Journaling, Life, Reviewing, Writing

Review: Morning Pages

Usually at this time of the week, I post a review of a book I’ve read. This week is going to be a bit different, as I would like to talk about my first week of doing ‘Morning Pages’.

Some of you reading may already be familiar with ‘Morning Pages’, but for those who aren’t, basically this concept was devised by the writer Julia Cameron and is featured in her book ‘The Artist’s Way’ . It involves a strict regime of writing three pages of stream of consciousness, preferably in the morning, every morning. By doing this, it is supposed to rid the mind of unnecessary clutter, allow for creativity and a clearer mind.

journalling

I have been writing a journal consistently for the last year or so and found the practise of daily writing, highly beneficial. It has helped me to deal with many issues and reduced stress. When I saw the term ‘Morning Pages’ mentioned in several YouTube videos connected with journaling, I decided to see if it would work for me.

At first, writing first thing in the morning wasn’t something I looked forward to, as I’m like a bear with a sore head most mornings. During my research of this process, I discovered that the majority of people doing ‘Morning Pages’ did their pages at the first opportunity, so that their ego didn’t get in the way of writing their true feelings.

My first couple of my entries were filled with ‘I don’t know what to write’ and ‘This is stupid’. I resisted the exercise entirely and toyed with the idea of giving up after only a few days.

One morning I remember writing such negative things, that that negativity carried on through the day. ‘How could this be beneficial?’ I thought to myself, as I felt like all I wanted to do was go back to bed and let the world get on with things.

Suddenly however, whilst I was writing my usual ‘I don’t know what to write’, I started writing down thoughts I didn’t even know I had. Through all of that mind fog, I was writing raw, unreleased emotions that were so surprising, that they didn’t even sound like me.

As the week has gone on, I still complain, moan and write utter nonsense, but I’m finding that after each of these writing sessions, I feel lighter and actually more motivated to create. So much so, that I felt compelled to try water colours, something I had previously been scared to try.

Whether this was because of the ‘Morning Pages’ I have no idea, but it’s giving me glimpses into parts of my mind, I never knew existed. It’s too early to tell whether or not this exercise will have long term effects on my creativity or moods, but I think I will continue to do this, despite the early mornings!

Some of you might think that ‘Morning Pages’ are utter nonsense, but I think this practise is worth giving a go if you are stuck in a creative rut.

I’ll post more on my progress after I’ve done a month of ‘Morning Pages’, that’s if I can keep it going for that long!

Do you do ‘Morning Pages’ or journaling? How does it help you?

Advertisements
Comedy, Films, Five Star Rating, Friday Film Chat, Writing

Friday Film Chat on ‘The Lady in the Van’ DVD (May Contain Spoilers)

lady in the van

 

Usually I go to the cinema on Thursday’s, but this week I wasn’t able to go. So this week’s ‘Friday Film Chat’ will be about a film I saw, about a week ago.

Actually, it was the second time I had seen this film. I originally watched this film when it came out in the cinema in 2015. I enjoyed it then, but was intrigued to see if I would enjoy this more on another viewing.

The plot tells the true story of a woman named Miss Shepard, who parks her van outside of the playwright Alan Bennett’s and stays there for 15 years. Doesn’t sound very exciting, does it? I can assure you, that this film is wonderfully quirky.

As time goes on, Alan discovers more about Miss Shepard despite his attempts to rid her from his driveway. He finds out that she had once played piano in a promenade concert, had tried to train as a nun but was kicked out for playing music in the convent and also, despite appearances, that she is learned woman.

What he doesn’t know, is the real reason she lives in the van in first place. She on the run from the law.

I love the gentle humour in this film. I think Maggie Smith does a wonderful job at making this unlikeable character well, likeable and Alex Jennings is uncanny as Alan Bennett. In fact during the end credits, the real Alan Bennett makes an appearance and the likeness is quite spooky.

As a writer myself, I could totally identify the two Alans featured in this film.  A writer’s mind is often divided into two, so the film had one Alan who carried out the duties of real life, whilst the other Alan spent the day writing. I loved the interactions between the two and it gave a great insight, on how a writer’s mind works.

The neighbours added a great deal to the story. The neighbourhood in which Alan lives in is quite affluent, so the different reactions to Miss Shepard parking her van in the street were quite amusing. This film makes an interesting comment on the British class system, because some of the neighbours see Miss Shepard as an insect that needs to be squashed quickly, in order to to protect the neighbourhood’s reputation, others see her as way to prove themselves as ‘Good Samaritans’, despite Miss Shepard’s protests against their home cooked meals and their children’s recorder recitals outside of her van. Only Alan and another neighbour, Ursula, really treat her as a human being.

It’s a bit of a geeky fact, but whilst watching this film I was delighted to see that the principal cast of ‘The History Boys’ (minus Richard Griffiths), made a cameo during this film. It was a nice nod to one of Bennett’s most popular works.

You don’t have to be familiar with Alan Bennett in order to enjoy this film, though. I think it’s lack of shiny special effects and wealth of brilliant characters make this film a gem to watch. I highly recommend it.

My Rating *****

Have you watched this film? What did you think of it?

 

 

Books, Fiction, Films, Life, Reading, Reviewing, Sin categoría, Writing

6 Months!

It has been 6 months since I last posted on ‘The Avid Reader’!

That’s not to say that I haven’t been reading, I’m as avid as ever ( In fact,  I’m currently getting to the end of my third re-read of ‘The Hobbit’,), but I lost my mojo for writing. Not just writing blog posts, but writing more of the detective novel that I’ve been trying finish for the last 3 years or so.

Part of the reason that I lost my mojo, is that life has got in the way. I won’t go into any details of that (I don’t want to use this blog for whining and whinging, I feel very lucky with what I have) but over the last week or so, I’ve found the joy for writing again hurrah!

To be honest, I’ve probably read too many books in the last 6, to properly catch up with reviews on the blog but I will try and post my thoughts on a few of them shortly. Let me know about your best reads of the last 6 months.

I’m also going to see ‘Bridget Jones Baby’ next week, so I with review it after I have seen it. I’m not a big fan of Chick-Lit, but I have enjoyed the ‘Bridget Jones’ series. To wet your appetite, here’s the trailer:

 

Books, Life, Photos, Reading, Writing

The Summer of 2015

Now the nights are drawing in, I’ve been reflecting on the summer.

It has had a few stresses, mostly about money, but overall it has been great. I’ve been to some great events, most recently a blues/rock concert by an up and coming singer/guitarist Joanna Shaw Taylor, a classical concert held in the beautiful surroundings of a rose garden and enjoyed the usual local festivities which happen every year.

My writing mojo has also kept me busy and I’m ploughing into finishing my first ‘proper’ novel, with gusto.

Reading books has been slow and steady during the summer. I’ve read a total of eight books and abandoned two. As I’m developing in my writing, I’m finding that I have become pickier with my reading taste. I don’t think that this is a bad thing though. As I’m getting older (I’m at the ripe old age of 34!), I’ve realised that life is too short to waste time on books that I’m not enjoying. That’s not to say that I won’t give a book a chance. Even if I’m not sure if I am going to like a book, I will still read about 100 pages before deciding whether to ditch it or not.

Over the next few days, I will try and catch up on blog posts I have missed and reviews I’d like to tell you about. For now, here are some photos of my summer:

DSCN1593DSCN1590DSCN1574

Blogging, Books, Life, Reading, Writing

New Blog!

So, this blog has found a new home and has a new name! The reason I decided to move to a different blogging platform, was because I was finding Blogger infuriating.

I couldn’t edit or delete my blog lists and inexplicably, all of the photos I had posted over the years on the blog, had completely disappeared. It’s sad, because I had been writing the old blog for many years, so it feels weird to be away from that, but hopefully Tumblr will be the way forward.

Anyway, I hope that I can hang on to my loyal readers and look forward to meeting new bloggers!

On other news, I’m slowly getting back to writing again. Since my dad passed away in December, it has been difficult to return to the things I once enjoyed. Going back to reading what I have of my book so far, has been interesting and exciting. I’ve already started to plan new pieces of the story in my mind, I just have to find the time (and discipline!) to sit down and write more.

For now though, I’m excited to see what this new blog will bring!

Until the next time, I’d be intersted to hear your thoughts on how the new blog looks.