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?
Many people ask me how I make time to create with so much going on in my life. Part of it is because I am a Gemini (ha,ha)...but mostly is because I learned the hard way what it feels like to not be able to create. I decided once I unblocked myself, it was important for me to nurture and encourage my creative muse at all costs.
To say that it has been easy would be untrue....there are days and weeks when my other world takes precedent and I am unable to make my creative practice a priority. But in those times, I make note of the things that inspire me, the ideas that come to me, and the images that get my attention. When the time comes again for me to resume my creative practice, I collect the ideas, images, etc., that I found during the time of unproductivity which helps me jump start my creative practice without searching for ideas.
So you may be telling yourself, that's great for you, but how can I possibly fit in my creative practice when I have a household to run, a full-time job, care taking of elderly parents, and other demands on my time? Here are a few ideas to help you determine whether or not that is truly a reality for you:
Once you decide that your creativity IS an important part of your life that should not be given to chance, you can take the steps to infuse it into your schedule. Don't worry about how much time you can spend right away, as you move forward and become more disciplined, you will find that it will take the right place in your schedule naturally.