Daffodils and sunshine

March 1, 2011

Creativity

I’m going to call this a Part I post about Morning Pages. I’m certainly a novice, as I only started writing them two weeks ago. But the initial results are interesting.

Morning Pages are the invention and recommendation of Julia Cameron in The Artist’s Way. First thing in the morning, write out, in long hand, three pages full of your stream-of-consciousness thoughts. The theory is that the scatter of thoughts running around in your head is blocking your creativity. By getting them down on paper, you can free yourself to think about other greater, more innovative stuff.

So I started doing it. In the morning, between walking the dog and getting ready for work, I set aside about 30 minutes. Just write, freely, without judgment or rules, whatever is in your head.

Sometimes you don’t know what’s dominating your thoughts. Seeing my thoughts on paper is helping me to know what I need to address or act upon.

I find that some days I hesitate to open my notebook because I don’t want to acknowledge the negativity. Yesterday, my pages were very negative. During the day, I resolved an interpersonal problem that was weighing on me. As I was writing my pages today, I had the realization that none of the negative stuff from yesterday was in my thoughts. As a matter of fact, among various thoughts about springtime, I noted the daffodils and the sunshine.

Writing out thoughts makes them more concrete. For example, I’ve been talking for months about taking a course on lynda.com. Noticing that ideas around this show up in my Morning Pages nearly every day probably means I should really do it.

Many sources have directed me toward The Artist’s Way (the final nudge came from blogger Melody Watson). The book is more of an undertaking than just a read and I have only scratched the surface. The depth of benefit promised by the discipline of Morning Pages takes time to experience. Honestly, I’m not ready to commit to working through The Artist’s Way but, as part of my plan to unlock creativity, I will keep doing my Pages and see where they take me.

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Image: imarsman

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One Comment on “Daffodils and sunshine”

  1. Melody Says:

    Wow! It’s kinda’ nifty to be reading along and see your name in someone else’s blog. I was all into it, remembering “I’d meant to be more consistent with my own morning pages and here’s one more reminder” and there it was! Thanks for the link. AND for the reminder to get back to them. It’s true that the more we pour onto the page, the more room we make in our thoughts for the things we WANT to appear there. I needed to read this…

    Reply

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