Journaling my Journey
Some years ago when I was feeling very low, my daughter sent me a copy of The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. I started writing ‘morning pages’ as Julia suggested. It was just 3 pages of stream of consciousness words, whatever came into my head. Sometimes, if words just would not come, I drew sketches.
I used to get up very early in the morning anyway as I was finding it difficult to sleep. So before I listened to the radio, read the paper, did Sudoku, filled in a crossword, switched on my computer, or had any distraction or outside input I would write my morning pages. I did this religiously (interesting word) every day for the weeks and months that followed. I did not read the pages back and I did not show them to anyone. In fact if I was really down I would wrap the pages round with Sellotape and hide them in a cupboard, figuratively locking away the pain that was revealing itself on the pages.
The Artist’s Way is of course a 12 week programme for creative discovery and/or recovery. However, apart from the urge to draw little sketches alongside my pages I did not discover any hidden artistic talent during those 12 weeks! Nevertheless, I continued writing my morning pages and taking myself off on ‘artist’s dates’ for another couple of years, and my depression lifted.
In Autumn 2011 I saw an advert for a course at the Isbourne Foundation on “The Artists’s Way”. Knowing how much I had enjoyed following the book, I was intrigued and inspired to sign up, which I did. There I met tutor Dr Lesley O’Neill and joined a small group of women whom I immediately felt connected to. So I read the book again and inspired and encouraged by Lesley and the group, I discovered to my joy that I did have some creative talents. Poetry popped up, Haiku hurtled out. I dabbled in drawing, played with Plasticene, discovered Zentangles, started writing stories, and carried my camera everywhere I went. Now, I wrap my pages in pretty ribbon, not Sellotape, and I save them in a beautiful turquoise box with doves all over it. I now live the Artist’s Way. I am part of a small local community of creative and inspiring women and my life is transformed. With them I am free to be myself and express myself, with no pretensions, no explanations and no alibis required. There are never enough hours in the day for all I want to do. I have several writing projects on the go including newsletters, travelogues, competition entries, children’s stories, my blog, and of course my morning pages. But now I realise that they too are transformed into Journal entries. I realised this after seeing a recommendation for the book “Life’s Companion, Journal Writing as Spiritual Practice” by Christina Baldwin on the New Hampshire Writer’s Group blog www.nhwn.wordpress.com that I follow . I bought the book and look forward to continuing my journey of discovery ~ discovering myself!
- Favorite Writing Books (nhwn.wordpress.com)
- On becoming a writer (paulmdonovan.wordpress.com)
- Morning Pages Challenge (candidconcourse.wordpress.com)
- Have you ever kept a diary? (richlingo.com)
Thank you for stopping by my blog and commenting. Otherwise, there is really no telling how long it would have taken me to run across this book.
I’ve really enjoyed your entry here and find it full of hope. It is inspiring to read of another person (you) rising above their (your) challenges, regardless of what they are, and to know they (you) found a place of happiness full of creativity.
May your creativity continue to flow!
How lovely of you to comment. I find blogging so good – it expands my world and I get to learn so much from other people. It is a source of wonder and encouragement.
I love how you phrased your commitment to the pages ‘religiously’ :)….me, I’ve been backsliding, I’m nocturnal lol but given this is the weekend, I successfully gave 3 pages of stored energy this morning.
Well done Shantelle!! I may have4 exaggerated when I said I never missed a morning!!!!!!
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Thanks for reading my blog – I hope to follow yours and learn from it.