Four years ago, a good friend of mine proposed that we read The Artist’s Way at Work. She thought that the book might help with our productivity. So, we dedicated four weeks to reading the book and undertaking the practices it recommended. Let me tell you, this book has changed my creativity, my productivity, and my outlook! And, one practice introduced in the book has become my key to unlocking creative productivity.
Julia Cameron, in her book The Artist’s Way, takes the reader on a journey to creative transformation. She argues that there are essential elements to opening up the creative doors in your mind—from facing fear, to clearing the mind, to play. The one element to creativity that she recommends, which has truly changed the way I run my mornings, is the practice of Morning Pages. It is my #1 tool for creative productivity.
What are morning pages? Julia Cameron recommends writing three pages of your stream of consciousness right after you wake up to spark creative thoughts. Unlike a journal, morning pages don’t have structure; they simply exist to get your thoughts on paper.
Why does this work for me?
On days that I skip morning pages, I feel discombobulated. After my morning pages, my mind is clear and I feel prepared for the day. I think the reason Morning Pages works for me is because it helps me organize my thoughts and reflect calmly on my emotions. It is a space—free of judgment—where no grammar police or writing critics trespass the pages.
Also, Morning Pages opened the door for me to begin my day a bit earlier. I know that when I wake up early enough to do morning pages, my day will be better. Want to learn more about the importance of mornings? Check out my blog about good mornings.
How to get started
Julia Cameron recommends to complete morning pages the old fashioned way: with a notebook and a pen or pencil. I tend to agree with her. The practice of writing slow—not typing—is methodical and meditative. I leave 15 to 20 minutes each morning to write in my notebook. This time is agenda-free. I simply write about what is on my mind.
What is your #1 habit for creative productivity?
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