sharing a poetic LIFELINE with the world

Posts tagged ‘Julia Cameron’

The Artist’s Way, an interim Report

The Artist's Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher C...

The Artist’s Way book cover

The Artist’s Way is a book by Julia Cameron which turned into a movement on tapping into on creative potential. The book is divided into twelve chapters, one each week for twelve weeks. The core of the practice is the morning pages, 750 words that one is supposed to write longhand first thing every morning, and the artists date, a date with oneself to do something to nurture one’s creativity.

I have been through the book before. At the time, I did write longhand, although I usually fell short of three pages. I did write them fairly early in the morning. Now however knowing the limits of my concentration and my major, major dislike of writing anything by hand, I signed up with a website , The site is meant for morning pages and the like– not a blog, stuff is private, but it keeps you on track by

  1. Emailing you a reminder every morning,
  2. Keeping a count at the bottom of the screen so I can see your progress towards 750 words, and
  3. Awarding points for successfully doing ones pages 4. stats — it tells me how fast I types, how many words per minute, etc –
  4. Statistics.It tells me how fast many words per minute I typed, and the like.

I find the statistics surprisingly motivating. I’m a pretty fast typist, and when I’ve finished my allotment, I take a look at how long it took me and what my words per minute rate was. My rate is generally pretty consistent.

I’m finding that the discipline of having to produce 750 words is a key, for me, to tapping into creativit part of the experience for me. It’s long enough so that I have to find a fair amount of stuff to blurt out, which means I actually have to dig down and figure out what’s on my mind. I know that I’m not going consistently produce 750 words/three pages if I wrte them by hand, so in spite of the fact that writing by hand taps into a different area of the brain than typing, this is the best solution for me . I don’t delete the reminder until I’ve completed my pages.

As to the artists date, last time I went thru the book, I was convinced that the artists date had to be something big, and I never seemed to get to it. This time I know it can be something simple, like treating my self to a trip to the bookstore, or following thru on my commitment to get to yoga..

How is it going so far? Last week I went to the bookstore and loved over a book I was thinking of buying, spending an hour or so drinking coffee and reading the first chapter. I decided to borrow it from the library. This week, I followed through on my commitment to go to yoga. I’ve been twice this week to the Ashram around the corner. They have loads of classes, some of them free, and great instructors.I’m also finding that the discipline of producing 750 words every morning is making it easier for me to decide what to write.

Here is a link to an online community devoted to Julia Cameron’s ideas:

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How 750 words Freed Me

Swirling thoughts

Swirling Thoughts Image via Wikipedia

Today I’m going to share with you my favorite tool for dealing with writers block.

You may already be familiar with Morning Pages. This started with Julia Cameron, creator of The Artist’s Way. “Morning Pages are three pages of longhand writing, strictly stream-of-consciousness.” The idea is to, first thing in the morning, get out a notebook and write three pages of whatever is in your head. No overthinking. This clears your head for the rest of the day, opening you to inspiration, happiness, opportunity.

My problems with this system? I don’t function first thing in the morning. And I’ve been burned before by someone finding and reading stream-of-consciousness pages, and I don’t have a convenient place to keep these close and yet secret.

The solution? This takes the same concept online. It’s easier to sit down at your computer than find a pen or pencil and write by hand. (At least for some of us.)

The site is completely private. No one will be reading your words, you can do them at any time in the day, and there are incentives! Streaks and different statistics can earn animal badges. Amazing how motivating it is to get them. There are also monthly challenges to write daily for a special badge and bragging rights. A point system keeps track of how many days you’ve started and completed your 750 words. Sometimes it’s an incentive, especially if I have a streak going that I don’t want to break. But I never get reprimanded if I go too long without visiting.

My first month was brutal. My brain wanted to edit my words, censor, plan. I had a hard time simply opening my consciousness and writing whatever. Now, even if I’ve gone a month without writing anything, it’s so easy to get back into.

Since starting on the site (just over a year now!), my thoughts are clearer, my ideas more frequent, I’m less bogged by negativity. Even my typing speed has gone up with all the speed typing to keep up with my thoughts. I spend less time worrying about issues, which frees my subconscious to other ideas. I wish I was more consistent in using the site, as I know the results are positive.

750 words is: 
My rambling,
a bit of creative writing,
pure randomness.

No worries about it being read.

Some people use the site for their regular creative writing. Some use it as a serious journal. Others following the guidelines of Morning Pages. Whatever purpose you want. This is completely for you alone. No one else. The site is completely free, so no reason not to give it a try.

Next on Mary’s Expression (March19): a poetry prompt.

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