There is a thread that runs through the book I mentioned last month (Jane Dunnewold’s Creative Strength Training) and another book that was a lifeline to me as I climbed out of my pit of creative despair. That book was The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron and the thread was the importance of writing as a creative tool. Cameron recommends two major creative tools, a writing exercise that she calls “Morning Pages” and creative excursions called “Artist Dates.” Now, I was skeptical about Morning Pages. I have been keeping a journal since I was 11 so I thought, “Okay, yeah, I’m doing that.” But, I decided to give them a full test before I rejected them and so I wrote the required three pages of stream of consciousness thoughts every day for six months. Most of it is complete drivel and that’s the point. One goal of Morning Pages is to get the crap that goes ping ponging around your head all day OUT before you start your creative work. I could see the benefit of that and I do feel like the Morning Pages I did met that goal. My brain felt calmer each day and more welcoming of my creativity. I’ve fallen out of the habit of the pages as life has gotten a little busier, but when I find my mind in desperate need of some calm, I engage in a little Morning Pages writing meditation and find that it helps.