I overslept this morning, waking up the time I usually do on weekdays, which didn’t leave me much if any time to worry about writing three morning pages in my notebook. But I did it anyway. I had to hustle a little bit after that, but I’m glad I forced myself to write. I’m even more glad that I wanted to force myself to write. That’s a nice feeling to have, actually, even if it’s happening at the same time as grumbling exhaustion and wishing it was warmer in the house.
The morning pages aren’t themselves anything useful. Although, thanks to a dream I’d just woken up from and wanted to talk about but not actually recount, this morning’s pages took a weird detour into what might actually be a story idea of a sort. (I don’t remember the dream very well, but that was actually sort of the point of what I wrote. It was basically a movie already in progress. I recognized some of the actors. Pickle chips figured prominently. Did I mention it was a dream?) But it’s not so much about their being useful; it’s about proving to my brain that a blank page isn’t an insurmountable hurdle. Can’t think of anything to write? Start writing and something will probably come.
And it’s been working, after a fashion. I got through another page tonight, which still leaves me at only 2,500 words and nowhere near an ending, but worse things could happen than my missing the submission deadline of February 1. (Like, oh, missing it because I was only a few hundred words in and nowhere near an ending.) I think I know where this story is going, and even if I don’t know word for word how to get there, I’m not as worried about the words coming.
I really don’t want to call morning pages a miracle cure for writer’s block. But I do think they put you in the mindset you need to be as a writer — which is to say, someone who does not believe in writer’s block. Take away the fear of a blank page and what can’t you do?
The rest of the day was a whole bunch of work and reading and it being much, much too cold outside. Oh, a lousy morning commute — the stuff of a thousand little annoyances, like my connecting train not being there this morning, but none of them that seem particularly important now in the cold dark of night. Which is as it should be, I think.