It was a joy to speak at the Hay House Writers Workshop 2016. I was offering some insights into the importance of recognising that ‘You’ are the Brand and how to get your message out to a wider audience.
The main act of the weekend alongside Michelle Pilley from Hay House UK, was the wonderful Julia Cameron, the author, artist, poet, playwright, filmmaker, and composer. Apart from being once married to Martin Scorsese she is most famous for her book ‘The Artists Way’ which has sold over 4 million copies and to this day remains a classic on the bookshelves of anyone who wants to expand their creativity.
Julia is a fantastic workshop leader giving us great insights into how to kick-start our creativity and this is what she believes:
“The bedrock tool of a creative recovery is a daily practice called Morning Pages”
She believes it’s imperative to write what she calls ‘Morning Pages’. It’s literally that –at least 3 pages of longhand every morning, preferably when you first wake up. I’m guessing you had to go back and re-read that – yes, I did say ‘longhand’ i.e. handwriting – remember that? No laptops, tablets or phones, good old fashioned pen, and paper! There’s something unique about letting the words flow onto a page. Julia reminded us that there is no right way or wrong way to do it (and yes you can have a cup of coffee) but you must write everything that comes into your head, don’t think about it, or edit, or assess, just write, and don’t show them to anyone, they are only for you.
Unsure what to write? Just write anyway, it’s a stream of consciousness, it might include…Oops forgot to send a birthday card to Dawn…I’m feeling excited if apprehensive about my next big speaking gig…why did I have that second glass of wine, I haven’t a clue what to wear when it’s this cold…I so don’t want to go to the gym…
You get the idea! It can be about nothing…and everything and interestingly the act of writing it down is very cathartic and brings peace. It’s rather like a creative form of meditation, but where as many of us find meditation ‘difficult’ because we are trying NOT to have thoughts, the idea here is to ‘download’ as many as possible. In fact, Julia says spirituality and creativity are intrinsically linked.
If you are a writer, Julia believes you are also a critic and she believes this simple daily practice helps you over time to choose positive attitudes, to let all the thoughts flow you must ask your critic to step aside, and let’s face it in the search for perfection, many of us are literally silenced by our inner voices most of the time.
I’ve lost count of the clients who tell me they know they should write their book, create their online course, blog more regularly, share their story, but procrastination, fear of being judged is holding them back.
Give it a shot, if you are currently trying to make some sense of your life and work it’s one of the best tools I know to fast-track you to clarity and to get those creative juices flowing. Julia often finds that when people start committing to writing their morning pages their other writing, whether that be a book, blog, or essays, flows more effortlessly.