This post may contain affiliate links, which means I’ll receive a commission if you purchase through my link, at no extra cost to you.
I am an avid reader. It started in my childhood with Judy Blume and Ramona the Pest, then Little House on the Prairie and Flowers in the Attic as a teen, Stephen King in my college years, all the Jane Austen books in my peaceful pre-kids era, to self development and biographies these days.
But of the hundreds of books I’ve read, one book alone has had the greatest impact on my mindset and on the trajectory of my life: The Artists Way by Julia Cameron.
This book is all about living a creative life. The author shares tons of stories, tips and activities to help the reader unblock, discover and play. I’ve read this book about 3 or 4 times, whenever I’m feeling stuck and want to get back aligned with my creativity.
The two main exercises of The Artist Way are practices I still do today, after reading the book for the first time over a decade ago.
Morning Pages are basically three pages of stream-of-conscious journaling. It’s not supposed to be pretty or perfect. There’s no agenda. Sometimes I don’t know what to write, so I start off writing nonsense mumbo jumbo. But more often than not, by the end of page three, I’ve worked through, or at the very least unloaded, something that has been on my mind.
The topics of my Morning Pages aren’t all related to creativity. A lot of times I’m writing about a relationship or some kind of struggle, and without even realizing it or trying to, things start working themselves out in my head, and eventually in my life.
There are phases when I fall away from Morning Pages. But I ALWAYS come back to them. Especially if I’m really stuck or struggling with something.
Artist Dates are essentially “me time”, but more focused on nurturing creativity. You essentially take yourself on a date to do something that will inspire you. Some examples of things I’ve done are: taking myself to a movie, shopping at my favorite stationery stores, reading at a coffee shop. Sometimes I stay in and flip through fashion magazines, binge watch creative vlogs, work on The Book (my vision journal).
And it’s important to treat it as a date–schedule it, commit to it, and keep that time to yourself to focus on yourself.
Julia Cameron shares so much more about Morning Pages and Artist Dates in her book, as well as valuable exercises that reveal so much about creativity and your personal creative journey.
It’s been awhile since I read the book and done the exercises. Would any of you be interested in learning (or re-learning) The Artist Way together?