come so fast and furiously that they NEED a computer to get it all down.  Hey, whatever works.  If that is your nature, embrace it.   I find creating on the computer to be a bit constraining while on a piece of paper and I can cross out, draw lines to new ideas, engage thought-mapping in a graphic way that I can not accomplish with a computer keyboard.   This is my nature, and I embrace it.

For me, I need my Moleskine and Papermate felt tip.

ljg (c) 2016

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/natural/

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