Tools for Your Journey Toward Creative Recovery
Cameron suggests regularly using two main tools to help us work toward creative recovery. The Morning Pages is a free-form writing exercise used to help us find our creativity.
Buy a notebook just for your morning pages. Find a comfortable spot where you can start your day, clear your mind, and just write. Write whatever comes to mind, no matter how silly or petty or strange it sounds.
It doesn’t have to be perfect prose. It doesn’t have to make sense. It can be choppy. It can be so boring re-reading it would be pure torture. Ignore your inner critic if it tells you Don’t write this crap. The point is to keep your hand and pen in motion.
You can use Morning Pages as a diary of sorts. You can include dreams from the night before, to-do lists, work out creative ideas, or even write a letter you can never actually send. The point is to clear your mind of whatever thoughts and feelings might be clogging it up. You’ll often leave your morning pages feeling refreshed and more focused to do whatever needs to be done in the day.
In Morning Pages you explore your thoughts. You send out your hopes, dreams, and concerns to the universe and make them better known to yourself. In the other main tool of creative recovery, the Artist Date, you take time for your inner artist, or inner child, paving the way for guidance, insight, and inspiration. This is your chance to have a play date with yourself, giving you quality time to nurture your spirit in solitude, doing things that “fill the well” of your creative resources with sensory images that inspire and delight.
Browse a bookstore. Make snow angels in the backyard. See a play. Visit an art museum. Take a long, soothing bath, while listening to your favorite music. Take a long walk while the sun is setting. Make it enjoyable!
Make a commitment to your inner artist to do your daily Morning Pages and a weekly Artist Date.
When I think too hard about I have to do an artist date, I find I cancel on myself all the time. I let other people interfere on my me time, I think about all the reasons why I don't have money for this or that, or whatever.
But when I just do the spur of the moment things, like hop into a dollar store to play or bookstore to browse, or pull over on the side of the road to take photos of the sunset, or watch my nephew and think, "you know what, I want to draw with crayons today too," it seems to work out for me better.