Honest Changes

Task Two of Week Eleven

Working with the Honest Changes section in Week Four of The Artist’s Way. inventory for yourself the ways you have changed since beginning your recovery.

  1. I have stopped hindering my writing by jotting down extensive story ideas.
  2. I have finally started to update my WordPress blog regularly.
  3. I am using the story prompts given to me by a former teacher and writing stories from scratch.
  4. I finally threw out all the letters I have hung on to for years for no reason.
  5. I have gotten rid of some of the clothes that I never felt good wearing.
  6. I signed up for a Creative Writing course entitled Beginners of Writing Fiction, which begins on the 24th of April, 2013.
  7. I finally walked back up the mountains to the Hellfire Club after two years.
  8. I signed up to do the Women’s Mini Marathon again this year for the Irish Blue Cross.
  9. I’m slowly but surely feeling less guilty for doing what I want to do.
  10. I drew a good picture of my cat Ali.

Creative U-Turns

Turning down the MA in Journalism was one of my most regrettable decisions. Creative U-turns, Julia calls them. However, I have rectified that by applying again, informing them that I had applied before and reassuring them that I was 100% ready to do the course this time, and I am…I think!


Maybe my pessimism is blocking out new ideas, not necessarily story ideas, but ways in which I can nurture myself into becoming a confident writer. For example, my epiphany about the dangers of writing out story ideas before beginning the actual story. Another came to me just last Sunday. I was reading the next chapter of my course book and I suddenly decided that I would love to do a Creative Writing course. It came to me while I was reading about Creative U-Turns. Whilst the Journalism masters is my biggest regret, I also look back on the Creative Writing class I dropped out of after one session because I felt intimidated. Now is my chance to rectify that!

I Googled courses in my area and found one called Beginners of Writing Fiction. I have been writing stories all my life, but I am very much a beginner because I’ve only ever based my writing on those who have already been published. I’ve so many issues that I look past when writing my stories: character development, especially. A six-week course could be just what I need to help me improve. I signed up just last night, with the first class beginning on the 24th of April.

I do hope I receive more epiphanies!

Tool One: The Morning Pages

‘There is no wrong way to do morning pages’

The morning pages are three pages of writing. Not stories, not poems or dramas. Just what Julia believes stands between us and our creativity. Whether it be whiney, self-pitying or even childish, we’re basically draining our minds of all the clutter that enters them when we wake up. Before you do anything, even if it means setting your alarm 20 – 30 minutes early, you are to write three pages of what pops into your head.

For me, I write about what’s worrying me. For someone who suffers with anxiety that is quite a lot of worries. Sometimes I do run out of things to write, but Julia encourages us to write simply that: ‘I have nothing to write’, over and over until we fill three pages. At the end of each week of the course, the check-in questions always ask how many morning pages we’ve done this week, preferrably seven.


The last time I did this course, I never missed a morning with the morning pages. It was only after I completed it that I began to falter. Unfortunately, I missed a morning this week. I fear that I’m already starting to repeat history. See? Anxiety!

Another function of the morning pages, unofficially in my opinion, is that they can also help you realise things that you may have overlooked. Small epiphanies, if you will. For instance, thanks to the morning pages (this time around), I realised that writing out story ideas is bad for me. I wind up writing out every part of the story, beginning, middle and end, in a spiderweb and because I’ve used so much detail, getting the story typed up in its entirety becomes a chore. Therefore, I lose interest. Why do I do it? I actually like writing out story ideas, it’s the procrastinator’s favourite to avoid writing the whole thing, which will only take more time and patience.

So I’ve stopped.

I’ve written one short story. It wasn’t easy. Even though I had avoided writing down the full plotline and structure, it was still in my head about how I wanted it to go and I fear that that is my downfall. Would I not be better writing it as I go along? I would love to hear opinions from other writers on how they develop a story, and what works for them. It may not work for me, but it might help me figure out what does.

The short story is completed, but I’m far from satisfied with it. However, I won’t go back and alter it in every petty little way until I think it’s perfect, because I never will think that. I’ll just keep writing and follow the cliche: practice makes perfect!

The Mantra

The Mantra

This is task one of Week 7: Recovering a Sense of Connection.

‘Treating myself like a precious object will make me strong’

As you can see I wrote it in different colour pencils, and it is posted on the notice board in my room. In fact, it has been there since the first time I did the course nearly two years ago. I read it every time I see it without thinking, but whether or not the phrase has been internalised is hard to say. How does one go about treating themselves as a precious object? Without being arrogant and selfish, I mean.

Something to think about…