Left Brain Drain

According to 'The Artist's Way' by Julia Cameron - a cracking book, if ever there was one -the importance of writing what she refers to as 'morning pages' cannot be underestimated.

Julia says that if you do three pages of longhand, stream of consciousness writing first thing in the morning, about anything and everything that crosses your mind, it will set you free creatively. Often morning pages are grumpy, she says. They can often be whiny, negative and full of woe. Well, that's just brilliant! It's far better to get all that rubbish out of your head and onto the page every day, surely? When you read your morning pages over every few weeks (not every day) it may well be that you start to see patterns of thought processes emerge. Double brilliant! Why? Because once you start to observe patterns in your own thought processes - actually see them from a distance, set down in black and white, as opposed to experiencing them as a jumble of illusory, potentially stress-inducing thoughts rattling around your head - you can start to decide how to take action, and in so doing reach a greater level of clarity and achieve a feeling of empowerment.

Whilst I was meeting up with groups of creative writing students, I kicked off each session with what I called the Left Brain Drain. For ten minutes we sat and wrote whatever came into our heads without thought of whether our handwriting was neat, whether we were using proper grammar or punctuation, whether we were spelling correctly or whether we were making sense in any which way at all. We just let our jumbling tumbling thoughts, worries, stresses, strains and niggles fall out of our minds and onto the page. The students found it counter-intuitive and odd at first, but before long, some of them started to find that the exercise gave them increased clarity and focus.

Try it. Do. I think it'll surprise you in all sorts of ways.