Dear Wonderful, Creative You:
I’ve been really excited to share this post with you because writing is one of my passions, and I haven’t shared it much here yet, so now is the perfect opportunity.
What’s your first memory of writing or journaling for yourself?
I got my first journal at age 8. I loved the idea of having thoughts important enough to write down. I sat down with my blue, puffy-cover journal with the metal lock, and recorded the events of the day, since that’s what I thought I was supposed to do in a journal.
The “lock” proved no match for sibling curiosity, and also I quickly got bored with the approach, so I dropped it for a while. By the time I was 12 or 13, I realized I could write about the things I felt, and so I did that a lot. I certainly had people to talk to, even trusted adults in my life, but having the chance to work out my feelings in writing has always fulfilled a deep need in me. I filled books and books with journaling and poetry.
Not long after college, I came upon The Artists’ Way by Julia Cameron. It was one of many powerful influences in my journey to more fully developing my “artist self.” (The link for the book I’ve provided is an affiliate link. If you decide to click on it and purchase something, I’ll receive a small commission.)
Morning pages are one of the key elements of Cameron’s approach to helping you nurture your inner artist and harness your creativity. The morning pages are 3 pages of “brain dump” each morning.
I suggest keeping your journal and a pen next to the bed as a reminder. You might journal in bed, or seek out some caffeinated inspiration before you start. The rules are to keep your hand moving continuously across the page until the 3 pages are done, and to not read it over, at least not for the first several weeks.
You might write a bunch of drivel, silliness, self-doubts, your to do list, or what you were dreaming. It really doesn’t matter. The morning pages don’t need to be serious or creative. Cameron stresses that there is no right and no wrong way to do morning pages. “Nothing is too pretty, too silly, too stupid, or too weird to be included,” she says.
The purpose of morning pages, she explains, is to tame the inner critic, what she refers to as the “Censor.” Cameron explains that the Censor’s job is to keep you from creating with its stream of harsh words and constant criticisms. You may choose to write what the Censor has to say, but as Cameron points out, “always remember that your Censor’s negative opinions are not the truth.”Tame the inner critic and free up your creative courage. #5for5selfcare #innercritic #creativity Click To Tweet
I think morning pages are also a great way to start the day a bit more slowly, to put off reaching for the phone, and to center yourself before you start the day.
Are you intrigued about doing morning pages? They make a great 5 minute self-care activity. Do you already do them? What’s it like for you? Tell us in the comments.
Twenty 5-Minute Writing Prompts
Write A Personal Reflection On:
- An object that is “precious” to you; You might even share it on this lovely blog.
- Something that scares you
- A time you found you had more courage than you knew
- Your favorite person
- A time you laughed so much you cried
- Something that stirs your soul
- A need that has gone unfulfilled
- What it means to have grit
- A place you find peace
- What you know about the day of your birth or why you were given your name
Write a Short, Creative Piece About:
- An object in your home
- What an old woman tells her granddaughter one hot, airless day to pass the time
- What your favorite shoes would say if they could talk
- A favorite old photograph
- A blue piece of string
Write A Piece That Starts With:
- She never knew she was “intense” until he said…
- He looked up from his book and saw a man with long hair, his hands shook as he began to speak…
- Being the sort of person who liked everything “in its place,” Allie had her doubts…
- Barley was a dingy dog, and while he had an owner he barely belonged to anyone, really…
- All he had to do was pick up the phone and yet…
For more great creative writing prompts, check out Warren Wilson College’s creative writing page.
For you lovely, wonderful creatives on my mailing list, look out for this printable journal coming directly to your mailbox this week.
You can use it as background for your own art journaling or for writing. If you aren’t on my mailing list yet, don’t fret, there’s time to sign up here and spread the creative love.
Comment to Win:
Will you share something you wrote, or share about your experience writing here? Remember, each day you comment is a chance to win a copy of Starting Your Art Journal, or a Portable Art Kit.
For official challenge rules and information, click here.
Reference: Cameron, J. (2002). The artist’s way: A spiritual path to higher creativity. New York: Jeremy P. Tarcher/Putnam.