As I mentioned in my last post, as part of my New Year’s resolutions, I have been working through the 12 week course, “The Artist’s Way.“ The past year has been a struggle with creativity for me, and it is my hope that I can make this year different. I had heard about this course before, and when I stumbled across the the book in Barnes and Noble just after the new year, and I felt compelled to get it and complete the program.
It has not been easy. Instead of a nice, creative stroll through the park, so to speak, the assignments have been many and each one challenging in a different way. This year holds so much potential for my artistic career, and this course will be the thing that will jump start the process – I can feel it!
One of the requirements if the course is to do an exercise called “Morning Pages”. Morning pages are time spent each morning writing three pages of stream of consciousness. In other words, for the past few weeks, the first thing I do every morning is sit down and write three pages of whatever I’m thinking. I fill three pages even when I feel like I’ve run out of things to write. I write three pages even when I don’t feel like it. I write three pages even when I spend the first half of the first page writing, “I have no idea what I’m supposed to be writing.”
This may sound like a waste of time. I thought so too, and the first week seemed especially wasteful. Despite feeling like I was spending precious, hand-cramping hours writing for no good reason, I kept at it. Every morning I write, because I made a commitment to myself and my dreams to finish this course and follow it’s instruction down to the last detail.
After the first week, I started to notice a difference.
The morning pages became an outlet for all of the distractions and thoughts that would ordinarily steal my focus from the projects I was undertaking for the day. They became a form of brainstorming and meditation. Among the random thoughts, feelings, and ranting I would find new ideas and inspiration. I also began to identify the limiting beliefs and thoughts that would come along with the ideas and inspiration. “I’ll never really make it as an artist.” “I’m not really good enough.” “I haven’t done anything new in so long, so what’s the point?” “I should have accomplished something more by now – my twenties are almost over and I haven’t done anything of merit.” These thoughts would glaringly show up in the middle of my pages, and they surprised me. Could these be the things keeping me from moving forward in the way that I want to?
I’m hoping that my morning pages and identifying these destructive thoughts will be the first step to dealing with them, neutralizing them, and moving forward. I’m thrilled that morning pages have been so constructive after only a couple of weeks, and I’m excited to see what else I discover about myself as a creative person throughout the course.