The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron is a well-known book on the subject of creativity and living the artist’s life. The book was first published in 1992 and is still well read today. I read it somewhere around 1999 when I first started to explore what it means to be a modern day artist and like a lot of people I found its parts to be better than its whole. Because overall the book did not resonate with me but there were some nuggets of gold sprinkled throughout.
Probably one of the most known and referenced tool Cameron offered is the idea of the morning pages.
Here is how they are described on The Artist’s Way Online website:
“In order to retrieve your creativity, you need to find it. I ask you to do this by an apparently pointless process I call the morning pages. Morning Pages are three pages of longhand, stream of consciousness writing, done first thing in the morning. There is no wrong way to do Morning Pages– they are not high art. They are about anything and everything that crosses your mind– and they are for your eyes only.”
This practice of writing whatever comes to mind every morning is an exercise in cleaning out the cobwebs of the mind as well as straightening the clutter that gets in the way of our own creativity. And don’t get hung up on the fact that it is writing. Doing this stream of conscious writing would serve anyone well whether you are a painter, sculptor, or politician.
Many people swear that the practice of morning pages is a big part of their creative success. I am one of them.
When I do them.
Which brings me to the reason I am writing you today. I always intend to write mine and I have some good streaks from time to time but I’ll admit there can be weeks or months that go by without me doing my morning pages. Until recently when I discovered the wonder website that is 750words.com.
750 Words is a website created by Buster Benson to help you do this creative exercise. Here is what he says in regards to 750 Words and The Artist’s Way morning pages”:
“750 Words is the online, future-ified, fun-ified translation of this exercise.”
It is fun because it not only scores your progress but you earn badges as you go. The scoring system is very similar to bowling and encourages you to keep a streak going. For an artist like me who is drawn to computers and technology it is really helping me write more and keep at my three pages a day.
I encourage you to check out 750words.com and see if it adds to your creative life.
But I know many artists are not big fans of being on the computer, I encourage those artists to check out The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. To get a taste of the book she has a PDF available here of her “Basic Tools” which include instructions for the morning pages as well as The Artists Date.
I’d love to hear from you in the comments on what you do to keep the creativity flowing.