Sometime over a year ago, I read The Artist’s Way. At the time I was feeling very disheartened and it seemed like the sort of thing I needed. I plunged into the 12 week program and worked through it. This, of course, included “Morning” Pages. (I do not get along with mornings, but that’s a rant for another time. My pages were therefore usually not in the morning.) When I started, I wrote them long-hand and filled an entire journal. I kept it up for some time after finishing those first weeks, but after a while I felt like they were not worth it. I didn’t see how two or more pages of “I’m not done yet? What the hell?” was helping me in any way, and that was usually what they entailed. I stopped writing them.
Then, last February, I decided to give Daily Pages a try by switching to a medium more in tune with myself: a computer. I’d remembered seeing the site 750 Words years ago, and went to find it. I joined, and plunged right in with the commitment to write 750 words (equivalent to the prescribed three pages at 250 words each) of Daily Pages again. Today, I earned my 365 Days in a Row badge.
And today is when I’ve decided to stop.
I love the 750 Words site. I think they’ve done a fantastic job building it, the badges are fabulous, and the monthly challenges help to keep me engaged. If I didn’t already have an alternate site for my fiction writing, I’d be tempted to move that over there and keep going. So my decision to stop has nothing to do with the site. It’s wonderful.
My decisions is all about the Pages themselves. I’ve been doing this for a year now, which means I would expect to see at least one of the many benefits claimed. I should be able to point to something, anything, that has been improved by taking the time to do these every day. Instead, I’ve had to put other things on hold, bump them to another day, whatever was necessary to get the pages in and I can’t point to a single improvement in my life, much less the near-miraculous changes described in the book.
That experience is not mine, and I realized recently I’ve only been continuing because of the streak. I’m writing them to check a box and I’m not gaining any other value. So, I’m done. I need to make a clean break while I can and it’s easier here where I’m at a logical stopping point. I know I’m making the right choice. After all, I’m going to use the time I spent on Pages for other things to help increase my creativity. But man, is it difficult to let that go. Even though I know it’s a waste of time, the need to keep that number going up makes me want to continue throwing it away.
I am absolutely wired for this kind of system. If nothing else, this has shown me I need to find ways to use that.