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Art as Alchemy

Making art of any kind is an alchemical process. Making art, we turn the dross of our life into gold. Making art, we re-create ourselves. When we work on our Memoir, revisiting our own personal narrative time line, we transform the events of our life into golden adventures. As we write, the ordinary becomes extraordinary; […]


Lowering the Stakes

All too often, when we think of writing a project, we think of writing the whole project, and we find ourselves daunted. “I’d like to write a novel,” we think, “but it’s so much work, and what if it doesn’t sell?” Thinking this way, we talk ourselves out of our creativity. We have set the […]


Let Yourself Write

If we didn’t have to worry about being published and being judged, how many of us would write a novel just for the joy of making one? Why should we think of writing a novel as something we couldn’t try– the way an amateur carpenter might build a simple bookcase or even a picnic table? […]


What to do with Morning Pages?

I say that Morning Pages are a form of meditation. And just as we cannot repeat a meditation, we do not need to review our Morning Pages. I often joke, “First cremate the pages, then worry about the body.” I have had people burn, shred, and bury their Morning Pages. Speaking for myself, I saved […]


Drama

Drama in our lives often keeps us from putting drama on the page. Some drama happens and we lose our sense of scale in our emotional landscape. When this happens, we need to reconnect to our emotional through line. We need a sense of our “before, during and after” life. This tool is a personal […]


Outrunning your Censor

All of us have an inner Censor, that nasty voice that tries to discount what we are doing. A lot of times people think they can outsmart their censor, but that’s not my experience. My experience is that as you get smarter, your censor gets smarter. But what you can do is outrun your censor. […]


“Mourning” Pages

I sometimes think Morning Pages should be called “Mourning Pages.” “Julia, my pages are so negative,” some people say. With morning pages, we end our denial. If something is bothering us, we put it on the page. Often, many things are bothering us, and our pages seem filled with negatives. It’s important to note that […]


Q: What if my thoughts race faster than I can write them down?

Recently I had a student say, “My thoughts race faster than I can write them down. So I get frustrated and stop writing.” My answer: “Don’t stop.” I think it’s a common occurrence for the thoughts to race faster than the pen. And I think that you should keep writing Morning Pages. What you do […]


Self-permission over Discipline

Practicing our art is more comfortable than not practicing our art. Practicing our art is more fun than not practicing our art. Something more comfortable and more fun does not take “discipline.” It takes permission, self-permission. I don’t write to be hard on myself. I write to be easy on myself. I write because it […]


“thinking” about your Morning Pages?

Sometimes my students ask me how much they should “think” about what they are going to write in their Morning Pages. I don’t want you to pause and have a mental cigarette and strategize about what you’re going to write. It’s better to just say “here goes” and go right into writing. One thing that’s […]