Magic Monday: Getting Rid of the Censor

Seth Godin recently said

Just imagine how much you’d get done

…if you stopped actively sabotaging your own work.

We must be talented, powerful and resilient creatures indeed given how much we manage to produce despite the constant undercutting, ridicule and needless censorship we aim at ourselves.

Self criticism has been a constant battle for me my entire life.  I can pretty much nail down every huge life trial, and hindsight will show how it was either caused or made worse by this very factor.

As a pianist, I was never as good as [blank]

As a composer I would never write as moving of a work as [blank]

As a missionary for my church, I was never righteous and holy enough. My heart was never soft enough.

As a person, I was never thin enough, never pretty enough, never funny enough, never smart enough…

Seth’s right… its amazing what we still produce despite the constant ridicule and “needless censorship we aim at ourselves”.

So how do we get rid of the censor?

Because if we were able to produce, create, and contribute without it–we could be AMAZING.  UNSTOPPABLE. INSPIRATIONAL.

Julia Cameron’s theory for recognizing and ridding ourselves of the censor in order to allow us to move forward is detailed in an amazing daily ritual in her book, The Artists Way.

First of all, the book has changed my life.  FOREVER.  This book is for every person.  Creative or not.  (cause secretly, we’re all creative, and secretly, we all need to get past the sensor.)

She introduces the idea of “morning pages”.  A simple journaling exercise of daily writing stream of conscious thought for 3 pages.  (I type for ten minutes).  The stream of conscious thought is important.  Because we aren’t to edit, correct grammar, think through typical writing structure or write for an audience.  There is no audience.  We can be honest.  We can give voice to what is on our conscious (or as I often discover, the subconscious).

She points out that often what comes through are the words of the censor.  That voice that keeps us from being productive and amazing. The voice that holds us back.  As we habitually give time to let the censor speak we start to recognize it for what it is, and eventually we start to write and not care about the censor anymore.  We start to discover awesome things.  We start to generate solutions to our life’s problems.  We start to discover our own capacity to create and make a difference in the world.

It sounds kind of corny.  But it works.


I’ve been religiously doing morning pages for almost two years.  It has changed my life. I can not imagine my life without it and would sooner give up my right arm before letting go of my morning pages.

It has made a complete difference.  Both in my creativity, as well as my personal life.

For me… this is my personal secret formula for revelation and inspiration.

I’m thoroughly convinced that everything we need to know to solve life’s problems and move forward creatively in our lives is already in us.  That blasted censor just gets in the way and keeps us from trusting ourselves, listening, and discerning truth.  All the more need to habitually find a way to move past it and recognize it for what it is.  Because when we do… the sky’s the limit on what we can do.

What helps you get past the censor?



Brooke Snow is a Lifestyle photographer in Cache Valley, Utah.  There are not a lot of things she is capable of doing on a daily consistent basis besides eating and sleeping.  Journaling the morning pages has excitedly made its way into the daily ritual and makes just as great a difference as being fed and well rested.  All ingredients for a happy and productive life.

Brooke teaches private photography lessons , online photography classes, as well as seasonal photography classes in Logan, Utah.

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14 Responses

  1. My inner critic has been HOUNDING me lately. It’s terrible and I feel caught in the trap of not good enough in way to many areas! I have tried morning pages but only did it one day and it wasn’t in the morning…. I see how it could help but I am not sure when I would do it. Eli gets up EARLY. (this morning it was 5am). And being pregnant I just cant get up any earlier than he does!!

  2. Bless your heart Rhonda! you have a lot going on! I don’t think it matters so much what time of day as long as it gets done. Julia Cameron calls it morning pages becauseshe does it in the morning. I have a friend who does it at night before he goes to sleep. I did it this afternoon, and it was just as helpful. I say to everyone, GIVE IT TWO WEEKS 🙂 If you can do it two weeks, I pretty much gaurantee that you’ll have an amazing experience and become converted and want to continue doing it forever because you’ll notice the difference it makes in your life.

  3. This is why I love your blog! It transfers to other areas in life besides photography 🙂 You just inspired me to start journaling again. I never thought of it as a way of ridding our inner naysayer. I’m headed to go get me a new shiny notebook and label it, “Goodbye naysayer, Hello inspiration”! Thanks for sharing your awesomeness 🙂

  4. This book has been sitting in my Amazon cart (keyword for my wish list) for several months. I really just need to click “BUY!” I really need to have some chats with my inner critic!!

  5. Tori–journaling is amazing. Especially this method where it is just stream of conscious thought. I discover so many things…like your name of the notebook 🙂

  6. GUILTY! The inner critic has kept me from taking leaps and bounds in my business and I know it holds me back. And that CENSOR is a sneaky one too! Just when I think it’s disspeared I seem to find it in the most unlikely of places.

    However, I totally agree that morning pages has been a god-send. I am totally a convert because of you Brooke. I still am a busy bee and don’t get to them everyday. But they have totally helped me brain dump and really plan out business, life, and process that sneak censor that keeps creeping in to haunt me.

  7. I’ve only been reading your blog for a little while (since your Q&A on Soarority and then I saw you were a fellow Belovedeer), but I feel like we are a bit of kindred spirits. Have you read One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp? It has nothing to do with The Artist’s Way, but I think you would like it – because I LOVED it – and we seem to be drawn to many of the same things.

    1. Rhonda! Thank you for the book recommendation! And I happy to know you too are a Belovedeer 🙂 I’m thrilled with that whole movement 🙂 Can’t wait to post some pics from my first full Beloved Session last weekend! Alas, I LOVE book recommendations, especially from Kindred Spirits! Adding it to the list! Thank you my friend!

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