The Best Habit For Artists
I’m sure like me you’ve read all the advice about having a blog. Publish something at least once a week. Sounds easy, right? The blogs that you follow? You check their published dates and you notice they publish multiple times a week. So, you get ready, you create a time to write on your blog and then what happens? You’re not quite sure what to say. You had so many ideas brimming in your mind but now that you’re here, you’re unsure what to write.
Enter, the morning pages.
The author of The Artist’s Way is Julia Cameron and she’s very well known as an expert on the creative process and the spiritual connection to creativity. I first learned about her while reading The Creative Call by Janice Elsheimer. I finally got a copy of Cameron’s book. I was already familiar with the concepts and ideas of Cameron’s book but reading it for myself was invaluable. Besides detailing the connection between creativity and spirituality the thesis of the book is to recover or unleash the inner artist. The main tools to do this is what she calls the morning pages and the artist date. I will be elaborating on the morning pages here.
Put simply, the morning pages are three pages of longhand writing. No filtering. No editing. When you wake up one of the first things you do is grab three pages of paper, or a journal, and you write whatever comes to mind. This is mental throw-up. This is getting the previous day out of the way. This is getting your inner voice that says “You can’t do this” to shut up. This is you putting your doubts and fears on paper so that you can confront them and so that you can get them out of your brain. Don’t worry about proper spelling or grammar. Don’t worry about wording things poetically. You should not go back and read this. You should not show this to anyone.
When you perform the practice of morning pages you are cultivating inspiration.
Writing begets writing. The more you write, the more you want to write. Part of this is that initially you have to discipline yourself. An undisciplined artist is no artist at all. I think when you perform the practice of morning pages you are cultivating inspiration. You will find if you start this practice that it is hard to write your thoughts down unfiltered. You will find your mind wandering down mental roads you didn’t really want to think about which in a way is exactly what the morning pages are supposed to do. You get the ideas that you don’t want to dwell on out so that you can dwell on the good. Besides creating her art regularly this is one of the best habits any artist or creative can develop because it keeps the artist’s mind sharp, clear, and focused on what she really wants.
You get the ideas that you don’t want to dwell on out so that you can dwell on the good.
How can the morning pages help with the writing/blogging you really want to do? I opened this blog detailing a problem all writers and bloggers face: uncertainty when it comes to what topics to write about or even “writers block”. The morning pages can help or solve these problems because when you get the mental clutter out of your brain you are left with the mental space to think, dream, work, and create the things you really want to focus on.
When you get the mental clutter out of your brain you are left with the mental space to think, dream, work, and create the things you really want to focus on.
I have noticed an increase of creative energy by practicing the morning pages. I have also found an increase of patience in my everyday life. The morning pages are an invaluable tool for the artist. Initially, I was very disciplined with the morning pages but now my goal is to do two pages, instead of 3. Even 1 if I have a rushed morning helps. If I go more than a few days without doing a page I find my creative endeavors sluggish. For a fierce gal like me with many creative goals that is not acceptable, so I turn to morning pages. If you are desiring to get your creative side running at top notch, or just want some more mental clarity, the morning pages are a fierce gift.
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