I’m Re-learning How to Create a Daily Writing Habit by Doing Julia Cameron’s Twelve-Week Artist’s Way Program

Starting today, I’m re-learning how to create a daily writing habit by doing Julia Cameron‘s twelve-week Artist’s Way program.

The program is based on the belief that “creative recovery (or discovery) is a teachable, trackable spiritual process.” It promises to link creativity to spirituality by “undertaking spiritual exercises to achieve alignment with the creative energies of the universe.”

The program seeks to guide you through the process of recovering your creative self from a variety of blocks. Over twelve weeks, through a series of creative exercises, it aims to help you recover, in sequence, your sense of: safety, identity, power, integrity, possibility, abundance, connection, strength, compassion, self-protection, autonomy and faith.

In essence, the program promises to be a combination of a writing workshop, detox and therapy. I don’t really expect to trigger cosmic synchronicity — “we change and the universe furthers and expands that change” — but I am intrigued enough to try.

At the core of the Artist’s Way program are two practices: a daily practice called morning pages and a weekly practice called artist dates.

Morning pages are three pages of longhand, stream-of-consciousness writing, done first thing in the morning, and not shared with anyone else.

In order to retrieve your creativity, you need to find it.

Morning pages help you “get to the other side” of your fears, moods, and blocks, and connect with the creative source within you. They are designed to serve as both brain drain and creative meditation, teach you that mood doesn’t matter, silence your inner censor’s criticism, move beyond your logic brain to access your artist brain, and find your own quiet centre, connect with the source of wisdom within.

Artist dates are weekly two-hour blocks of time, committed to nurturing your creative consciousness, your inner artist. They are solo excursions or play dates with your creative child to explore something that interests you, inspires you, ignites your imagination.

(In picking an artist date) think magic. Think delight. Think fun. Do what intrigues you, explore what interests you; think mystery, not mastery.

Artist dates are designed to fill your inner well of images and inspiration, replenish the creative reserves with mystery, magic, whimsey and delight, so that you might later draw upon them.

Doing your morning pages, you are sending—notifying yourself and the universe of your dreams, dissatisfactions, hopes. Doing your artist date, you are receiving—opening yourself to insight, inspiration, guidance.

The morning pages acquaint us with what we think and what we think we need. This is step one, analogous to prayer. In the course of the release engendered by our artist date, step two, we begin to hear solutions.

Each week in the program seeks to recover a specific aspect of your creativity, through a series of tasks and affirmations to remove the relevant negative beliefs or blocks and develop positive practices.

The fourth element in the program consists of weekly check-ins to track if you are regularly doing your morning pages, artist dates, and the weekly tasks, how they are making you feel, what negative beliefs they are uncovering, and what positive affirmations you need to create to recover from these negative beliefs. I am using my Bullet Journal to do my weekly check-ins.

Let’s begin.