Photo: Sue Richards
Julia Cameron’s daily pages—evolved.
In her books, Julia Cameron advocates daily pages, essentially a brain dump on paper—every single morning—as a means to stimulate and grow our creative bone.
The basic principle is this: Thoughts lie scattered and unstructured in our head for most of the day—until we write them down, that is. Have you noticed how things fall in place when you type a long email to a colleague or even to yourself? How everything starts to make sense as you revise and redraft until your communication is ready to be sent? Several professional artists swear by daily pages and numerous self-development websites wax lyrical about it.
But as most human endeavours go, it all starts with enthusiasm—only to evaporate when the novelty wears off, when the next new thing arrives. I wrote my daily pages each morning for a week but, alas, long before the habit threshold was reached—the mark is about 40 days I hear—I stumbled on priorities, distractions, procrastination. Have you been there?
It then occurred to me, why not blog my daily pages? Instead of locking them away, unleash them in cyberspace. Why? Because opening up is cathartic. Think about it. Why do people pay small fortunes for talk therapy? Is it for the therapist’s advice? Hardly. Good therapists don’t give advice. It’s the relief we get from opening up. That’s what therapists are trained to do. Ask the right questions to get you going. Once words start flowing, their job is done; they can just sit there pretending to listen. It doesn’t matter what the content is; the process itself is therapeutic.
The blog need not contain deep secrets; it helps if it does, but I’m not that brave yet. As long as we keep typing, drafting,
re-drafting, keep the creative juices moving, place ideas out there and create space for new ones to germinate and flourish. Don’t let thoughts become stale.
All good, but how do we get around the motivation, procrastination obstacle mentioned above? Here’s where the sharing bit comes in. Subconsciously or not, we all want to be heard (or read). We yearn to be acknowledged as more than mere bodies; our spirits starve for attention. Even if the only person who bothered to follow the blog is our mom, the sheer pleasure one derives from being read is worthwhile. As an author I can attest to that.
Let me take this one step further. If everyone spent thirty minutes each day putting their thoughts on a blog, the world would be a better place.
What will you share?
Creatively maladjusted author and blogger, Jivamukti yogi, ethical diet advocate and corporate drone, Max Zografos loiters internet cafes, libraries (anywhere with a roof and Wi-Fi really) for hours on end until he finds inspiration to write or gets kicked out, whichever comes first. You can find him on www.maxzografos.com.