I have a bad habit of using Amazon’s “swipe to buy” tool from my iPhone. It’s downright dangerous, because when I’m reading something online, and a favorite writer recommends a great book…
A package arrives in a couple of days, or I see it pop up in my Kindle app.
I’m at a conference, and the speaker says something is a must-read…
The magic genie delivers a new book to my doorstep.
A few weeks ago, my swiping brought me the most magical book. I’m 20 years late to this party, but I finally got around to reading “The Artist’s Way,” by Julia Cameron.
Don’t roll your eyes at me. I’ve been busy.
The key to the Artist’s Way is the “morning pages.” This is three long-hand written pages, preferably in the morning, full of whatever random junk is in your brain. The morning pages are not intended to be read by anyone, even yourself. You can even write about how dumb morning pages are!
Something about channeling your dreams and inspiration onto a blank page first thing in the morning is magical.
You may not even realize you have dreams. You may be in dire need of inspiration. And stream of consciousness writing will elicit both from the depths of your frenzied brain.
All day long, you are having an inner dialogue. Sometimes you’re a best friend, sometimes a coach, often a big meanie. Pulling that dialogue out of your silent recesses and getting it on paper is so freeing, so wonderful that it can change your life.
Here’s my story, briefly.
I’ll start by saying I’m NOT a morning person. So the idea of morning pages wasn’t really appealing from the start. However, after reading the first couple of chapters, I set an alarm for 6am (1 hour earlier than usual), wrote my three pages, and then exercised for 30 minutes.
That may not seem earth-shattering, but I’ve been trying to coax myself to do those very things for YEARS. I’ve tried reward systems, multiple alarms, punishments, everything. I felt so great that whole day that I did it again the next day.
Three weeks later, I’m still getting up at 6am and doing my writing and exercise for an hour, and even more things are falling into place. It’s like the cobwebs were cleared out and I can see things from a different angle now.
This small ritual has affected my demeanor so much that my son (not knowing what I’m up to) said the other day, “Mommy, you’re acting weird.” That’s my badge of honor. I can’t wait to see what happens next.
Creative people need an outlet. If you’ve been stuffing your creative self into a corner in your brain, or just “trying to focus on work,” I’d strongly encourage you to check out The Artist’s Way. There’s a reason it’s been a global phenomenon for decades.
For those of you who have already been doing morning pages for years, what has been your experience over time?
Featured Image via Unsplash: https://unsplash.com/photos/y02jEX_B0O0