I’ve learnt that to write first thoughts I really need to get to a place where I don’t listen to that internal censor. That voice of judgment. The editor.
For days I couldn’t shut it up and I couldn’t write. But then I got to this place where I was so full of emotion and so in need of writing that I managed to block out the internal censor. I started writing my thoughts and not hearing the judgements.
I can’t force that place though. With practice, maybe I can. But until then, I watch for times when I’m so full of emotion that it blocks the internal censor or I’m tired enough to not hear it.
And so, as soon as I wake up is actually a good time because I’m not all there yet. The last thing I feel like doing is writing when I’m in that gluggy, eyes half closed, dazed space but it’s worth writing at this time to get to those first thoughts.
Now I get why morning pages is morning pages and not afternoon or evening pages. By the afternoon or evening, my internal censor has full voice and I’m full aware of what it’s saying. But sometimes at night when I’m tired enough, I can get to first thoughts too.
I also learnt that to write first thoughts I need to be okay with starting awkwardly. This isn’t about writing polished treasure. It’s about writing what is, and it often looks like trash. I have to be okay with awkward because sometimes things are awkward. I just have to accept it. I need to accept my first thoughts if I’m going to be able to write them.
So I’ll start off with jilted and stunted writing and run-on sentences and no punctuation. Because, I guess, my first thoughts don’t have punctuation. They’re just a convoluted mess of thoughts and my job is to get them on the page just as they are. Sometimes they’re unfinished thoughts. Sometimes my thoughts jump to something totally unrelated. So I just write them and go where they go. Then eventually you get used to writing like this and you get into a flow.
The best tip for me while I’m writing first thoughts is to not stop and think about my first thoughts. As soon as I do that I’ve interrupted them and might be tempted to judge them. So it’s this paradox where to write my first thoughts, I can’t think. I just need to write.
I’ve learnt that the benefit of first thoughts, besides getting me to face myself and accept myself, is that they show me what my real issue is. And once I’ve faced my issue, often an insight comes out and helps me know what to do. So the issue isn’t an issue anymore. I can move past it because I’ve finally confronted it instead of avoided it.
In the next post I’ll give you an inside look at my first thoughts and the process of facing of the self.