I read Julia Cameron’s, The Artist’s Way, many years ago and I classify it as one of the books that had a tremendous impact on my life as a creative person. If you are a writer or any other kind of artist and you have not yet read it, I will resist the urge to shake my finger at you, rather I will encourage you to get to Amazon or your favorite local bookstore and snatch up a copy right away and then read it.
There are two exercises or practices from that book that I have carried with me throughout my creative life and those are, 1. Morning Pages, and 2. Artist dates. In this post I will focus on morning pages. Julia has made the morning pages pdf http://www.theartistsway.com/pdfs/basictools.pdf document available on her website for those who do not have the book, but I definitely recommend reading the whole book. If you are serious about writing and being an artist it will inspire you and crack you open creatively.
I love the morning pages because it gives you a place to dump those stray thoughts that are circulating in your brain distracting you from your creative and other endeavors. I have been hearing a lot about Morning Pages online and how many people are actually typing them because writing long hand, as Julia recommends in the book, takes too long. Call me ‘old skool’ but I prefer to do my morning pages long hand. There is something about the feeling of the pen in my hand, making letters and words on the page that makes it real. Cameron says about writing out morning pages long hand:
“Writing by hand is like walking somewhere instead of whizzing there in the car. We notice landmarks. We retain a sense of direction. Writing by hand will show us True North and the false directions and switchbacks that have occurred, the shortcuts that saved us nothing and took us nowhere.”
Since I get that some of you live at such lightning speeds that you realistically won’t slow down to write in a journal long hand, I heard about this website called, http://750words.com, where you can, (ugh!) type your morning pages into a private, online journal.
Daily writing is a part of my spiritual practice because they help me to process the messages that I receive from within and much of the flotsam that I am exposed to in my daily life. I call morning pages a tool for transformation because this daily practice–if you are committed to doing it–can lead to amazing insights that you might never have received if you had not slowed down and showed up at the page to do this vital daily practice.
My recommendation is to get your own copy of the Artist’s Way and start a morning pages practice. Get a nice sized journal and a good pen to write with. Try it for a month and see if simply writing out three pages each morning does not transform your creative life in some way.