I’ve been reading Letters to a young artist: building a life in art by Julia Cameron. My sister gave it to me for Christmas a few years ago. I read it back then, but now with this project of writing 365 morning pages in a row and blogging about it, the book was worth a second glance.
I started this project because of my sister. Recently, she had asked for advice on how to shake things up, to get out of her funk, to live more creatively, and to use art to make a living.
I said, “Do the Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron.” Then a voice in my head said…
Hey there Hector Projector.
Exactly. Maybe I should be the one doing the Artist’s Way. Maybe I should be laying track on my own morning pages.
In Letters to a young artist, Julia corresponds with a young whipper snapper about the creative life. In nearly all her letters, she’s reminding the young artist to do morning pages. Get on it. Quit your bitchin’ and just get to it. This was basically the same thing I was telling my sister to do when I advised her to do the Artist’s Way.
In the book, Julia also writes to the young artists about world peace:
“World peace matters, but you may not be able to do anything constructive about it today, while you can make art—and, in my opinion, if we put a little more energy into creation, we might but a little less into destruction.
Maybe all you can do about world peace today is make some art and improve your own goddamn mood.”
So today, I am contributing to world peace in my own little way. I’m doing my morning pages. So far I’m truly feeling more artistic, happy and most of all, peaceful. Peaceful because I don’t have projects hanging over my head. The morning pages allow me to sort through tasks so that I can efficiently take care of business. I’ve sorted through papers, mended what needs to be mended, sent out mail that needed to be sent, and crossed a lot of other things off the lists that I wrote in my morning pages. I’m also peaceful because with the time left over after taking care of business, I am able to free up mind space, get creative and get back to painting.
I have, as the Eagles put it, “a peaceful easy feeling.”
Now I don’t know if my sister has taken my advice and began the Artist’s Way. I don’t even know if she reads this blog. But to her—and all the young artists out there—you owe it to yourself to show up for your inner artist. One page at a time.