One of the most popular creative blockbusters that you may hear about is a tool, made popular by Julia Cameron’s book, The Artist’s Way is the morning pages. As Julia defines it, the morning pages are “three pages of longhand, stream of consciousness writing, done first thing in the morning. “ The writing that is done here is not “high art” or publishable by any means…it is whatever comes to your head that you need or want to get out on paper, pen in hand. That’s right, it is not a typing or texting exercise…it is old school writing.
There are many people who use this as tool to unblock their creativity. For me it has been a tool that I have been using for a few years and it helps me to do a “mind dump” on everything that is going on in my daily world. Write everything from gratitude lists, poetry, funny things that happened during the day to venting out frustrations. Once I do this daily version of journaling, I begin the day a bit lighter and focused, especially as part of my morning ritual.
If you have been thinking of starting this practice, here is a few benefits that may encourage you to start earlier than later:
• There is No Wrong Way to Do the Morning Pages: Julia said so herself! It’s all about what comes out of your mind and on to the page. There is no writing structure or topic to follow. It is whatever is on your brain at the moment.
• The Morning Pages Clears the Fog of the Mind: For me, it is a wonderful brain dump….and at times I am surprised as to what appears on the page. There may be issues or thoughts latent in the brain that you don’t realize is in your subconscious. The morning pages allows you to get it out.
• The Morning Pages Helps You Discover Patterns of Thoughts or Concerns: You may be surprised that you are venting about similar issues or that a problem you thought you had now includes a solution in your writing. That is the magic of the process…when you identify patterns or find solutions, it helps clear the way for creativity.
• The Morning Pages Can Help You Think Through Creative Projects: New ideas often come as I write for artistic projects or for resources for my creativity coaching practice. I may write down an idea for workshop, or an art series and then expand on it. I may recall a detail from an Artist’s Date or an event I attended that I will write about which launches other ideas.
• The Morning Pages is a Healthy Way to Release Stress: If you have a habit of venting or complaining to your friends or family, a journaling practice of any kind is a healthy way to get it all out without losing friends and loved ones in the process. You can identify triggers, or crazymakers that may be getting in the way of your creativity.
Any journaling practice can have benefits to help you clear the mind and focus on your creative practice. Do you do the morning pages? What has been the benefits of this daily ritual for your creativity?
There comes a time when we have to make a big decision with our creativity....whether or not to share it. I have noticed this is a big issue for many people in creative recovery....I hear a lot of people rationalizing why they don't share their work.
But in the back of many people's minds is really, "I don't feel confident about sharing my work." Or "people are going to trash it." And of course, "my work doesn't look as good as. so and so's."
Gaining the confidence to share your work is a process that takes time and patience. I always tell people to be gentle with yourself with this and to trust your intuition as to when and how you will share your creativity. But once you gain the courage to share your work, you will find that it will be one of the most rewarding and freeing feelings that you will ever experience.
It took another artist friend poking me ever so often to share my work. I was more known as an art curator than an artist at the time, and didn't feel confident putting my work next to the beautifully talented artists that I worked with in exhibitions. My friend and I were co-curatoring an exhibition at a coffee shop in Baltimore, Maryland and she encouraged me to make something for the show. I did and it was a proud moment for me to place it on the wall and place a label beside it. After that, I had the courage to submit my work in a few exhibitions and next thing I knew, I was exhibiting regularly as an artist. When I first sold my first art piece, I really gain more confidence to create more work for exhibitions. Even today, after over ten years of exhibiting my work, I get just as excited as I did with my first sale.
But how do you get there? Here's a few tips that may help you move from hiding your work to getting it all out there.
In conclusion, I thought I would share the following advice that appeared on on a blog featured on Life Hacker on the topic of sharing your creativity by Leanne Regalla, a Freelance writer and content marketer:
Have you recently started sharing your creative work to others? What steps did you take to get the courage to share your work? What would you do differently?
One of the biggest barriers to getting our creative goals completed is the big four-letter word: FEAR. Fear can take any creative dream or goal off the rails, no matter our progress and instead of a creative project that we are proud of, we have excuses, rationalizations or other messages that prevent us from moving forward in its place.
What do we fear about moving forward with our creative dreams? What other people think is huge....I may think I am an artist, but what if people don't consider me a good artist or an artist at all? People don't know that I have a passion for creating music...they just know me as an accountant, engineer, office manager, etc. How will people react to this side of me? Will that threaten other opportunities? Don't people think negatively of creative people? Then there is failure....what if it doesn't work out? What if people hate what I create? What if it alienates me from people I care about? What if I look foolish? We also can fear success....what if it DOES blow up in a good way? Can I handle the attention I will receive? Can I keep up with the orders? What if I end up so successful that no one will be able to deal with it in my circle?
Whatever the reason, fear is real and can block us from moving forward with our creative practice. What does fear look like? Any of these statements sound familiar:
And ten, twelve or twenty years later, we come back to our creative dreams and regret that we didn't move forward. But it doesn't have to be that way.
Here's some tips to begin moving past the fear of unleashing your creative dream and make it a reality:
When you find that you are making some progress, the voices and beliefs you may have held about whether you can or cannot do something will begin to vanish. You will begin to feel more confident in your dream and your ability to execute it.
Working with an accountability partner or a creativity coach is also a good way to move past some fears. Ready to get started on your creative dream? Schedule a complimentary meeting with me at this link and let's talk!