The Morning Pages
After having numerous people recommend it for what seems like the past decade, I finally picked up a copy of The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron. Based on Cameron's workshops, the book seeks to equip readers for a spiritual path to deeper and more consistent creativity.
One key tool that Cameron emphasizes early on is something she calls the "morning pages." The assignment is simply to write three pages each morning, stream of consciousness, unpolished, non-evaluative, just what is on one's mind. A brain dump so to speak. Usually what pours out are the blockages to creativity, the excuses, the self-condemnation. All the reasons not to be creative.
Always eager for a new process to help kick-start creative momentum, I immediately went to the store and bought a fresh spiral notebook and a decent pen. (There's something symbolically energizing about actually going out and getting new paper and ink, as opposed to finding whatever is laying around.) I've decided to experiment this week with this whole pursuit, taking my notebook instead of a book to my 5:30 a.m. workouts and seeing what kind of creative flow takes place.
I actually began this morning when I arrived at Starbucks for my weekly 6 a.m. creative writing time, and found my work on my newest memoir project to be quite fruitful. My relationship with journaling has been sporadic, but this is a different angle to get at accomplishing what the best writers do best: write every single day, despite the mood.