The Artist’sWay by Julia Cameron is based on the premise “We are all creative. We can all be more creative.” When I started this IMAGINE blog in January, it was with this premise and with the goal of developing a stronger imagination. After several months of exploration, I’m now ready to settle in to some consistent routines. I’m also eager to develop some of my own exercises around the creative life, particularly with respect to stimulating a stronger imagination.
The first exercise I have embraced is based on Julia Cameron’s Morning Pages. You roll out of bed and immediately into your pages. First thing. According to Cameron, there are no rules, except that you must write long hand until you have three pages completed. And they must be first thing in the morning. It is a way to clear your brain of all the debris floating around in there. Once we do that, by writing whatever comes to mind, our mind is free to get on with the creativity. It is a wonderful way to unclog your brain, trust your mind and unblock your artistic self. The Morning Pages, Julia Cameron says, are nonnegotiable. Her course is twelve weeks. She’s hoping people do them beyond the twelve weeks.
Here’s what I like about the Morning Pages:
- It doesn’t matter what you write about. If something is bugging you, you can get that out on the paper first thing without feeling like you’re supposed to be opening your mind to innovative ideas.
- It’s morning. You’re fresh. Nothing has gone wrong yet. You’re optimistically enthusiastic about all you will accomplish.
- It’s three pages. You aren’t wondering when the timer is going to go off. You know when you’re done. Three pages in, there is a sense of accomplishment. There is something to check off the list.
Here’s what hasn’t worked for me:
- Despite my best intentions, I have yet to figure out how to get the pages done before my demanding puppies begin their day. By the time I have tended to them, I’m busy with the two-legged variety. Consistently writing morning pages, as in first thing in the morning, is still a bit of a challenge. I love this concept, though, so am not willing to bail on it just yet.
Check back tomorrow for another great exercise for finding your inner artist.
Until then, happy creating!