What is a brain dump? It’s my term for the first step in unblocking my creativity and opening up a conscious stream of ideas. I am reading The Artists Way, and this is the beginning of the regaining creativity process.
We are instructed to write in the morning, Julia calls them ‘morning papers’, but they feel more to me like ‘taking a daily brain dump’. We are told to write down anything that comes to mind. It can be sentences, words, feelings, things on our mind, worries, joys, things that are making us angry, prayers, you name it, you write it. We must write even if we don’t feel like it…it doesn’t matter what we write, as long as we write. We must compose three pages of conscious stream every morning. If I’m understanding her instructions correctly, by writing things down as they pop in our head, enables us to let out all the things in our mind that are clogging our thoughts, which ultimately blocks our creativity. She also claims by writing things down, we submit them to the universe and enable them to be tended to in some wonderous way. There are testimonials from people who’ve been doing this for years and it’s changed their lives. When I saw Julia in person last week, I asked her if one can do their morning papers by typing them out on the computer. She said no. They have to be hand written. Only by hand writing them can the emotion be spilled out. We can highlight, write fast, slow, small or large to demonstrate to ourselves how we feel about what we’re writing. One thing: Morning papers are not for anyone to read. They aren’t even for us to reread. They have to be left alone for a while. At least for now.
I’m willing to try this. I am going to go through her 12 step process to creative joy. The second requirement after daily morning papers, is to have an ‘artist’s date’ once a week with ourselves. No one is invited. This is something we must do on our own. It is a way to nuture our ‘inner artist’ by doing activities that enable us to revel in the things we love which will hopefully inspire us and fill us with ideas. An artist date can be going to a gallery, museum, movie, on a long walk, a visit to the library, flea market, whatever we enjoy that pulls at our heartstrings and enables us to enjoy being with ourselves. We must do it a minimum of 2 hours per week. I have to make sure I get that accomplished, too. You don’t have to twist my arm to get me to go out and do something by myself for myself. Admittedly, I’m selfsh like that.
Have any of you out there started the exercises in this wonderful book? Let me know your experiences and the outcome. Have you become more creative and has this process changed your life in a positive way? Let me know.