Tag Archives: Morning Pages

An ADHD Fairy Tale

Once upon a time…there lived a little girl who grew into a big girl who grew into a mature woman and the whole time there was one thing that defined her: SHE COULD NOT DO THINGS THE EASY WAY.

In school she found it impossible to follow the teacher’s instructions–“but why do I have to use my blue crayon when I like the green one much better!” She found it impossible to fulfill the tasks her bosses set her–“no, I haven’t finished the twenty pages of dictation you gave me. I’ve been in the ladies room with stomach flu.” And even when she was her own boss, she found it impossible to stick to her agenda–“How about if I just twist this to the right and turn that to the left…won’t that be neat?”

Long long after her trial-filled school years, she finally learned that there was actually a reason for her contrary nature: Doctors gave it a diagnosis and other doctors prescribed medication…but

but

but….the rest of the world, her friends and family–they didn’t really get the message. They may have heard it intellectually, but in their heart of hearts they knew that the heroine of this fairy tale was really just not trying hard enough. And in many ways, despite all evidence to the contrary, she believed them.

The End.

Morning Pages: How do they work for you?

In a comment last week, I responded to Laura of Wordgrrls suggestion about doing Morning Pages with one of my quip-like responses: “I had done MPs for ages (okay, not really, but it’s so cutely alliterative) and was quite successful then. At least doing the Morning Pages; I’m not sure what the rest of my productivity was.”

Every morning, I would sit outside in my garden, with my coffee and cigarettes, and write my three pages in longhand. I amassed a notebook full, and much of it was devoted to a story I had been chewing over for a while based on my version of the life of my mother-in-law. We’re talking Grapes of Wrath with a feminist twist.  I still have that notebook. I still think the story is worth telling. I don’t do Morning Pages anymore.

For one, I no longer have that peaceful brick-walled garden, and I no longer smoke. For those of you who have never smoked, you can’t imagine how those of us who were smokers found our writing process intwined with cigarettes.

So that time and place in my life is over, and with it seems to have gone the urge to do daily Morning Pages. Now I do free-writing of the Morning Pages-type when I’m trying to  dig down as far as I can go into my thoughts and feelings. I just write and write whatever without judgement until…

I’m not sure what follows the until: I get tired…hungry…bored. Or maybe until I’ve gone as far as I can with the topic. Then, whether my three pages are done or not, I start wanting to shape the thing I’m writing and make it presentable for publication.

The unconscious writer leaves home and the editor takes over. I’d like to think the editor is a consequence of forty years of shaping words professionally. That’s part of it; the other part, I think, is that the editor is more concerned with the turn of a phrase or an interesting story line than the utter truth of the moment. 

I have all sorts of responses to myself here. The part of writing that is fun for me has to do with putting the words together that speak the thoughts intended. However, the me who has a grad degree in psych says, “hmmmm, what were you actually working on when the editor takes over? Is it something that you’re uncomfortable getting into?” That’s the me that understands there is a psychodynamic of writing, and I best be aware of it if I want to do more than just go along to get along.

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