I’ve had an on again/off again relationship with morning pages.
For those of you who aren’t familiar with morning pages, they are three handwritten pages you’re supposed to write first thing in the morning, fast, without really thinking about what you’re writing. The theory behind them is, when we wake up, our minds are so full of stuff — tasks on our to-do lists, errands we have to run that day, things we’d like to whine and complain about, etc. Our brains are so busy sorting through all those things, our creativity is buried!
So, if we can just write out all that stuff first thing in the morning, our creative minds will be free to come forward and, uh, create! Morning pages are the brainchild of Julia Cameron who writes about the practice in her book The Artist’s Way. She also discusses the purpose of these pages in a video here.
I seem to return to writing morning pages whenever I’m in creative despair, when I’m feeling stuck with whatever I’m working on, or when things aren’t flowing the way I’d like them to. These are the times when morning pages work so well for me. First of all, it’s nice to write by hand. I’ve mentioned before that I have a love of fountain pens, so whenever I get the opportunity to write with them, I’m one happy girl. Also, writing morning pages is good for the psyche. I mean, you start your day writing! How nice is that? And, of course, once you start writing, there’s a good chance you’ll keep on writing! Lastly, I like writing morning pages because it’s a good discipline to get into; no day goes by without writing.
This time around, I’ve been doing morning pages for a few weeks and, once again, I’m in the love phase. I’m really finding this process helpful for my work-in-progress. Maybe in a couple of months, when I’m really deep into this novel, I won’t feel the need to write morning pages anymore. I might feel that they’re a waste of time, a distraction from my real work. But for now, I’m going to cling desperately to what’s working!