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The Artist’s Way | Morning Pages & Artist Dates

Free printable and typeable morning pages to rekindle your creativity and to free your inner artist

Morning PagesPin


Please note: This is an unofficial summary and workbook created to help you understand and apply the principles outlined in the book. For full disclaimer details, click here.

The Artist’s Way

The Artist’s Way is a system described in a book, workbook, and journal designed by Julia Cameron to recover your creative self. The idea is to connect with your creative side by writing regularly and exploring new things. During the 12-week recovery process, described in the book, you also build your confidence by overcoming your limiting beliefs and self-doubt. The process is emotionally challenging, but it’s a great way to reconnect with your creative self and work on the issues that block your creative flow. When we were kids, we all had creative outlets and we felt free to let our inner artist enjoy creative activities. As adults, we often find ourselves repressing this passion and our creative selves. Instead of expressing this artistic passion, we often find ourselves stuck in a boring job with no creative outlet. The Artist’s Way was created to help you free your inner artist.

The process described in the book is 12 weeks long, and each week you focus on a new topic. These are the topics covered in each of the 12 weeks:

  • Week 1: Recovering a sense of safety
  • Week 2: Recovering a sense of identity
  • Week 3: Recovering a sense of power
  • Week 4: Recovering a sense of integrity
  • Week 5: Recovering a sense of possibility
  • Week 6: Recovering a sense of abundance
  • Week 7: Recovering a sense of connection
  • Week 8: Recovering a sense of strength
  • Week 9: Recovering a sense of compassion
  • Week 10: Recovering a sense of self-protection
  • Week 11: Recovering a sense of autonomy
  • Week 12: Recovering a sense of faith.

The Artists Way workbook, book, and journal all include a contract that you are asked to sign as a mark of commitment to yourself and your progress acknowledging your intent to undertake a creative recovery. In the contract, you commit to the daily process of morning pages and one weekly artist date for 12 weeks. You also commit to excellent self-care – adequate sleep, diet, exercise, and self-valuing for 12 weeks and hopefully long after. I liked the addition of a contract and I think it makes you more committed to the process.

Morning Pages

Morning pages are written in a journal first thing in the morning in order to rekindle your creativity.

What are morning pages?

Julia Cameron morning pages are 3 pages of longhand morning writing that you write first thing in the morning every day. The idea is to write these three pages off the top of your head. The idea is not to write brilliant ideas but to get all our mundane thoughts on the page to clear our minds so that we can face our day when we are more centered and spiritually relaxed. Julia Cameron refers to morning pages as a form of meditation. Whereas, you often use journal prompts or set a topic when you journal, you don’t do this with morning pages. Write about whatever comes to mind and don’t judge yourself.

What is the goal of morning pages according to Julia Cameron?

The goal of the morning pages journal is to clear your mind so that you can clearly see the options available to you and the potential obstacles on the way to these options. Through the morning pages, you will become more present in your life. You won’t be operating on autopilot. Instead, you will be leading your life and guiding yourself to the best path for you. The path will be clearer. The idea is to bring you back to your authentic creative self.

Over time, the morning pages lead to a deepening sense of inner wisdom.

How do you write morning pages?

It is important that you write these pages and don’t type on your computer. There is a lot of power in writing and when you use a computer, you will not get the same results. We have included typeable morning pages for those who don’t want to write.

Morning pages help get your creativity flowing when you first wake up. Just sit down, let your thoughts wander, and write whatever comes to mind. Your morning pages don’t need to be artistic or brilliant. Think of them as a form of meditation. The idea is to shut out the outside world and focus on what you’re doing right at that moment. If you don’t know what to write, write about the fact that you don’t know what to write.

The aim of the morning page is not to write using the logical part of your brain. Try to suppress this part of your thinking. Instead, let your artist brain take over. Don’t feel like you have to create a masterpiece. The idea is not to come up with something great. The idea is to enjoy the process and let your brain wander and think outside the box.

Morning pages prompts

A lot of websites provide morning pages prompts. However, the morning pages journal is not supposed to be created that way. Julia Cameron specifically states not to use prompts in her book that outlines the system. The idea is to write whatever comes to mind at the time and clear your mind of thoughts you have. If you don’t have any ideas, then write about not having an idea. Don’t force your thoughts or change them with journal prompts. Prompts are helpful for standard journaling but not for morning pages.

The difference between traditional journaling and morning pages is that traditional journaling is supposed to provoke and process thoughts whereas morning pages are intended to get the thoughts already on your mind out of your head in order to clear your mind and make way for deeper and more creative thoughts.

Morning Pages Template


The PDF file is typeable so you can either type on the morning pages or print them. If you can print them, it is more effective when you write instead of typing.

Single Morning Page: Image | Typeable PDF

3 Morning Pages: Typeable PDF (you are supposed to write 3 pages a day). The first page has a date and the next two don’t.

30 Days of Morning Pages: Typeable PDF (3 pages a day for 30 days)

Artist dates

In order to work at maximum effectiveness, Julia Cameron suggests that morning pages are best used in conjunction with a second tool – the artist date.

What are artists dates?

Artist Dates, as conceived in “The Artist’s Way”, are solo excursions aimed at sparking inspiration and nurturing one’s inner artist. The artist date is a one to two-hour block of time set aside weekly to take yourself on a date that celebrates and nurtures your creative self. The author refers to them as play dates. They should be fun excursions where the focus is on fun and well-being.

Julia suggests you take your artistic side on a date once in a while. Set aside a couple of hours per week to schedule a date with yourself and focus on your inner artist. Go to the beach, draw a picture, watch an old movie, visit a gallery or just go for a walk in nature. The idea is to relax by yourself and allow your mind to drift. The more you do this, the more you will get to know yourself and the world around you. Try new things, taste things you haven’t tasted before, smell new smells, listen to new sounds and seek new adventures. Look for opportunities to discover new things. You will find yourself connecting with your inner artist. You don’t generate creative ideas out of nowhere. You find them in the Universe as a result of the things you see and try. Expose yourself to as many things as possible to generate creative ideas and help them grow. Sometimes you have to do something fun in order to generate creative ideas.

Here are some ideas:

1. Visiting an art museum or gallery.
2. Going to a live music performance.
3. Exploring a new neighborhood.
4. Attending a workshop or class in a new hobby.
5. Spending time in nature, like a walk in the park.
6. Going to a local fair or festival.
7. Trying a new cafe or restaurant.
8. Visiting a botanical garden or zoo.

Each Artist Date is a venture into the unknown to ignite curiosity and creativity.

The benefits of the artist’s way

The Artist way book, workbook, and journal, all focus on a new topic each week for 12 weeks (see the list of topics above). By working through each of the topics, you will reap the following benefits. Please note that there is a lot of work listed in the books, but you don’t have to do it all in order to feel a difference in your life.

Build your confidence by overcoming your demons and self-doubt.

We all have difficulties in life and obstacles we need to overcome. We have good times and bad times and we need to cope with both. If you want to be more creative, you can’t run away from the difficulties. The author describes how many artists are forced to give up on their creative dreams for fear of not being able to support themselves by pursuing them. The result is that they become shadow artists. They settle for unfulfilling jobs. These unfulfilling jobs might provide for their financial needs, but they don’t feel fulfilled. They are not living their best life. The author suggests letting go of the stigma associated with being an artist and focusing on the positive aspects instead. Asks yourself what holds you back. Your thoughts – such as doubt, lack of self-confidence, and limiting beliefs – might be holding you back. Some artists are convinced they are not good enough to succeed when they very well might be. Other times, it is not your thoughts that hold you back, but other people. They might put you down, belittle your dreams, or convince you you will not succeed as an artist. You are the only person in charge of your creativity. Don’t let others bring you down.

Self-confidence is very important to succeed in any creative field. If you lack self-confidence, then you should try to reexamine your past to see what may have damaged your self-esteem, and how you can revive it.

Look back and choose three past experiences that lowered your sense of self. Any experience or memory counts, even ones that might seem silly.

Identifying the moments that hurt your self-confidence is only part of the process. Once you have done this, try to face up to them and overcome them. That’s the only way you can heal from the hurt they caused.

The author also suggests building your confidence with imagination exercises, like visualizing your perfect creative day. Think about what you would do when you first wake up and what you would you have accomplished by the end of the day. Visualize yourself overcoming challenges and feel how you will feel when you overcome them. It will motivate you and help you understand you are capable of achieving this.

Use affirmations to boost your artistic self. The author suggests you pick five affirmative sentences every week and repeat them regularly. For example: “I’m a talented person,”. See how to write affirmations.

Discover new strengths and weaknesses

You’ll also discover new strengths and weaknesses as you learn more about yourself. Even negative emotions can be used to bring up suppressed feelings and work on your recovery process. If you start uncovering things such as negative emotions, negativity, and blocks – it means you are on the right track.

Your recovery process is working. The author urges you to be patient and keep doing your morning pages. They’ll keep you anchored to your goal of reconnecting with your creative side.

Find ways to overcome obstacles

If you use the morning journal and go on artist dates regularly, you will find yourself having a better idea of where you want to go in life and how to overcome the obstacles in order to get there. The morning pages clear your mind and help you focus and the artists dates unleash your creativity and bring new ideas and thoughts to your calm mind which is now more focused and able to see paths that might have been there before but you were not present enough to notice them.

Generate new ideas.

Artists don’t generate their own ideas. They find them out in the universe.

Artists find their ideas in the universe and help them grow. Once you accept this, you’ll no longer suffer from creative blocks. Many artists are under a lot of pressure to come up with a brilliant idea out of nowhere. But you don’t create an idea just like you don’t create a tree. An idea, like a tree, starts as a small seed. You oversee its growth, you don’t create it. The “seeds” of all creative work are already out there in the universe. When you find a seed, take care of it and look after it so it can grow. That is all an artist really has to do. Once you start taking care of these seeds, you will find the Universe helping you. However, you have to start the process. Once you do, new opportunities will start to present themselves to you. You might get offered a new job or meet someone who can help you. If you are not feeling fulfilled and satisfied, then you are the one who needs to make the change.

Surround yourself with things that bring you joy. It could be a scent that you love, a food you enjoy, or an item you find pretty.

Release bad habits that block your creative flow.

Perfectionism, workaholism, and excessive competitiveness will only block your creative flow.

The author describes some dangerous and unproductive habits that will block your creative flow.


One of an artist’s worst enemies is fear. Fear can prevent you from pursuing your dreams, block your creativity, and ruin your self-confidence. Fear is often caused by an unsupportive parent or someone who convinced you you will not succeed. It could also be brought on by trying things that were too unrealistic. When you fail, instead of understanding that your goal was unrealistic, you blame yourself and convince yourself you are not good enough. You will then give up instead of starting small and setting realistic goals.


Some people respond to creative feelings by overworking themselves, but workaholism is counterproductive. Working too much just makes it impossible to feel creative. It is more productive to let your brain calmly explore ideas naturally, and not force them. Have you ever noticed how you work for hours to solve something and the solution suddenly comes to you when you step away and clear your mind?


Competitiveness also destroys your creativity. Instead of being jealous of other artists’ success, focus on your work and what you can do to be successful.

It distracts you by calling your attention to the wrong questions, like “Why did his film get made and not mine?” Avoid this trap by asking yourself positive questions, like “Did I work on my screenplay today?”

Make a conscious effort to bring your creative self out into the open.

My Opinion

There were parts of the book that I felt were written especially for me. I always had a lot of creative hobbies that I enjoyed very much. When I had to choose a career, I decided to become a lawyer. I didn’t really enjoy law school, and I never felt fulfilled. After about 10 years, I decided I needed a creative outlet. I simply didn’t feel fulfilled as a lawyer. I self-published a very creative book which eventually led me to this website, which is my creative outlet. I thoroughly enjoy creating content for this website as it allows me a creative outlet as well as utilizing other talents and qualities I have. I feel blessed to have found a way to find fulfillment and help people in the process by providing free content and printables. Had I discovered this book 15 years ago, I think the process that I underwent would have been easier and quicker. I also realize that I was lucky enough to find my path. I know that this book would have helped me find it if I wasn’t so lucky. Even though I have already found my creative outlet, I bought the book, workbook, and journal in an effort to further reconnect with my creative self. I have not yet done all of the exercises but the author does explain it isn’t necessary to do them all in order to reap the benefits.

I highly recommend you purchase the book, workbook, and/or morning pages journal if you are a creative person or if you are looking for a creative outlet. Even if you haven’t been creative for a long time, you will find yourself uncovering strange thoughts and feelings. These discoveries can help you with self-development and living your best life.

A great way to incorporate this method into your daily morning routine is with the 5 am club. The 5 am club 20-20-20 formula suggests 20 minutes of journaling each morning. So if you combine morning pages with 20 minutes of exercise and 20 minutes of reading, then you are on your way to reaching new heights!

Use our free custom morning routine maker to customize a morning routine for your specific needs.


The Artist’s Way Summary

“The Artist’s Way” by Julia Cameron is a seminal work aimed at enhancing creativity and self-expression. Here’s a short summary:

  1. 12-Week Program: The book outlines a 12-week structured program, guiding individuals through various activities and exercises to unlock creativity.
  2. Morning Pages: A daily practice of writing three pages every morning to clear the mind and foster creativity.
  3. Artist’s Dates: Weekly solo expeditions to explore something enjoyable, fostering a relationship with the inner artist.
  4. Recovering a Sense of Safety: Addressing negative beliefs and self-doubt that block creativity.
  5. Identifying and Overcoming Creative Blocks: Techniques to identify and overcome barriers to creativity.
  6. Restoring Faith: Cultivating a belief in one’s creative abilities and the benevolent nature of the universe.
  7. Creative Affirmations: Using positive affirmations to bolster self-confidence and creativity.
  8. Criticism and Synchronicity: Handling criticism constructively and recognizing synchronistic events that support the creative journey.
  9. The Importance of Play: Emphasizing play and relaxation to foster creativity.
  10. Building a Supportive Community: Encouraging the formation of a supportive network to nurture one’s creative endeavors.
  11. Maintaining Momentum: Tips for maintaining creativity and self-expression in the long term.

The book encourages a journey of self-discovery, healing, and embracing one’s authentic creative self, leading to a life rich with self-expression and fulfillment.

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About the Author
Photo of NicoleMy name is Nicole and I love journaling. I have created many free journal templates and journaling tools that I share on this website. I hope that you will find them helpful too.

The content on this page serves to provide an introduction to the book and to help you understand, recall, and apply the main principles of the original book. It is an unofficial resource and is in no way affiliated with, authorized, approved, licensed, or endorsed by the authors, publishers, or any related entities of the original book. All rights to the book and its contents belong to the original copyright holder.
Our goal is to represent the key ideas of the book accurately, yet these materials should not be considered a replacement for the original work. We encourage readers to engage with the actual book for complete and detailed understanding.
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