It’s always the same, it seems. As soon as I add something to my ‘must do because it’s good for me’ list it becomes ten times less appealing. When I first began writing Morning Pages – the act of splurging thoughts & feelings onto paper at the beginning of each day – I felt resistant. It was a ‘must do’ chore, along with all those other ones like eating five fruit & veg a day and regular exercise. But quickly I realised I was getting so much from my new morning activity that it stopped being a ‘must’ and became a need, want and desire all rolled into one.
What were Morning Pages giving me? What reward was I craving?
The reward was a clear mind, and a direct line to the wisest part of myself.
Pretty revolutionary – particularly for someone like me, whose mind from the moment I wake is so crammed full of ‘stuff’ that some days I don’t even know where to start. I find myself flailing around in a sea of to-do lists and tasks, thoughts of future, fears from the past… Morning Pages come to my rescue.
Writer and creativity teacher Julia Cameron was the inventor of this morning writing activity. She writes:
Morning Pages are three pages of longhand, stream of consciousness writing, done first thing in the morning. *There is no wrong way to do Morning Pages*– they are not high art. They are not even “writing.” They are about anything and everything that crosses your mind– and they are for your eyes only. Morning Pages provoke, clarify, comfort, cajole, prioritise and synchronize the day at hand. Do not over-think Morning Pages: just put three pages of anything on the page…and then do three more pages tomorrow. juliacameronlive.com
Time to confess. I never do three pages. This is something that evolved very naturally. I didn’t realise initially, but it turned out my mind was desperate for me to listen to it. As soon as I offered it a forum, it readily obliged and proceeded to give me more than enough ‘aha!’ moments in just two pages a day.
Another confession: I don’t do it every day. For me, it is a weekday thing, when my routine is more reliable and the calming of my mind more necessary. But when I practice Morning Pages I always do it first thing, as preparation for my day ahead, and I always just write – anything that comes into my head. It starts out quite superficial and chaotic, a jumble of words bobbing on the surface. But very quickly I am diving deep, swimming in the depths. I am being guided by that reassuring inner voice. And when I emerge again my mind has been washed clean. This time, only the important things are left in view. I am ready to start my day.