The American best-selling creativity writer Julia Cameron has many excellent tips on how to increase your creativity. One of the most effective is to start writing a “Creativity Diary”, or as Cameron calls it, “Morning Pages”.
Every morning just after waking, take half an hour to try to become one with your thoughts by uncritically writing down the flow of thoughts crossing your mind without stopping the writing. If there is no thought, just type: “I have no thoughts, I have no thoughts, I have no thoughts …” until something appears.
The content is thus completely irrelevant. The point is to record the flow of thoughts with as little involvement of the wilful brain as possible, i.e. to create a direct link between the brain’s association areas and the hand that holds the pen or the fingers that tap the keyboard. If you write on a computer, resist the impulse to return to spellcheck and edit the text. Let it remain as raw and unstructured as it was when you wrote it.
At first, before writing has become a habit, you should not read what you wrote but just leave the text for now. The creative diary is not the same as a regular diary capturing the events of the past day, which is another reason for writing in the morning and not in the evening. They content could be anything fleeting through the brain, past, present, and future.
In the morning pages you can live out all your contradictory feelings. You can be grandiosely magnificent or petty complaining. You can be introspective or look outward. It does not even need to be about yourself.
After a couple of weeks, you can go through your diary. Mark the sentences or paragraphs that are most meaningful to you. Look for patterns, relationships and ideas that have emerged in this semi-conscious state when not really being aware of them.
This blog post has been inspired by: Julia Cameron. The artist’s way.