Lessons Learned From Julia Camerons “Artist’s Way Morning Pages”

Lessons Learned from Julia Cameron’s “Morning Pages”

Discipline

It takes willpower and discipline to wake up every morning early enough to write three hand-written long-form style pages each morning. It takes anywhere from 45–60 minutes on most days (sometimes more).

In order to do this productively I would; wake up at 5AM, drink a bottle of water, wash my face, brush my teeth, make my bed, write my 5 minute journal, make a cup of coffee or tea, do 10 push ups(at a minimum), stretch for 5–10 minutes, and then sit down to write.

With ambient sounds or acoustic music playing, I would gently flow into the art of writing my three lovely, sometimes irksome, morning pages.

The act of waking up early and focusing on important areas of my life has been and remains key to my joy each day.

I Can Write

Thanks, Jeff Goins. Check out his book, “You Are a Writer (So Start Acting Like One).

I wrote for years without much intention or purpose. A lot of which for personal growth, reflection, and education. It helps me find meaning in business, books, relationships, and life.

Then I started freelance writing and realized I had a LOT to learn. Grammar, copywriting, print, advertisements, email marketing; the list goes on and on.

I’ve written well over 400,000 words (maybe more, maybe less) this year which is an accomplishment I’m rather proud of.’

Much of this has been from my daily habit of writing. Thank you morning pages for the confidence to call myself a writer.

Enhanced Creativity

I never thought I was creative even though I always craved creation.

I enjoyed art, liked poetry, loved the design, and was a passionate writer. The problem was my lack of education to make things of my own.

Morning pages expanded my curiosity, creative capabilities, interests, and most importantly understand myself.

Use morning pages to plan your day, settle your emotions, think of new ways to work on relationships in your life, identify skills to work on, and unleash the power of your creative mind.

Be creative with your writing. Don’t judge your own work. Let yourself break the rules and do things against what you were taught in school.

Try writing in cursive, different sizes, do a bit of drawing, make lists, set goals, and anything else you can think of.

Try New Things

One of the best parts of the morning pages experience is the infamous “artist date”. An individual 2-hour exploration of a creative interest of your desire.

This can be a drawing class, yoga, meditation, painting, acting, a tour of a local attraction; anything you love to do and that will inspire creativity and new ideas.

Cameron says this is the most important aspect of rediscovering your creative interests. The only way to find comfort in creativity is to try new things.

The best artist date for me this summer was a chance to be on TV! I made it!

I appeared in several episodes of Good Behavior, a TNT show, as a club patron and pedestrian!

This was by far my favorite experience of the year and something I will be grateful for and remember for the rest of my life.

If you are interested in expanding your curiosity, creativity, or maybe you want a unique way to discover more about yourself; check out Julia Cameron’s Artist’s Way!

Follow me on my blog or find more of my writing on Medium!

How Do You Find Joy In Life?

Skydiving on my 25th birthday. This brought LOTS of joy to my life =)!

How to Find Out What Brings You Joy

What pulls you from the comfort of your sheets each day?

Is it your job? Your family? School?

Maybe you’re tired of your job and it’s time for a change. The autopilot life can be tough to break.

Joy exists everywhere, much like gratitude and appreciation, but can require a bit of effort to discover (or rediscover for some of you).

The feeling of being stuck can prevent you from pursuing things you love; even those which make you the happiest. I’ve realized this is something that will continuously occur in life. No if’s and’s or buts. It’s out of our control.

You get one life. If you’re suffering, frustrated, or struggling to find joy, it’s time you invest in yourself for the betterment of your future.

Take Time to Reflect

Start with an honest reflection of your life. Evaluate the failures, successes, wins, losses, and the deeply personal details of who you are. If this is a bit much, try just 6 months, or a year.

Make a list of all of the things you are proud of, failed at, learned, and accomplished.

Understand what you love to do and the things that bring you the most joy. Maybe you always wanted to be an athlete, a writer, painter, on TV, a comedian, you get the point.

Find ways to explore your childhood passions with a childlike sense of curiosity. I loved video games as a kid but realized I no longer find the same fulfillment I did when I was young. Writing, reading, hiking, mountain biking, and music are only a few of the hobbies which bring joy to my life.

Evaluate your life and what fires you up! Do you want to write a book, travel to another country, learn another language, learn how to draw, practice an instrument?

What is it you desire to achieve or accomplish in your life?

What are a few of those things you could do today which would bring you the most joy? Don’t wait. Figure out 2–3 things you can do TODAY, at the latest tomorrow, to find joy in your life.

Then take action!

Time To Take Action

Don’t wait, don’t overthink it, and please, please do not complain and go take action. Life is a surplus of opportunity waiting to be discovered. As Jim Rohn says, “Doors of opportunity comes to those who continually knock”.

Don’t stop knocking. The ‘you’ which you haven’t met yet is waiting to be found. Go find him.

So many of us reflect on our lives and learn of what brings us the most joy only to fall short of ever taking the first step.

I struggle with this every day; I’m already fighting reasons why I shouldn’t publish this but I am anyway. Even if nobody likes, comments, or even reads it at all.

Try something new, if you’re struggling with ideas here are a few examples:

►Journaling, Writing, Blogging, Reading

►Yoga, Crossfit, Spin Class, Pilates, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Etc

►Programming, Web Design, Photography, Video Production

►Take a class; Acting, Dance, Film, Creative Writing, Programming, (Anything!)

The simple commitment to something you enjoy will bring you joy. Be proud of your commitment to self-improvement and FOLLOW THROUGH!

Serve Others

Find a way to volunteer for a cause you believe in, offer your services to a non-profit, or get involved in your community.

When you offer to help others with no expectations of payment or reward, magic happens. You take action in things you believe in with passion, excitement, and energy because otherwise, you wouldn’t do those things.

Indulge in service to others in a way which you do things with no expectations of anything in return.

There is no easier way to express joy, gratitude, and appreciation than the gesture to help others.

Ask around the office for volunteer opportunities. I’m sure a quick Google search of “volunteer opportunities near me” will provide ample results.

Find a cause you’re passionate about; a surfing charity, volunteer golf sponsor, offer advice in a field you are an expert in; anything along those lines.

Have Fun

Joy, much like love, comes from doing what you love and doing it with who you love most.

Meaningful connections with others engaged in the things you value most will make you happy.

Make the time for what you love. Give up some TV or other non-productive tasks for an investment in your personal joy.

Find a way to escape so deep into an activity so you achieve a “flow state”. Check out this TED talk on flow states. This is a deep state of focus achieved by athletes, authors, and many more. You become immersed in the moment without any thought towards any other aspect of life except what is happening right now.

What is your thing? What do you want to try or rediscover?

I write, meditate, practice yoga, mountain bike, hike, play golf, and spend time with loved ones to find my joy. How do you find yours?

Rediscover what brings you joy in life and enhances your life, you’ll be glad you did.