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 , 750words.com. The site is meant for morning pages and the like– not a blog, stuff is private, but it keeps you on track by
- Emailing you a reminder every morning,
- Keeping a count at the bottom of the screen so I can see your progress towards 750 words, and
- Awarding points for successfully doing ones pages 4. stats — it tells me how fast I types, how many words per minute, etc –
- 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: