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Pick a color and write a quick few sentences describing yourself in the first person with regards to the color. Like, "I am green, here are some traits green and I have in common." What is your / do you have a favorite color (does it change)? What do you have that is that color? Do you want more things in your favorite color, or would that oversaturate it?

Cameron keeps hinting that you should just go ahead and repaint a room somewhere, but I feel like she really doesn't understand how much work that is. But if painting a room, or a piece of furniture, is within your budget and sounds appealing, now is a good day to go for it.

Did you do your morning pages today?
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This one is, as previously noted, a bit of a doozy.

Name your dream. Cameron is murky on what constitutes a dream, but from context, this is meant to be a dream about something you want to accomplish or become. Write it down. "In a perfect world, I would love to ___."

Name one concrete goal that signifies that this dream has been accomplished; Cameron describes this goal as "true north" on the "emotional compass". For example, I might consider my goal accomplished if I get 80 rejections in a year. Someone else might want to write something that gets nominated for the Yuletide fanfiction exchange, or to make enough money from writing not to need another job. From the outside, their goal might look the same: "be a writer." But everyone's true north is (potentially) different.

To be perfectly honest, I read the "true north" part about eight times and I'm still not entirely sure I get it, but maybe others can elaborate?

In a perfect world, five years from now, where would you like to be in relation to your dream and true north?

In the present world, what action can you take this year to move you closer? This month? This week? Today? Right now? Like for example, today I can convert one longish story into a flash story that will be easy to rewrite and easy to reject quickly. Right now I can open up that file and cut one paragraph down to a sentence! Hold on, I'm going to do that now. . .

[. . .]

[. . .]

Ok, but wait, there's more! List your dream. List its true north. Select a role model, someone who has already achieved that dream and that true north. Make an action plan. Five years, three years, one year, one month, one week, now. Choose an action. Cameron emphasizes that reading this book is an action (because of course it is) & for those of you following along without a copy of your own, this counts too. But maybe don't use "reading this book" for all your actions; I'm just saying.

Did you do your morning pages today?
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Pick three to five of these affirmations to work with this week, or make your own. Write them down and decorate them if you like. Listen to some music.


I am a talented person.
I have a right to be an artist.
I am a good person and a good artist.
Creativity is a gift I accept.
My creativity is a gift to others.
My creativity is appreciated.
I now treat myself and my creativity more gently.
I now treat myself and my creativity more generously.
I now share my creativity more openly.
I now accept hope.
I now act affirmatively.
I now accept creative recovery.
I now allow myself to heal.


If you've tried affirmations and they don't do it for you, skip right over them and listen to some music you haven't heard yet or haven't listened to in a while. Maybe hang out with some poetry if you like poetry.

Did you do your morning pages today?
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Do you have a favorite item of clothing? A piece of jewelry that's special or that you really like? Wear it today, for no special reason, because you like it.

Did you do your morning pages today?
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For this task, you'll need:

A stack of magazines (10 or more) that you don't mind cutting up, if you can get them
Other image sources, as available
Scissors (optional)
Glue, tape, or other adhesive
A big sheet of newspaper, butcher paper, cardboard or posterboard

Set aside twenty or thirty minutes and grab up any images from the magazines or whatever that reflect your life or interests. Include your past, present, future, and dreams. It's also ok to include images you just like. Pull them out until you have a stack of at least twenty images. Then arrange them in any way that pleases you on the big paper or posterboard or whatever.

You can add to your collage in the future, including other images and themes as they occur to you. Cameon suggests that you give it a place of honor ("Even a secret place of honor is all right") and make a new one every few months.

Last time I tried to work through this workshop, this is the point at which I said, "You know what? I don't want to make another damn collage about my hopes and dreams, I want to write a damn story." So I went and worked on a story instead. That's ok, too.

Did you do your morning pages today?
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Go to a good place where you can "savor the silence and healing solitude," or just be alone with the world for a while. Cameron suggests "a church, synagogue, library, grove of trees[. . .] or a great aquarium store"

Experiment with different places and see which ones work for you. If you can't get to a good place for whatever reason, try to make space around yourself for a little while with breathing, music, meditation, scent, or whatever works.

Did you do your morning pages today?
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I'm still on a work trip & still in Busy Mode, but yesterday I had a small amount of free time, so I made a valiant attempt to wander around a little and *gasp!* do some writing. As a direct result of my meanderings, I lost my phone. If I believed in a responsive universe that used events to send messages, I think the message of today would be, "Never try to write, or you will lose work-related objects and have to pay to replace them."

It's a good thing I don't believe that.

Anyway, today's task: Create one wonderful smell in your living space. Burn a candle, bring in some fir branches, bake some bread, cook something aromatic. Be sure to make it a smell you especially like, not necessarily a smell you think other people will like.

Did you do your morning pages today?
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One of the things Cameron suggests for this week: Take some time to listen to one side of an album, or around 20 minutes of music, just for the pleasure of it. Draw as you listen, if you like. Notice how twenty minutes can refresh you. Call it a mini artist date, and start taking them every now and again to counter stress and produce insight.

Did you do your morning pages today?
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Cameron suggests that you make this phrase a mantra, or motto if you don't do mantras: Treating myself like a precious object will make me strong.

I'm not super-keen on being an object, even to myself (how does that work?) and didn't much feel like having Gollum's voice in my head all day anyway, so I encourage you to adjust this phrase to better suit what actually makes you strong.

Cameron's idea here is that we think that being hard on ourselves will make us strong, but sometimes it just smashes and bruises us. Sometimes being kind to ourselves makes us strong. I agree with this even though I have trouble living by it. But I can't really jump on board with "precious object."

If you have a phrase that works for you, watercolor or crayon or calligraph your phrase and post it where you will see it daily. You can be as hard on Cameron as you want to this week, but go easy on yourself.

Did you do your morning pages today?
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First of all, I am so sorry for missing Saturday. I had to take an impromptu trip and neglected it completely.

Saturday's task was to send postcards to five friends – make sure they're people you really want to hear from. If you don't have five addresses that fit the bill, send postcards to authors or artists you like.

For Sunday, Cameron asks you to be a source of abundance and make room in your life for more of what you want. Is there something in your living or working space you can give away? Pass on something you have to someone you think would like it.

If you're not perpetually burdened with objects like everyone in Cameron's imaginary audience, give someone a story you thought was interesting or a (sincere) compliment instead.

Did you do your morning pages today?
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Today, Cameron suggests that you bake something – bread, cake, brownies from a mix-- anything that you can make in a relatively short time. If you don't want to turn on the oven, make a fruit salad. If you're not in the mood for anything sweet, try making a soup or a savory pie.

If this is financially or temporally impractical, or if you're already the main cook for your household and you're really tired of it, today might be a good day to spend an extra 2-5 minutes on something you enjoy, but don't get to do as much as you like -- refer to previous lists if extant. Drawing on scrap paper or listening to a piece of music you like are two bite-sized possibilities.

Did you do your morning pages today?
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Have there been any new changes in your home environment or your perspective on it? Any new, even outlandish, ideas about what you would love to do with these aspects of your life? If you like the image file idea, find images of these and add to your file.

Did you do your morning pages today?
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Your task today and Wednesday, if you're up to it (and as always, no need to say what you've done or whether you've done it), is to find five pretty or interesting rocks. "I enjoy this exercise," Cameron says, "particularly because rocks can be carried in pockets, fingered in business meetings. They can be small, constant reminders of our creative consciousness." Replace rocks with other small pocket-sized objects if you prefer. You do not need to keep them past the end of the week, or really at all.

Later, pick five flowers or leaves, or other living or recently living things from nature. Did you learn in kindergarten how to press them between wax paper and preserve them? Try doing it again – or make crayon rubbings of leaves. If you don't want to damage living things, try preserving plants by drawing them, potting them if you have space and equipment, writing a song about them, or in some other way.

Did you do your morning pages today?
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"Honestly, my favorite creative block is. . . "

What's your favorite thing to do instead of making art? It doesn't have to be something you don't think you should do – having friends over, watching TV, reading, cooking for others, helping other people with their creative blocks – all these things are great, and that's why they're favorites. What's yours?

Think about the payoffs or benefits you get from being blocked. Even if you can't draw, draw yourself happily indulging in your favorite creativity-blocking activity.

How about those morning pages? I wrote mine on the subway yesterday. Usually I'm squeamish about writing in such close quarters, but today it was fine, for some reason.
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“Ten ways I am mean to myself are. . . “

Cameron believes that making both positive desires and negative feelings and actions explicit can help us clarify them, the better to point us in the right direction. If you tend to be unkind to yourself, count the ways. You can draw these ways or collect images to represent them.

Did you do your morning pages today?
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“Ten items I would like to own, but I don't are. . .”

Cameron sometimes presents these exercises as motivational and/or related in some way to prodding “the universe” into action, which I'm extremely not on board with.

I'd prefer to think of them as identity clarification. For example, I'd like to own a small Mystique figurine because I love the character Mystique from X-Men. I don't think I ought to take out any loans to make this happen, but writing it down is a way of enjoying the wish without pressure. I might also take this opportunity to write about why I relate to Mystique, or something like that.

The things you want don't have to be super significant or meaningful, though. They can be just things that you would like to own.

Did you do your morning pages today?
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Pre-posted in preparation for not being near a computer:

“If I were older and had money” List five postponed pleasures, requiring money or otherwise. Collect these images for your file.

Did you do your morning pages today?
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NOTE: I have to pre-post a couple of days since I'll be traveling and unable to get to a computer. I apologize for any confusion. Here's Wednesday:

Imagine a scenario:

"If I were younger and had money . . ." List five adventures you would embark on desires you'd indulge. They don't have to require money if they don't. Add images of these to your file if you're doing the file.

How are the morning pages going?
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Your task today, if you're up to it (and as always, no need to say what you've done or whether you've done it), is to start an image file. "If I had either faith or money, I would try..." List five. Then keep an eye out for images of these desires. When you see them, cut them out, photograph them, draw them, or otherwise make the image your own. Cameron suggests that you continue to add to this file for the rest of the twelve weeks.

Did you do your morning pages today?
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Take a look at your living and creative space. Is there any area that you could convert into a private space for yourself? Cameron suggests hanging a sheet on the ceiling to convert the corner of a room into a “dream area.” She suggests “a chair or pillow, something to write on, some kind of little altar area for flowers and candles.”

If you already have a good private space, you can do one thing to improve it, or just hang out there for a while since you're way ahead of us.

If this isn't feasible or desirable, try improving your existing space in some way. Clear off a desk, put some flowers in a cup, stick a picture or some cards to the wall, or make some space on the floor. If all your spaces are shared, what can you do to personalize your creative time?

Did you do your morning pages today?

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Twelve-week creativity workshop!

August 2014

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