Talking Morning Pages and New Creative Visions with Julia Cameron

by Meredith Resnick

The Artist’s Way has and continues to be one of the few books that, after many years, I go to for inspiration about trusting myself, especially when I’m emerging onto (into?) a new phase in my creative life.

My tendency, when change is underfoot, is to think I should harbor zip-zero-nada anxiety about changing. About growing. Because change–and growth–are good. Well, yes, they are good, and necessary–but I still get anxious and have to pull myself back to…my self. The Artist’s Way (and several of Julia Cameron’s other books, in particular Answered Prayers–Love Letters from the Divine) brings me back to me. And once I’m grounded, I can set off again on my process of growth and change.

Beginning a new creative journey is Julia Cameron herself. She recently launched The Artist’s Way Toolkit”, an online version of her bestseller text. Julia has translated The Artist’s Way with to better accommodate those who would like to do more online. Talk about growing and changing with the times and needs of the individual, especially the millions who prefer to conduct their writing and more online.

While foundational items like morning pages are still meant to be done by hand (there is that connecting to self component that pen to paper delivers quite nicely, and in a very different way than fingers to keyboard), the program is more portable than ever.

I had the rare opportunity to ask Julia Cameron a couple of questions about her own process and vision of creativity, as well as her vision of the online kit in regards to morning pages.

Meredith: What does beginning look like for you…and what did beginning this toolkit look like for you? 

Julia Cameron: Beginning looks like hope. You hope to be able to expand your life. You hope that the tools that have worked for four million people will work for you as well. You are open-minded to experiment. You try the tools and record the results.

Meredith: What is your feeling, with the new online toolkit, of morning pages by hand or online? Has your take on this evolved?

Julia Cameron: Morning Pages remain the same: they need always be done by hand. Hand-writing puts us in touch with our emotions. We learn how we feel about what we say. Writing by computer is a more shallow practice. It yields us speed and distance, but not the depth that we are looking for. The Toolkit is to be used more as you would use a notebook. The great thing about this notebook is that, while it doesn’t match up with The Artist’s Way week by week, it contains many of those exercises and tools, more than you will find in the book itself.

Her newest book, The Prosperous Heart, is on sale now. Visit Julia’s website, Julia Cameron Live, by clicking here.

[Thanks, Julia!]

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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Alisa Bowman

Of that’s interesting about the writing by hand part. I don’t write anything by hand. I don’t know if I should try to change that about myself or not.

ruth pennebaker

Interesting interview — although I’m inclined to think we all stumble across our own individual routes to creativity.

Kerry Dexter

a friend of mine who is a motivational speaker as well as an artist always advises that you write your goals down, not only by hand, but in cursive writing. he says this is the most powerful way to commit to your goals and connect them to action.

interesting thoughts. thanks, Julia and Meredith.

Sheryl

Interesting about writing by hand. I don’t know anyone who does that anymore. Perhaps it’s worth a try. I do know that it would slow me down…and perhaps in slowing me down, allow me to think more deeply. And that would only be a good thing. Although I have a sneaking suspicion I would not be able to read my own handwriting, being so out of practice!

Living Large

I’ve always loved writing by hand, I agree that it is a more personal way of writing. When I first embarked on my writing career, I did everything by hand as a draft and put it into the computer. Deadlines ended that practice, but I still only journal by hand.

Jacqui

I understand Julia’s thought behind writing by hand, but what about those of us who can’t, due to physical limitations? I have never written any way except on a computer because I can’t. Writing college essay tests was painful and all I wanted of that approach.

Everything else, though–Julia is spot-on!

Jacqueline Diamond

I just discovered this blog thanks to an article in the Orange County Register. It’s great to find more people interested in writing, and a generous host like Meredith Resnick. Even after selling 93 novels, I enjoy learning about other writers’ processes and what works for them. I’m still learning!

Jane Boursaw

I think it’s wonderful that she’s launched the toolkit for those of us who write mostly online. I love the idea of writing by hand, since most of my writing is on the screen now.

MyKidsEatSquid

The Artist’s Way is such a classic. I also like that she encourages us to remember to write by hand. There’s a patience and thoughtfulness that comes with paper and pencil

Sarah Henry

“Beginning looks like hope.” Words to live by, personally as well as professionally.

Kiril Kundurazieff

What an interesting blog!

I, too, recently discovered you via the OC Register.

I have Julia’s 3 Artist’s Way books, and 7 of her others, and have been reading them, and doing the Morning Pages, Work book, Journals, and other prompts, since the fall.

Her words, and ideas, have been amazing food for thought, and have inspired me to think about, and write about, things, in ways I’d never considered before.

If you think that all there is to what she has to offer are the 3 Artist’s Way book, then you are missing out.

Heart Steps, Blessings, and Transitions, are 3 very small books of Prayers, & Dedictions, that are very stirring to read.

I do not know where I’m headed personally, or creatively, but reading Julia will help me get there, I’m sure.

Meredith

Kiril, As a matter of fact, Julia’s prayer-type books are my favorite of hers.

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