My Daily Practice
My creative process has evolved over many years and consists of four parts.
Morning pages: They dovetailed perfectly into a life already filled with countless journals. If you’ve read Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way then you are well versed in the concept of morning pages. For those who don’t know, she says this, “Put simply, the morning pages are three pages of longhand writing, strictly stream-of-consciousness.” I have experimented with a ton of different sizes and types of journals and after all these years, I’ve finally landed on a binder-clipped stack of copy paper that I write in--a very crude, homemade journal that serves me well.
Prayer: I pray about whatever is on my mind with no particular format or plan.
Inspiration: This is the newest addition to my practice. I realized that I wanted a daily nugget from the folks who I’ve come to admire and who inspire me. I keep a few of their books on my desk. I usually ask for guidance in my prayer and then I’ll choose from my books. Once a book is selected, I close my eyes, and open to a page. I read the section I come across and I’ve never been disappointed. I generally have some combination of the following books:
Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert
The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron
The War of Art by Steven Pressfield
The Gifts of Imperfection by Brené Brown
These are all books I’ve read before and found so much wisdom in them that staying in touch daily is important to me and I always seem to find what I need.
Mirror Work: I stand in front of the mirror in my bathroom and I say my affirmations to myself three times each. Some of them I have borrowed from Louise Hay’s You Can Heal Your Life and some of them I’ve written myself especially if I have something specific that I need to address.
Typically, this routine takes me about an hour. Through painful trial and error, I know that I need this in my life every single day--even on weekends. There really is no such thing as a break. With a consistent daily practice, my head is clear, my aim is straight, and I can feel.
Recently, over Christmas break, I fell into a prolonged period of skipping out on this routine and by the end of that period I was mildly miserable. I was forced to adjust my novel’s revision deadline and my work in my acting class has been totally mediocre. I committed to not missing a day for the month of January after the frustration of those things. So far so good--amazing actually because I see myself make conscious decisions each day.
Do you have a daily practice? What does it look like? How does it ground you?