The ritual of Morning Pages can and will transform your art practice.
Notice I didn’t say, “writing practice.”
Morning Pages are a part of Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way and they will drive you insane before they drive you. But I see them as an essential for creativity coaching. I loved the Artist’s Way course I took. While TAW can benefit any writing practice, I want to be clear that the morning pages exercise is for everyone — not just writers.
In the same way, practicing art can help writers to grow in their writing. By art, I mean some non-writing creative activity like painting, making music, or cross-stitching. Gardening counts too. (Though it’s a tad bit hard to undertake that this winter unless you have grow lights or a greenhouse). Writing can help an artist’s practice as well!
The goal of The Artist’s Way is to help you to nurture your inner artist in such a way that removes creative blocks. I’m not a believer in “writer’s block” as I have worked in a newsroom, full-time, and had to adhere to deadlines. You don’t get to just sit around, “blocked,” and unable to put words on the screen.
But I’m talking about using TAW as a tool for your creative writing, not journalism. The fact that I can always bust out a paragraph in a news room doesn’t even crack the surface of what’s behind blocked fiction writers, poets, etc.
What I am a believer in is “writer’s procrastination” rather than “writer’s block.”
There’s a big fat list of things I think really exist while “writer’s block” does not.
- Writer’s Fear of Success
- Writer’s Fear of Failure
- Writer’s Laziness
- Writer’s Shiny Object Syndrome
- Writer’s Lack of Self-Esteem
- Writer’s Lack of Focus
- Utter Codependency
- Lack of Prioritization
- Writer’s Crazy Perfection Complex
You’re going to find that your blocks have nothing to do with the dreaded and fake “writer’s block.” Correctly identify those blocks and then work on them! This creative life is work! Just stop calling it “writer’s block.” You can write right now. I know you can.
Hence, Morning Pages.
This exercise makes you write. Right now. Just do it. All you have to do is three pages or 750 words. Just write stuff. It’s brain dump stuff. It doesn’t even have to have proper grammar and punctuation. No one cares. Draw pictures and doodles. It’s just a tool for you to use. You do it daily. That’s it.
What it can do for you individually will be revealed in time.
Time to trust the creative process. That is, if you really want this…
Next blog: Fun Ways to Do Your Morning Pages