About 12 years I ago I discovered the Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron, a book aimed at reclaiming your creativity. One of the exercises in it was that each morning you write three pages of stream of consciousness writing. The aim behind it was to get out all the things that were blocking you from being creative.
I didn’t fair too well with the morning pages. They used to take me absolutely ages to do. I wanted to write something profound, something insightful and as a result my morning pages were often afternoon pages by the time I had worked out what to say that was meaningful. In time I grew so frustrated with trying to work out what to write that I abandoned the morning pages.
Recently I started doing the Artist’s way again with Aesha Kennedy’s group. And that meant starting the morning pages again. Today I try to keep my pen moving even if it’s just to write “I don’t know what to write” over and over again. Eventually some other thoughts come through and I write them down. I recognise that the point isn’t to write something profound, just to clear away all the garbage that has been lying around my head.
I’ve gone for an A5 notebook this time as I found writing A4 just a bit much. Although at first I told myself it was cheating, I haven’t found anything in the book that says you have to write on A4.
I don’t do the morning pages first thing. I have my breakfast first and then do my routine of meditating, tapping and reading before I get down to the morning pages. And sometimes they have been afternoon pages by the time I get through my routine. I’m a bit of a night owl and tend to go to bed and get up late. But if it’s a choice between doing them imperfectly or not at all I know which one I’d take.
I find that they give me clarity of thought and the impetus to get on with my day. Recently I was feeling down after a failed launch but after doing my morning pages I realised that I’ve made progress with my business. The value I get out of the morning pages is sometimes aha moments and sometimes just a clearing of my head space. But I’m getting so much out of it I’ve decided to stick with it this time.
Have you tried the morning pages?