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Write Your Morning Pages

January 10, 2013

Have you read The Artist’s Way? If not, you should. Any creative individual whether engaged in writing, painting, singing, acting, et al, should read this book. The book’s author is Julia Cameron who since The Artist’s Way publication has become known as the guru of unleashing creative potential.

I was first introduced to Julia Cameron when I bought a used book at Powell’s Bookstore (powells.com) here in Portland. The title caught my eye and the used price fit my budget. That book was called The Right to Write. I still have the book and I have read it through twice since I purchased it, plus have collected all her other motivational books. In all her books Julia Cameron has a way of not only digging into the artist psyche, but also showing how creativity can be easily tapped and expressed. She writes in a journal-style with daily chapters, which resemble one of her biggest instructions and assignments to all writers and artists – morning pages.

Morning pages originates from The Artist’s Way, which started out as a set of organized writing course lessons Cameron taught freelance. Students found her course so helpful and motivating that she was encouraged to publish it as a book. Since 1992 this book has found its way into millions of artists’ hands. As mentioned, morning pages is an assignment where writers (or any artist) sits down each morning and simply writes out three pages of text. Could be stream of consciousness, a confession to a diary, a journal of events – whatever you feel like writing. But by doing so an artist helps tap into the subconscious mind and helps release ideas, sort out or solve problems, discover a new plot narrative, and much more.

Now if you’re like me, handwriting is no fun. I started typing when I was 14 and have been doing so ever since. After all the hours each day I spend clicking and typing my hands have developed a semi-nasty case of carpal tunnel syndrome. Freehand writing usually results in painful cramps and gnashing of teeth.

But I found a great free website that centers around the morning pages theory, but is geared for zippy typists like me. The site is called 750words.com. The founder of 750words.com determined that three handwritten pages averages out to be about 750 words. On his website you can easily type each day into your account, and the site keeps track of whether you reach 750 words. This also allows users to type any time of day, plus motivates writers by awarding badges for writing a certain number of days in a row, typing posts under 20 minutes, and more including a NaNoWriMo badge.

I’m sure Julia Cameron approves of this helpful website. Back in 1992 when computers were still giant boxes on a home desk this option wasn’t available. But I find it to be a great tool in completing my Artist’s Way homework. Give it a try!

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