Wednesday, March 17, 2010

TAW: Morning Pages

I finally started to read Julia Cameron's The Artist's Way or TAW, five and a half years after first hearing about it.

One of the first things she wants readers to do is to write "Morning Pages." This is a writing exercise that you're supposed to do first thing in the morning. It involves writing in long hand three pages of whatever pops into your head.

My first reaction was, "Is that all, three pages? But what if I have more I want to keep writing about?"

Then my thoughts drifted over to how I started a handwritten journal in 1976. At some point I decided to record my dreams, and then I'd expound on the dreams. So it seems to me that I've already been doing Morning Pages for many years. Maybe this is why I consider Creativity to be my greatest asset?

A second thing that Julia writes about is a weekly artist date. Again, that's another thing I used to do naturally, intuitively many years ago. But now, being married, a father, a homeowner and a full-time worker, it's hard to find time for that. Yet I'm always trying to eek out nice things for my Inner Artist to appreciate, even when I just take the dog outside for five minutes at night. Then, the stars, the glittery sparkle of snow in Winter, the furtive sounds of nocturnal creatures in Spring, Summer and Fall, all delight me.

Third, and perhaps most helpful, is the contract that you're supposed to sign at the end of chapter 1. It's not enough to agree to read the book (one chapter per week) and do the exercises. We must also get plenty of rest, eat sensibly, and exercise. This reminded me in a big way that you can't be creative if you're in a daze from sleep deprivation or suffering a letdown from caffeine or a sugar high. That's a motivational trigger for me. I can't seem to control my lifestyle just for the sake of feeling better, losing weight (or keeping it off) or even living longer. But when I realized I'd lose touch with my Muse, I decided to get back on track. Ironically, the time I'd spend blogging (lunchtime and nighttime) I now have to "sacrifice" for taking noontime walks and going to bed at a decent hour.

So I still find this book inspirational, even though I've read only about the first half. The best sentence: "Jump and the net will appear," she writes, quoting another source. Isn't that wonderful?

You can visit The Artist's Way website at

1 comment:

Rummuser said...

When I started to blog seriously, I was directed to TAW and found it to be more for serious professional writers and not for amateurs like me who write for the fun of it. It is still a good read.