So, I've been seriously considering doing morning pages again. If you're not familiar with them, they are one of the two essential tools to unlocking your creativity advocated by Julia Cameron in her book, The Artist's Way. Cameron's theory is that if you write three pages of stream-of-consciousness longhand first thing in the morning, you will unload all of the crap that is covering up your best ideas. I have two main reservations about engaging in this process again. One is that after years of not writing (because I type everything now), my hand hurts when I write longhand. (Also, typed journals stored on my laptop take up so much less room!) The other reservation has to do with Tony Robbins's idea that you should wake up and consciously force yourself to think about everything that is positive in your life in order to get the ball rolling in the right direction. I did morning pages for long enough to know that a good deal of what I wrote about was negative. Now, maybe that was just who I was back then. Or, maybe without direction I have a tendency to think negatively and my thoughts have a tendency to spiral downwards. I like Tony's exercise because if I'm not in a good mood, it always changes my mood for the better. So, my fear of doing morning pages again, of tapping into my subconscious, is a fear that I'll dig and dig and negative, dark thoughts will be all I find. I have convinced myself that thinking positively is something I need to make myself do consciously, not a natural inclination I need to uncover.
But, my question is this, how can I be truly creative if I am actively directing my thoughts? In order to uncover my unique creative voice, I have to write and tap into my subconscious somehow. How could I do that without wading through some (or a lot of) darkness? And then, how would "thinking positively" fit into my lifestyle?
Julia Cameron says of creativity:
"Creativity is a spiritual force. The force that drives the green fuse through the flower, as Dylan Thomas defined his idea of the life force, is the same urge that drives us toward creation. There is a central will to create that is part of our human heritage and potential. Because creation is always an act of faith, and faith is a spiritual issue, so is creativity. As we strive for our highest selves, our spiritual selves, we cannot help but be more aware, more proactive, and more creative."
She says of morning pages:
"You should think of them not as "art" but as an active form of meditation for Westerners. In the morning pages we declare to the world—and ourselves—what we like, what we dislike, what we wish, what we hope, what we regret, and what we plan."