We are all creative beings. No matter who you are or where you are in life you're a creative being. If you don't feel creative that might mean you're simply a little stuck or as Julie Cameron Author of The Artist's Way would say, "you're a blocked artist" because after all we're all artists. You might have big dreams of writing a book, or making huge paintings to sell at galleries, you might have a goal of wanting to write a little every day or you might want to bring bits of creativity into your every day life. Every Tuesday I'll bring you one of my favorite tools for cultivating creativity. These are the tools I use for bringing creativity into my life in big or little ways.
This week: Morning Pages
What are morning Pages?
Morning pages are the single biggest tool I use to cultivate creativity in my life. If my day doesn't start with morning pages then I feel off the entire rest of the day. Morning Pages come from the book I mentioned above by Julie Cameron "The Artist's Way" if you don't have this book I'd strongly recommend getting it.
It's three pages long hand (pen to paper) writing. First thing in the morning right after you roll out of bed. Stream of consciousness. These are musings on anything that comes to mind. ANYTHING you are thinking about. I write about what's going on in my life, what's working, what's not. Things I'm stressing over, things I'm worried about, what is working, what I want to cultivate more of. Everything from goals and gratitudes to complaints and worries. I put it all on paper. It's like I'm taking out the trash before the day starts. I write about everything and especially of the worries, all of the "monkey mind" thoughts get put on paper so that I can be done with them. I try to keep the words moving. I try not to pick up the pen during those three pages. Just write. The only thing I do while writing morning pages is drink coffee. Nothing else, no stopping to check Facebook or Instagram. Simply writing.
Morning Pages Are Magic: Do's and Don'ts
Do start your day 30 minutes earlier to give yourself enough time for morning pages
Do allow yourself to write whatever pops into your head
Do make it a fun ritual for yourself, grab a cup of coffee or tea, light a candle, curl up in your favorite nook.
Do use fun tools: buy a beautiful new notebook and use your favorite writing utensil (I'm a sucker for lined Shinola note books -made in the USA- and fine tipped sharpies).
Do keep writing. Even if you can't think of anything to say simply write "I can't think of anything to say". Eventually something else will pop into your head.
Don't judge what's coming out onto the page
Don't show your pages to anyone else
Don't go back and read what you've been writing at least for a few months. Just write to start.
I've been writing morning pages for almost 6 years. I was always a journaler, but morning pages are different. For me they aren't simply an account of what I've been doing they are full of my hopes, fears, loves and losses. They help me identify my obsessions and frustrations and they set the stage for what I'm working on and the direction I'm guiding my life. I hope that you'll find them as rewarding and helpful as I do!
Are you already writing morning pages? If so what has your experience been? If you've just started out how are they going for you? If you are about to try what's stopping you? Please share with us below. We can all support each other on this path of creativity.