A Sense of Safety

I’m back with my second post in a week. That’s progress, folks!

As promised, I’m blogging my way through The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron, and this week I’ll cover the first two chapters, Basic Tools and Recovering a Sense of Safety (which is actually chapter one). That’s a lot of material, so I’ll touch on the highlights.

Morning Pages
What are the basic tools for “Discovering and Recovering Your Creative Self”? The first tool espoused by Cameron is a practice called Morning Pages–three pages of stream-of-consciousess, longhand writing done first thing in the morning.

Write Morning Pages

Write Morning Pages

The purpose, basically, is to dump the brain sludge onto the page and write your way to some clear thinking. And it’s not just for writers. Everyone–and I think creative people especially–suffers from the inner critic and negative self talk. If you’ve read my previous posts you know this is a recurring theme with me.


Don’t share your Morning Pages

Morning Pages, or MP3’s, as my friend Jan calls them, are not meant to be read by anyone, even you.

So what’s the point? In between the “blah, blah, blah” new ideas will surface. Ideas for changing your circumstances or plans for a new story or art project. You won’t be able to stay stuck. As Cameron puts it, “It is very difficult to complain about a situation morning after morning, month after month, without being moved to constructive action.” (p. 15)

Artist’s Dates
The artist within us needs nurturing and something many people find frightening–alone time. An artist date is a block of time set aside for yourself and your creative inner child. It might be a walk at sunset or it might be a visit to an art museum. This week I went to a craft store and bought all kinds of fun stuff to experiment with.

Morning pages are for sending–dissatisfactions, hopes, dreams. Artist’s dates are for receiving inspiration, guidance, insight.

Negative Self Talk and Affirmations
When those critical thoughts raise their ugly heads, bat them down with a positive statement about yourself, even though it doesn’t feel true at the time. 

I have to admit, this is the hard part for me. Oh, not the negative part, I’m really good at that. But turning those negative thoughts around to say something positive about myself, that makes me uncomfortable.

Another woman in our group is great at it. She gave me a paint pen to write affirmations on my mirror, but I haven’t done it yet. That will be one of my goals for next week.


Perception is everything

I will let you know if affirmations really work. Have you tried them? Did it work for you?

Oh and P.S.–I have decided to tie my weight loss goals to this creative journey. One pound per week will have that lion in the mirror looking a bit more slender and feeling healthier. One down, eleven to go!


12 thoughts on “A Sense of Safety

  1. Yes, I have used affirmations for many years and they do work for me. I think of it as a form of positive brain washing. I hope that they will work for your journey!

  2. Hi Patty,
    You are on a roll, as Jill said! I remember seeing morning pages as more of a chore than ritual. I went at them instead of “greeting” them. They were something I had to get through. It was going to be 90 in 90 for me much the same as is recommended in other 12-step programs. To complete 90 pages of morning pages in 90 days. I approached NanoRimo in much the same way. I no longer look at anything to do with creativity this way. I embrace my opportunity to express myself on the page and have you and Just Write members to thank!

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