This past weekend, I attended a fabulous readers conference at Seattle University called Search For Meaning. The one-day event is held yearly and features over 50 best-selling authors of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry.. The festival offers general sessions, keynote presentations, book signings, and interactive experiences. Readers spend a day with some of the world’s most influential authors and scholars while reflecting on their own ability to contribute to a more just and humane world.
I’m going to be doing a series of posts which highlights some of the authors and their books that I heard while attending the festival.
This year, I was drawn to the festival because one of the authors speaking was Julia Cameron who wrote, The Artist Way. My creative journey began with that book where I learned about killing my creative monsters, identifying my blocks to creativity and the all important morning pages.
There are certain people whose work has guided my path since the mid-1990’s and Julia Cameron is one of them. Being able to see her talk in person was fabulous. Julia believes we are all creative and the key is to unlocking what blocks us from expressing that creativity.
Julia’s talk focused on the three tools which she emphasis are key to creativity.
- Morning Pages--Write three pages by hand, every morning. Morning pages help you get the clutter out of your head, the to-do list out of your head, but more important, they create a conscious contact with your higher self that knows the next direction you need to take, even if it might be a little scary. The emphasis is on these must be written longhand because of the connection between the emotions and the physical act of writing. I’ve gotten a little lax with these, but I do often use them to clear my mind in the morning.
- Artist Dates--Artist dates are when you go by yourself into the world and explore something you have never done. This does not have to be a big trip. It’s as simple as an hour at a Farmer’s Market or a local museum. The key is to get out by yourself so you have the ability to hear that still small voice inside and explore new places. My artist date this weekend was a day at the Sewing Expo where I learned how to sew a pair of slippers with cuddle soft fabric.
- Walk–The third and final tool is a 20 minute walk three or four times a week. It is the walk which helps solidify the ideas and thoughts from the other two tools, artist dates and morning pages. This is my favorite thing to do when I’m on the Oregon Coast.
You can enjoy a video of Julia Cameron talking about creativity and the Artist Way here: