On Reading Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way

This month I’m participating in the A to Z Challenge, blogging every day of the month of April, except Sundays, on a topic from A to Z. I’m posting short-form topics meant to get you talking and sharing! Join the discussion in the comments.

I’ve started reading The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron at the suggestion of a reader of the blog. Cameron is a lovely writer, with a musical voice and a rhythmic way of become a better writer myself.

The book is meant to help blocked creatives get back to work, and while I’m not blocked, it is a soothing book that encourages relaxing into your work rather than ramming it down your own throat.

She suggests doing morning pages. Three pages written longhand, stream-of-consciousness. Not meant to be a thing, only to get all those busy brain thoughts out on the page so that they are out of the way of your creative work. I like that idea, but am resistant to trying the pages anyhow. How am I to fit another thing in? I can’t see it working.

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However this is perhaps another means of exploring, not the outer world, but our inner one. It is a means of shutting off what Cameron refers to as the Censor, which I’ve previously called the Inner Critic, and letting the words flow as they are, without judgment, a skill I’ve often said that writers must learn, however they do so. Cameron argues that all creatives may benefit from morning pages.

From The Artist’s Way:

“Morning pages map our own interior. Without them, our dreams may remain terra incongnita. I know mine did. Using them, the light of insight is coupled with the power for expansive change. It is very difficult to complain about a situation morning after morning, month after month, without being moved to constructive action. The pages lead us out of despair and into undreamed-of solutions.”

I’m still not sure. I’ve many dreamed-of solutions; it’s that I don’t know how to make them reality. I will keep reading and see if she can talk me into morning pages, among other things.

How do you map your own interior? Have you tried morning pages? Will you in the future? What methods have helped you recover from creative blockage?

J

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