Miss Pelican's Perch

Looking at my World from a Different Place


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Day 54: Waking Up

sleepingIt is Day 54 of the quarantine and you would think that with all this time on my hands that I would be a little more productive in my creative output. That has not been the case. I was discussing this creative block with someone yesterday who challenged me to do just one tiny little creative thing each day and see where that leads.  So I decided to get back into doing morning pages in order to wake up, regain my composure as a Creative and to take advantage of the opportunity this quarantine offers.  I certainly don’t plan to post my pages here every day— just this first one to kickstart my process and maybe yours too.

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So, it is May 6, 2020, Day 54 of the Quarantine, about 4:45 in the morning. This is my attempt to get back into doing “morning pages,” three pages of journaling done immediately upon waking. 

The traditional way of doing morning pages is to handwrite them. I’m dictating this into my cell phone because It is too much effort to find a pen and paper and to sit up to write. I want to tell myself that THAT is the reason I am not writing or doing any sort of creating— that i am just too lazy.  But that’s not it.  That’s too easy.   

Last night I was going over some resources I have about journaling and I came across this passage in Natalie Goldberg’s Writing Down Them Bones:  “You must be a great warrior when you contact first thoughts and write from them.”   That is, there is a certain amount of bravery necessary to journal, and I suppose by extension to do anything creative, because you must reach deep down inside yourself and pull things up that haven’t seen the light of day.  Those things are unpleasant and they fight and scratch and kick and do everything possible not to be drug out of their dark holes.  This is scary.  

I can’t think of anything more to say right now except that I notice I’m pretty judgemental. My first thought is that I’m lazy, NowI think it’s because I’m a coward.

This is too much to deal with so early in the morning without coffee, so I think I’ll just get up and go pee now. 

Ljg 2020

 

https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2020/05/06/opportunity/

 

https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2020/05/06/rdp-wednesday-composure/

 


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And What Did You Write Today?

I can be a most undisciplined writer.

Every writer I’ve ever had the pleasure to study has said the same thing: “You’re not a writer unless you write every day” or variations of this.

A couple of wise people I know recently asked if I was journaling.  Yes, I said, but not every day. Not every day.  I felt no judgment from these individuals, but my inner critic, that hideous shrew who takes delight in tormenting me whenever I flex (or don’t flex) my creative muscles, pointed out that I was being lazy and uncommitted to my craft.

Oh, shut up, you old bat.

So last night in an attempt to become motivated, I troweled through the layers of this blog and found a post I wrote last year about how I force myself to write in my creative journal when I don’t really feel like it.  Here’s the gist of that post:

“1) Carry a journal and pen or an electronic device with a note-taking program with you AT ALL TIMES;
2) once a day in the journal or on the device, write one sentence that is an observation of something around you or in your life.  Just one sentence.  It can even be one word;
3) then try for a second sentence;
4) and then a third;
5) and keep writing sentences until no more come.
6) You will end up with at least one sentence a day.  Add them all up and you will have at least 365 sentences.   You will probably end up with a lot more.  It is exponential once you are on a roll.” (3/6/2017)

That being noted and taken to heart, here is what I jotted in my journal last night.  It is not much.  Just words, not even sentences.  But I wrote nevertheless:

“Hot, steamy, my clothes stick to me.  I feel debilitated.  Cold water sliding down my raw, painful throat.  The smoke from the fires.”

So what can be derived from this entry?  First, it has historic or autobiographical purposes:  we’re having a hot summer plagued with wild fires.  Secondly, it is cathartic:  I felt like crap yesterday and I wanted to express that.   Thirdly, and most importantly, there is a lot of fodder here for a creative piece:  an essay on global climate change, the opening words of a love scene in a novel, or perhaps a haibun about summer.  If I expanded in any of these directions, then no doubt more ideas would flow.

So, if you consider yourself a writer, let me ask you this:   what did you write today?  Nothing?  Then get yourself forthwith to the local dollar store, pick up a composition book and a cheap pen,  and get to it.

ljgloyd (c) 2018


Postscript:   I found this video with some good advice on using a journal for your creative writing:

 

Daily Addictions Prompt:  Practice


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Waiting for My Mojo to Come Back

I haven’t posted anything here for about three weeks.  In fact, I haven’t done any creative writing for even longer.     I have a half-written story just hanging there waiting for a conclusion.  It will never be finished at this point, I fear.

I tried doing some written journaling to see if I could get my writing mojo back.  That has dwindled.   My fear is that my creative self has become like a cold bowl of soup — no steam and a bland savor.

I tried some arting and photography.  That’s not working either.    I even tried one of those self-help art books that offer suggestions like drawing your dirty beach towel draped over a chair or painting a picture of your sleeping cat.

Nothing inspires me anymore.

However, lately I have been almost obsessed with physical journals and planners.  I put together a new day planner which I will junk in a few weeks to set up another one for 2016.  Besides that,  I have been spending huge amounts of time disassembling a four-year journal and commonplace book I just finished and redacting it into thematic sections and adding visual elements.

What is that all about?

I think I have an idea.  Perhaps focusing on placing creative elements into a book form is a way of containing and controlling expressions that I may fear to let out to the world with the hope that these elements will morph into something I can let go to the world.    Perhaps it is the physicality of the paper and the ink and the act of coloring, cutting, and gluing that make the act of creation a more real thing to me than just sitting at a computer monitor dealing with the ethereality of bytes and pixels.

Maybe I just need to walk away from it all for a while.  Or maybe I need to plunge into it more to thoroughly explore the explosive elements that think they need to be contained in a hard cover book.

When I get my creative mojo back, I’ll let you know.

A page from the current art journal

A page from the current art journal

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/an-odd-trio/

An Odd Trio