Thanks again, Julia Cameron

Getting back to the blog makes me uneasy. What, after all this time away, do I have to offer? Tea and store-bought macaroons? New words? No, virtual tea’s weak, and the words are never new, just their arrangement. But the way I am as a writer is newish. Here’s what happened.

I read Julia Cameron’s book The Right to Write. And that changed almost everything. For years I’ve done the morning pages as she recommended in The Artist’s Way, but I had gone stale and in the search for a way to regain their power, I kept trying new journals, new pens, old pens, pencils. I was sure that I would find the right tools to please me and let me fall in love again with this early morning affair I have going with language. The fire had died in our romance. Well, Julia taught me a new trick, actually an old trick revamped and a vamp is a good thing in romance, eh? It’s not the tools that make for a good time. It’s the way you use them. I simply switched, at her suggestion, to fullsized pages, and wow! Like a king-sized bed, the page let me relax, unclench my pen and go at it. In ten days I’ve written 61 morning pages, although in truth some of them were afternoon delight.

Not only that, but I have another forty pages of what Julia calls a timeline. And that is pure synchronicity. She says to divide life into five-year chunks and write about whatever comes in each of those segments. About the same time I started this, with no particular reason but the joy of writing, I was granted access to a six-week memoir group that will start this month. And none of this very personal writing feels like wasted time or paper. I’m writing instead of fretting about what to write. The poems still come, I still read stacks of books, and spend time with friends. Life is full and I am grateful. Thanks, Julia.

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