Monday, December 6, 2010

new favorite thing

Please forgive me if my sentences make no sense today. I had a cahrazy weekend, which included Honey's birthday, on which I barely saw him.  It was a good weekend, a celebratory weekend, but I have been having a cold coming on for a few days, and I think it hit me full force today, when I can finally rest, while catching up and critiquing two manuscripts for tomorrow's writing group, that is. How's that for a run-on?

Oh, and for some unknown reason, Captain Comic has decided that somewhere between 3am and 4:30am is primo wakeup and run back and forth with lights on and doors slamming time.

Anyway, in time for the December challenge, one of my old writing friends from my Boston days turned me on to a new writing tool. It works like Julie Cameron's Morning Pages from The Artist's Way, but it's online. It's typed.  It's private, and you can let your mind wander for 750 words, the equivalent of three pages. And you don't have to find that notebook or pen. I think most of us are sitting in front of a screen these days anyway, right? And it gives me a community of people who are also writing, whether or not I make any more of a connection beyond just knowing they are out there somewhere doing the same thing.

I am a horrible typist.  It takes me about twenty minutes per day to meet the 750, averaging about 35-40 words a minute. all typos are left in place.  I try not to go back and correct. I don't think about what I'm writing, I just let the garbage fall out of my brain through my fingers tips and up onto the screen.

Usually about three quarters of the way in, I hit my stride and there's at least a phrase if not an idea that I like or that I can work with in something else, later.

Here's the thing:

When the boys were younger, and I was single and working three part time jobs to support them, when I woke up in the morning, I put the baby gate across the kitchen doorway of our little condo, got the coffee started, and while it brewed, I started my morning pages with pen and notebook amidst the dulcet tones of Captain Comic hanging on the opposite side of the gate, rattling it and screaming for my attention, Mr. Cynic momming me, and the themes of Blues Clues or Bob the Builder running from the tv in the background.  After a few months, they got that I was not going to give them the time of day during "Mommy's morning pages"

And that's when I started writing my almost finished editing this draft manuscript - later in the day, somewhere between job number one and the first school bus arrival, I had thirty minutes  in which I wrote the first thirty or so pages of this book. But I was only productive on that if I had been productive earlier by getting through the mess of my daily concerns to hit the subconscious, where the better writing sprung from, like an underground spring of fresh water.  First I had to clear away the mud.

So why have I not been writing or editing what I really want to be working on lately?

I think the key is in these morning pages. I think it's in getting the garbage out of my head. It only takes me twenty minutes, so why not?  Here I am, doing it online.  And this site has some interesting tools to help you see what mood you're writing in, for instance.  Or what words you repeat, or what senses you are using, and how dominantly you write in one over another. It also has a healthy dose of competition that fuels some of us to write. For me it's much needed accountability.

I highly recommend it.

C' know you want to.


  1. Sounds like a cool idea. I'll have to try it some morning when I'm not feeling sick myself!

  2. sorry you're not feeling well...that does not seem like a fun illness to be phasing through!

    i think this is just the sort of tool you would love.

  3. Wow - I am so happy happy happy to have connected with bloggers who link me to WONDERFUL sites. Thank you, Cath, for this 750 Words website. The Artist's Way is my bible as well; like you, it is often difficult to 'fit' that time in (we all know that is Julie Cameron's idea of an excuse, but I beg to differ with her), although I do make daily attempts.. This website seems like a 'good thing' (as someone very famous often says!), and I will be on board with it. Probably after this looming holiday - ha, this is surely an excuse if I ever heard one. I think I will make writing there my New Years Resolution. Happy Birthday to your Hubby. He and I share the same day! I consider birthdays as a Year to Celebrate; let the party begin! (:

  4. yay! but why not start now? ;)

    happy birthday, maria! ihope you have a wonderful year!


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