I love this! I just finished 90 days of Julia Cameron’s “Morning Pages” – three pages of freewriting, daily, by hand. And I’m finally starting to get into my head that writing by hand is, as you said, “more pleasurable and conducive to creativity.”
Thank you so much for commenting and subscribing and stuff, Barbara! Good to hear from you and connect since you tweeted about George MacDonald and Phantastes this morning and I thought, “ah, a kindred spirit, perhaps”. I have been meaning to blog about him but still can’t seem to find the words.
Morning pages seems to be a great discipline and I think my journaling habit comes close to the ideal of unfiltered and spontaneous, although seldom running to three pages a day.
I have recently been using a webified “morning pages” tool called: 750Words at http://750words.com/ which has been helpful in making it fun (you get badges for completing your word counts and sticking at it) but … it’s just more time in front of the computer when I could be somewhere, anywhere, with a pen and paper.
I have found it suits me my way of working to keep changing the location (be it a room or a coffee shops) to stop going stale. A pad and pen gives me the ultimate flexibility to do that, and is very freeing. I guess I’ll be blogging more about this sort of thing in the future.
About MacDonald…I’ve only just started to actually read him – Phantastes and Diary of an Old Soul – though I’ve been reading a lot of writers who have been heavily influenced by him. Figured it was about time. So far, my mind has been blown wide open…love it!
I thought about 750Words, but like you, am not eager to find yet another reason to sit in front of a screen.
The idea of changing locations is one I need to snatch up, creature of habit that I am 🙂
Diary Of An Old Soul was like a breath of fresh air for me and I think it was the first substantial bit of MacDonald I got into. But it was “Phantastes” that turned my world around when I read it earlier this year.
Apart from the feeling that I had gone back to the source of CS Lewis and Tolkein I found myself drinking deeply from a stream that I recognised to be flowing from the same place as my very life. I experienced a very deep sense of deliverance through the Phantastes narrative and realised that by imaginatively entering into it I was actually processed and changed. My own shadow that had dogged me for years had disappeared and I also felt I had permission to rehabilitate my imagination into my faith. That book had done more for me than several years of listening to sermons.
I’m still a comparative newcomer to MacDonald’s oeuvre. I have been reading some of the “Unspoken Sermons” that are also available for free on the web and I am reading all the fairy tales I can get my hands on. The great thing about these is that they are in the public domain so the supply of text to feed my appetite is not running out any time soon.
I can recommend “The Golden Key” and “The Carosyn” and “The Wise Woman” as good tales to get your soul into.
It seems that MacDonald was very popular in his time but has since been obscured by his successors. I almost feel as if there is a small community in the world of people who have re-discovered him and who “get it” – feels a bit like a secret society.