It should be simple – a “self-help book” shouldn’t carry the stigma of “failed at solving it myself” or “making a bit too much out of this – deal with it”, but I’m confident I’m not the only person who interprets this section of Amazon and any bookstore this way…
The book was given to me in 1996 shortly after I was hit by a tow truck (speeding, the doctors estimated based on my injuries, at 65MPH) and found myself with about 25 fractures and the prospect of spending most of the next year in a wheelchair while my bones healed, my muscles atrophied and my brain had time to contemplate my future. Hopefully understandable given I was completely focused on healing and regaining my strength, I promptly set the book on a shelf where it was then transferred to a storage box and remains to this day along with a load of furniture (but all that is for another time).
And so, in 2010 I took a chance which demonstrated (once again) that any hesitation to improve my self-awareness confirmed my status as only slightly more evolved than those of my ancestors who foraged for food and slept on rocks. No, I didn’t get the book out of storage, just a downloaded PDF from the author’s website called: “The Basic Tools.”
In case you’re wondering, I don’t see myself as an artist in any way – that role in the family script belongs to my older brother who happens to have perfect pitch along with a particularly deft hand for drawing and design. I was under the impression the book was designed not just for aspiring artists but for anyone who felt “blocked” and unable to be creative: creative at business development, creative at problem solving, creative at setting goals and creative at enjoying life.
I decided to read the 19 pages of text… Oops, another day gone (not quite sure how I spent it, pages not yet read)… Wow, 4 more days passed (what have I been doing with my time???)… Finally – feeling very zen – sitting on my fitness ball (let’s work the core muscles while I stretch my self-awareness) and finding all sorts of reasons to be distracted (no, I don’t have ADHD, but do have a problem committing to “soft text” – things that are written very right-brain by people who are unlike those I deal with usually). I finished the text and decided to try the recommendation about the morning pages.
The Morning Pages, as defined in the PDF, are a commitment to write three pages first thing each day. To be clear, it’s a commitment to write whatever you want to write over three pages – first thing every morning.
The goal is simple: if you wake up and set yourself to writing with no intention of judging or evaluating (or even reading it back for the first few weeks) what you write, you create an environment where thoughts flow easily.
The Morning Pages are about unblocking your creativity – and silencing that inner voice, your “Censor”, that finds a way over the years to shut down your confidence . We all have one – that voice that eats away at us when it comes to going after a new job, sticking with a diet, believing we deserve someone who loves us in a positive and healthy way. I hate that voice – and am often stunned at how much influence I let it have over my decisions. I’ll try anything to turn off that voice…
How glad I am that I did commit to the Morning Pages. You can read the testimonials in the PDF (www.theartistsway.com/tools/the-basic-tools) and I very much hope you give the Pages a try. I don’t write first thing in the morning and I don’t write every day (I pride myself on being a rugged individualist), but I wouldn’t be writing this little missive (or the ones that follow) if I hadn’t started the Pages. It is incredible what a brain can do after you let it warm up with no judgment. It is incredible how I hear my “Censor” now and how I have more strength to challenge that unhelpful little voice.
I’ll leave it at that – read the PDF and see if the Pages suit your lifestyle (I’ve not yet committed to The Artist’s Date, but have no regrets that there may be more unblocking benefits coming my way). I’ve found writing The Morning Pages to be life-changing in a positive and energizing way.
Give it a try and let us know what you think.