Mourning Pages

Several years ago I was given a book to read called, “The Artist’s Way.” by Julia Cameron. It was that rarest of things – a book that arrived at exactly the right time. It had such resonance that I had purchased my own copy before I returned the original to its owner.  The author, Julia Cameron knows what it is like to live in two worlds. This is why she urges people like me to write morning pages – not once in a while, but every morning. It is one of the best ways to make sense of what is in my head but I have once again failed to listen. Instead of starting my days with a clear idea of what I choose to do, I have been hanging around knowing that soon my inbox will contain the manuscript from my editor that I will once again have to change. I am really looking forward to this because I know it’s an important step and I will learn so much, but I have filled this once-creative space,  with cleaning, and baking and gardening. “Really?” I asked myself recently, “You would prefer to do this than spend time writing?”  And the answer was a depressing “yes.” It’s not that I have given up on writing but doing these things connects me to a world everyone understands. When I write – or even talk about writing, people struggle with the idea that I want to do something that takes me away from “life” and doesn’t give much in return. “Unless you’re J K Rowling,” they say, knowing no-one they know will ever be that talented. I can keep up my “back-in-the-real-world” routine for (sometimes) months on end; but eventually I am forced to acknowledge the scam. Today  I picked up my now rather worn copy, of “The Artist’s Way.”  In the margin quotes I read, “Every time you don’t follow your inner guidance, you feel a loss of energy, loss of power, a sense of spiritual deadness” (Shakri Gawain.)  I don’t agree with everything Julia Cameron writes but I can’t deny she knows what it is like to displace your true self.

Tomorrow I am writing my morning pages.

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