Writing for What?

writing penOver 30 years ago, I started free-form journaling nearly every morning.  Back then, Julia Cameron’s book, The Artist’s Way (which was the hot self-help creative guide) recommended this writing these Morning Pages as part of her program to recover your inner artist.  The secret ingredient in Morning Pages is that you write the stream of consciousness, no thinking please and let whatever shows up find its way to the paper.  Accoutrements like grammar and spelling don’t matter.  Nor does what your inner critic and your conscience disapprove of … it takes some practice but eventually you can shut them down or ignore them, a useful life-skill few of us are taught.

At 78, I have recovered as much of my Inner Artist as I am going to.   I’ve fed several blogs for 13 years, published a short story and written a novel that is unlikely to find its way out of my desk drawer.  I’ve filled several portfolios with watercolors and drawings, and I recovered my oil painting skills long enough to paint my grand dogs.   Between Morning Pages, a little therapy and 30 years in a 12-Step program I think I know myself better than 99.9% for the population.   Years ago, I would have what I called revelations in my writing … some helpful idea or thought about me, about my relationships, about life would just turn up.  These days, revelations rarely appear, and I often wonder waste and hour of my morning on my Pages.  A paragraph from this morning may offer some insight.

Here I am again. What the f–k am I going to write?  Why the hell do I do this??  This is the weirdest thing I do.  So, why do I do it?  There’s almost never a revelation anymore and when God shows up it is in spite of my doubts.  I complain a lot about myself.  Or life.  But at some point in the pages, probably in the second page, it sinks in again.  This is it.  This is the life I get.  I don’t know if there’s a heaven or a hell, or a big family room in the sky.  I want to believe we go on.  To what?  In all the years in my pages and all my seeking, I’ve never found that answer.  But as my Pages end, I’m As it Is Bud again.  Accepting life as it is. As is.  Whining and complaining won’t help, only living will. Not going through the motions but living with passion.  And as I close my notebook, there is a glimmer of God in the sunlight shining through the blinds or the flutter of hungry sparrows around the feeders.  Let the day begin.  I’m ready.

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One Comment on “Writing for What?”

  1. Mike Curatola Says:

    Good one , Bud. Thank you for sharing.

    Sent from my iPhone

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