The Art of Being Lost

My Morning Pages reveal that right now I feel lost.

Morning Pages, if you don’t know, are a creation of Julie Cameron from The Artist’s Way that asks you to write three-pages every morning.

Morning Pages are three pages of longhand, stream of consciousness writing, done first thing in the morning. There is no wrong way to do Morning Pages– they are not high art. They are about anything and everything that crosses your mind– and they are for your eyes only. Occasionally colorful, more often than not Morning Pages are negative, fragmented, repetitive or bland. Good!  Worrying about your job, the laundry, the weird look your friend gave you – all that stuff distracts you from your creativity. It eddies through your subconsciousness and muddies your day. Get it on the page first thing in the morning and move on with your day with a freer spirit. (Julia Cameron)

I have several journals full of morning pages, but I had stopped the practice for many years. This move, and the resulting reevaluation of my life emanating from it, made me think that perhaps Morning Pages might help me figure it all out. In typical fashion, mine run the gamut from the mundane to the bizarre, often hovering in a zone of negativity and frustration. I repeat myself endlessly, and sometimes whine in such a nauseating way that I don’t even want to listen to myself. My morning pages are filled with bizarre dreams and my feeble attempts at interpreting them. Occasionally I write a positive entry, and I always try to end on a positive note, but mostly I just try to allow my subconscious to vomit its garbage onto the page, in the hopes that it might lead me to a creative act or better understanding of myself.

It worked this morning, as I realized that I AM LOST!

My feeble attempt at trying to express this visually. The green represents the woods all around, aka more opportunities to get lost.

I literally get lost almost every time I leave the house, but that’s not what I mean exactly.

I am a lost in a sea of words. I try to write, but I am not sure what I should be writing about. Yesterday I tried to create a more substantial post than my announcement about being reconnected to the world of social networking, and my attempt was so nauseating and full of babbling nothingness that I gave it up as a lost cause. I question every word I put on a page lately. Should I be spending time here or focusing on trying to create HubPosts which might miraculously make money? Should I focus on fiction and poetry, where my dreams lie, or should I continue to explore randomness through my blog posts. Why am I writing at all?

See, I’m lost.

I am lost in my search for my bliss. I keep claiming that I want to reinvent myself, and create the career that will make my days sing. Yet, I apply for jobs similar to what I had before, and then when I get them I live in fear that somehow I will make a disaster of it. I know that my feelings today stem from me starting to teach tomorrow, and worrying that I will be good enough and do what the company that has hired me is expecting.

I am LOST.

My only hope lies in the fact that I am on a journey, and that I don’t need to know my destination. Perhaps being lost is part of the steps I need to find myself and my voice. Only time will tell.

Or perhaps my true talent lies in the art of being lost.

What do you do when you feel lost?

Post script: In a blazing example of true idiocy, Mark over at The Idiot Speaketh asked me to make a guest post the other day. I managed to become unlost enough to provide, so please check out my post called “Confessions of a Female Idiot” 

0 thoughts on “The Art of Being Lost

  1. Sometimes a page of “babbling nothingness” will turn out to be some of the best writing you will ever do. You may hate it, but others will see the raw emotions in your “babbling” and will appreciate its honesty. Sitting down and trying to force yourself to write something worthwhile will just drive you mad. Just sit down and right out whatever is on your mind at that time, no matter how much you may dislike what you are writing. I would bet your readers will love what you write. I would bet that most published authors secretly hate the books or articles they have written, while others may totally enjoy them. If you just write whatever comes into your mind at any given time, you’ll find your way soon enough. 🙂

  2. Feeling lost and being lost are not the same thing. I often feel lost while knowing exactly where I am…..geographically, emotionally, psychologically….and still I feel lost. All at sea. Disconnected. Befuddled. Stymied. That’s often when I write my best. I stop trying, have no intent, just let the pen take me where it will. Then put it away AND DON’T READ IT FOR A WEEK. Amazing, what an unencumbered mind worked out. Free and flash, those are great tools for getting out of your own way. You are a fairly deliberate writer, know what you want to happen on the page, and are far better grounded than I am. I’m a loose balloon in the ether much of the time.
    Memoir is my discipline. Essay is my indulgence. Blog is my sometime thing. You’re missing your stride. You’ll find it again. It’s your comfort zone. Give it a minute.

    • Thanks Barbarann. I wish I just felt lost with my writing though. Right now I just feel lost with everything. I don’t even know how to make friends at the moment, because I am used to having a built in community at work. WAAAH! Okay, I just had to write that down and vent, and now I can let it go.

  3. I’m not sure – sometimes when I feel lost I can go out for a walk and find my way that way.

    My mom does the morning pages thing, but I’ve never talked about it with her. Does it have to be longhand? Because I might try, if I can do them on the laptop. 😉

    • I think its supposed to be longhand because its harder to correct yourself that way, but I suppose the important thing is just writing. Avoid the temptation to correct your errors as you go (although I even do that longhand sometimes) and just go for it. 😉

  4. Thanks Lisa for reminding me that morning pages are from Julia Cameron and not Natalie Goldberg. I have begun writing morning pages and yes, there is a lot of nothing there for me. I kind of look at it as a mind dump. Getting rid of all the minutia I do not need keep in my brain. I loved your drawings. I had not thought of doing art work in morning pages.

    • Oh, I did that “art” separately, but occasionally I have do sketch or something in my morning pages. Usually it is just rambling words though. I paused while writing my blog post to try to create “art” for it. I’m trying to use my own stuff (either photos or creations) more often. Thanks for visiting. Good luck with your morning pages. I love Natalie Goldberg as well.

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