“The Right to Write” Days #1-7

Do you sometimes feel like you’re running the wrong way and your goals are far, far behind you still? You’re not alone.

So for the next two months I’m going to be doing weekly, short blogs covering the 43 chapters of Julia Cameron’s The Right to Write, self-help/work guide on how to be work on yourself to work on the writer in you.

I’ll be joining YT vlogger and fellow writer/author, Burgess Taylor on her journey going through Ms. Cameron’s book as a group. Burgess kicked off this idea, so make sure to follow her own 2-month journey during May and June at her website/blog and with her YT vids.

If you want to join in, pick up a physical copy or ebook version of The Right to Write: An Invitation and Initiation into the Writing Life Amazon (US) or at B&N or if you’re Canadian *waves to fellow Canucks* here at Indigo/Chapters…or your local library or any other place else you prefer.

So to keep this short as promised, likely also going to be my longest post, my blog posts will be covering my thoughts under Invitation and how I did with the Initiation challenges following. Cool? Cool.

Chapters 1-7

Covered a range from the mythology we have of “real” writers and the process of writing in general to what Ms. Cameron calls “the time lie”, etc.

For the first exercise, we start off with what are morning pages.

In her The Artist’s Way title, Julia Cameron challenges her readers to start writing what she calls three morning pages every single day in that 12-week program/challenge. Thee morning pages are supposed to be stream of conscious thought – you write whatever you want to write because there’s no right way to write these pages. Only you gotta write them first thing in the morning. (But what if you’re not a morning person, you say – well tough! I’m kidding. I think there’s wiggle room if you’re a night owl and late riser. Just write them whenever you wake up. That’s probably the prime time when your head is full of random creative nonsense anyways.)

And it was the same with this 1st challenge from The Right to Write. Honestly the reason I’ve been sitting on The Artist’s Way is because I don’t like the idea of having to write 84 days/12 weeks worth of 3 morning pages by hand. Maybe I’ll type them up. Or talk into a recorder…?

 Whatever. I did these 3 pages by hand and boy did it hurt. 8 x 11 pages single spaced…my hand was cramping. I’m a fast writer, too, not that I had to write it quick. The words sorta just flowed out of my head. I woke up with a rejection from an agent that morning, and I needed to get the poison out and DID IT EVER WORK. Guys, I’m going to start doing this whenever I feel like crap. I poured it out in the pages and stood from the couch, stretched and felt like I’d woken up that morning for a second time.

So there were another six exercises. Each one was supposed to open the writer inside of you up, like a spring bud or something equally poetic. I liked them even though I had to tailor a few. For instance one exercise asked you to send 5 postcards to five family or friends you haven’t connected with in a while. I wasn’t down for doing that, so instead I wrote 5 letters to people who will never get them:

1) my stillborn baby brother

2) my grandfather (who died almost 2 years ago)

3) my kitty (who we gave up for adoption)

4) my family (who just don’t need to read my random nonsense)

5) my Teen self

Another exercise had you clipping out articles from gossip/entertainment columns of newspapers and magazines that specialize in that area. I don’t do print, so I searched online and found my articles, bookmarking and reading as I went. Then I jumped into the rest of that exercise.

I like to think Ms. Cameron won’t mind if I play around with her ‘initiation’ activities, so as long as I continue to be engaged in the book and give all my attention to it.

All in all though, I enjoyed what this first week’s worth of exercises have brought. I already feel that I’m opening up my stilted perceptions of writing and enhancing my own definition of productivity.

3 thoughts on ““The Right to Write” Days #1-7

  1. I really enjoyed the first week as well. Like you, I didn’t mail 5 postcards. I did, however, email a friend, message a friend, write a letter to a friend, and call 2 friends.
    I went online and read a bit of news, and journaled a bit about it, but didn’t get any magazines or tabliods either.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I think the fact that you are already using creative ways to do the exercises it’s prove enough that you are doing a good job. I didn’t do the letter exercise because I don’t have penpal friends but you just gave me the idea to write those letters. By the way, is it cheating if I type my morning pages? I mean, I don’t do them every day yet but the first time I type them. Open a work document, set the font size to a 10 and wrote. I vent a heck of a lot that day and I like it 🙂
    I don’t like to read or watch the news, I just don’t want the negativity. I did went to some websites and read some articles that I was curious about and did the exercise that way.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Definitely not cheating, Elizabeth!
      Ms. Cameron STRESSES to do it longhand because of some mumbo jumbo of the words and emotions flowing through your hand and fingertips or whatever, but how is that different from my fingers being on the keyboard of my laptop or tablet?

      If the words are still flowing without your filtering them then I don’t see why it should matter if I type them up or whip out a recorder and rant away.

      Also, I’m just like you in that I avoid the news for the most part. I get the filtered/watered down version from my family. I used sites like Woman’s World, Cosmo, etc. for inspiration and then I typed away and made up a funny report of a shopaholic Sasquatch being sited in West Edmonton Mall, the largest mall in North America. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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