Great summary and reflection. Love the sketchnote (did you finally get a new digital drawing setup/tool?). I agree that this book (or rather this read along on your Substack) refreshed my habit of writing morning pages/longhand journaling.

This week I gave myself permission to add little illustrations in my morning pages journal, and I like how it has shifted my way of noticing things (written plus visual) and makes me more likely to look back at a page. Hopefully I’ll carry this visual aspect forward next week and beyond. When I do write plus illustrate ...I have to be more lax about the 3-page target and just write/draw until I feel that entry is done. Sometimes that means it’s only a page or two, which feels in opposition to Cameron’s disciplined recommendations.

During this read-along exercise I also abandoned the commitment to a daily writing quota for a specific creative project. I think I might have enjoyed this book more if that goal of a daily quota was more relevant for me in this year and season.

Perhaps because of its rigidity or my resistance, I also agree that this wasn’t the book for me, but I really appreciate your Substack and other forums where you provide creative inspiration/interpretation, and the community you continue to foster and refine.

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Thank you for letting us know how this reading went for you. I know you are a thoughtful reader as well as consistent with your writing practice. I do wonder if having a different project in the works would have changed your responses. I especially enjoy seeing that you have shifted your approach in a way that works for you and that includes a visual element. This is great, and I think it’s important that we be able to read about strategies like the ones Cameron presents and use what works and also adapt and modify as we continue to find our own approach. I hope the morning writing continues - and that you do have a project in the works soon that really catches your attention. Thank you for reading along with me and sharing your thoughts here week to week. I do think readalongs often make us read more closely or with more attention and intention. And, yes! I finally took the plunge so that I can explore some digital sketchnoting. Diving in and learning by doing!

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Rachel, flexibility is so important. From the outset, I abandoned her stricture that MPs had to be handwritten. And like you and Amy, I stopped daily work on another project to focus on my ongoing writing.

The book wasn’t for me, either, but the process was invaluable.

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May 22, 2023 8:50 AM

Thank you, Amy, for this wonderful opportunity. I’d say that it exceeded my expectations, but I had none going in. I thought it would another workshop that would allow me to do some clever writing and then go back to the usual routine.

But that is not what happened.

The combination of reigniting my Morning Pages while also having a “project” created a symbiosis of fevered creativity. That, and the feeling that you guys stood at my shoulder, watching me write, and making sure that I did it.

Everything combined to change … Everything.

One of the reasons I gone to writing morning exercises only sporadically was that I had become afraid of them. I had gotten to a point where, in the allotted 20 minutes at the keyboard, I could come up with an entire, small story. Day after day.

All of those stories were queuing up, begging to be fleshed out, and I never had time to do it. The pressure to write them and share them was crushing.

The Julia Cameron experience had the same effect. Instead of mining my subconscious, I started to write in her style, dealing with current ideas and emotions. As you all are aware, lots of stuff came out.

In these six weeks, I generated such a huge backlog of ideas that I am crushed with the pressure of wrangling them into publishable form.

So that was one thing, the surfeit of ideas, the excitement of having so much to dig my pixilated fingers into.

The second big surprise was a new project, a new genre, a different way of writing. I don’t want to go into what I’ve started working on, but it’s an entirely new direction for me, something I hadn’t foreseen, and something that I think I will do well at.

Instead of writing a Morning Page today, I’ve written this for you. (That is why there are date and time stamps at the top and bottom).

I’m sorry it has gone on so long, but I wanted to convey how earth-shatteringly helpful this process has been.

Again, thank you, Amy, and all the rest of those of you who participated, because our collective effort really meant something.

It changed my life.

9:15 AM

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There is some kind of irony in our collective response (not unanimous, but I think many of us exited with similar responses) -- and yet how wonderful that there was an upside to this process, that the shared experience magnified it in different ways. I love that, and I am really moved by your words. I probably wouldn’t have guessed + and yet how perfect and wonderful as an outcome for a small group read-along! I am thrilled to know that you came out on the other side of potential overwhelm with a new project you are excited about; that energy is palpable, and I am excited for you. So, thank you for reading with me (with us) and sharing along the way. The experience was richer for all of the awareness of one another in the process. This.... this shoulder comment.... perfect: “The combination of reigniting my Morning Pages while also having a ‘project’ created a symbiosis of fevered creativity. That, and the feeling that you guys stood at my shoulder, watching me write, and making sure that I did it.” I am mulling another book ... even asynchronously, I think reading together enhances the experience. For writers and artists, this can be incredibly powerful, and I think the “connection” has such potential. Thank you.

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Exciting that you’ve uncovered a new way of writing and an influx of ideas. Hope you enjoy wrangling everything!

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