Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron
Unlocking Creativity by Just Showing Up

I have to admit this book made me a little uncomfortable when I first started reading it.

The motherly, nurturing, psyscho-babble-esque tone made me want to hurl. I didn't want this book to help me. I wanted to help this book into the fireplace.

But several friends who had been impressed and inspired by it waxed rhapsodically about it. So I pressed on and tried writing 'Morning Pages' as Cameron suggests:

Every morning, set your clock one-half hour early; get up and write three pages of longhand, stream-of-consciousness morning writing. Do not reread these pages or allow anyone else to read them. Ideally, stick these pages in a large manila envelope, or hide them somewhere. Welcome to the morning pages. They will change you.

I tried this technique, and I can attest that it works. I learned how to write songs and music by starting with morning pages six days a week to open the creative space for myself. Just the act of sitting down to write regularly takes the fear out of doing it.

Turns out that Woody Allen was right. 90% of life Is Just Showing Up. Writing is about showing up and putting pen to paper. Do it enough and you will write something. Do it a lot more and you will write something good. The morning pages operate like priming a creative pump. You get the flow going, and sooner or later, something of substance will arrive.

There are also some other techniques in there that are helpful, especially if you tend to fight your self doubt as an artist.

Check it out:



dcguitar.com
Advancing Guitar Lessons: Washington, D.C.
Professional Musical Fun for Beginners and Beyond

2 comments :

Brian said...

I was going to make some comment about the musician's lifestyle -- when Dan wakes up to do his "Morning Pages" he's actually slept so late that he's writing for the day before -- but I decided against it.

Seriously though, it's nice to read about writing songs, which doesn't get nearly as much attention as other topics in music education.

I'd be interested to hear some of your comments on matching up lyrics with music. Which comes first? Do you write one specifically for the other, or do you just pair up ones that you've developed independently?

Anonymous said...

Since we've all been subjected to Dr. Cohn's stream-of-consciousness nightly ravings, I'm curious about the content of his morning writings (even if it is past noon when he writes them)!

Post a Comment

Hello Internet Guitar Pickerdom,

Thanks for reading.

I love seeing strangers say hello at a party, don't you?

So please leave a comment. Say hi.

Even better, ask a musical question about the lesson above.

I might even answer you. Who knows?

Please don't spam me.

Thanks,

dc

Popular Posts

Jam Classes

.38 Special #mm 12 Bar blues 930 club accra acoustic guitar adele advancing guitar lesson aeolian Aerosmith agbekor alexandria VA amazon.com American Idol Andy Summers arlen roth Arlington arlington guitar lessons arlington VA augmented sixth chords baritone slide guitar barre chords Baseball bass bass wanted beginner beginner chords beginner guitar lessons Blink 182 blink-182 blues blues guitar Bo Diddley bob seger breast cancer breast cancer benefit brian eno CCR changing chords cheap trick chord transitions chris martin classic rock coldplay comping count basie country guitar creativity creedence clearwater Revival CSI D.C. david bowie dcguitar dcguitar.com dcguitarlessons death metal derek trucks Diddley Beat diddley bow dire straits dorian drumming earl slick easy guitar ECM eddie van halen electric guitar elvis costello every ewe falls church VA fear of music fever finger style guitar fingerstyle guitar first chords folk guitar Foo Fighters forming chords franz ferdinand freddie green free beginner guitar lessons free concert free downloads free guitar lessons free guitar tab free guitar tablature free music free music lessons fun fundraiser funk funk guitar gear review ghana gimme shelter girl talk gospel music guitar guitar accessory guitar anti-lesson guitar effects guitar hero Guitar Lesson guitar lessons guitar lessons washington D.C. guitar review guitar slide guitar tab guitar voice leading guns n' roses Hallelujah Hank Williams harmonic experience harmony hendrix chord hey jude holiday raffle Home how to practice humor hybrid picking Improvisation ipod management ipod playlists it might get loud jackass guitar lessons knoxville dcguitar jam class chuck berry johnny b. goode jam band jam class jambalaya Jazz jazz comping jazz guitar jazz guitar lesson jazz theory Jeff Buckley jim hall Jimi Hendrix jimmy page Joe Perry john mayer johnny cash johnny marr joke Jonny Buckland julia cameron k Keith Richards Kids music kinewe Law and Order led zeppelin left hand muting lesson video lessons live music blog live music review Lost lou reed lyrics Margot MacDonald mark knopfler masters of the telecaster merriweather post pavillion Michael Jackson Mick Goodrick mick jagger modes muscle memory Music music lessons music review music theory music theory lesson music videos new gear new music octave displacement online guitar lessons open position palm muting paul mccartney paul simon tribute show strathmore peggy lee performance anxiety pete townshend Phillip Phillips phrygian physics police tour Polyrhythms power chords presale code proud mary Purple Haze radiohead rave ray brown reading music red house reggae relaxation rest strokes rhythm changes rhythm guitar rhythmic displacement right hand muting ringo starr rlington VA robbie fulks robert johnson rock guitar rock guitar lessons rockband rockville MD rolling stones roxanne scales Scarborough Fair slide slide guitar slide guitar washington dc guitar lessons "washington dc guitar lessons" arlington va smart playlists solfege songwriting stay positive stephen davis Stevie Ray Vaughan Stewart Copeland Sting stride guitar strum strumming surf guitar surfaris take me out to the ball game taking back sunday talking heads tear teardrop the artist's way the beatles The Black Keys the edge The Grand Candy the hold steady the national The Police the rolling stones the smiths the white stripes the who thebravery tina turner Tour triads twelve bar blues twitter twitter guitar lessons u2 van halen Venus Virgin Fest voice leading W.A. Mathieu walk the line washington washington D.C. washington D.C. guitar lessons washington guitar lessons waterfall Weaving weaving rhythms weezer when the saints come marching in mississippi john hurt who windham hill wipeout writing youtube zen guitar lessons arlington va dcguitar jamclass zz top

Jam Class and Lesson Rates

DC Guitar's Jam Class offers top notch group and private guitar, bass, songwriting and music theory lessons for the Washington, DC Community.

Please email for current lesson rates.

Be sure to ask about Jam Class, too.