Recently I began doing morning pages again. Morning pages are Julie Cameron’s idea from her book The Artist’s Way on how to improve creativity. They involve doing three longhand pages of stream-of-consciousness writing (or even drawing) about anything top of mind each morning. Usually this takes me 20-30 minutes.
I read Cameron’s book years ago and tried them but didn’t find them particularly useful. Recently I saw her give a lecture and was reminded about them so I thought I’d try them for a few days.
Well, I’m a convert. I do them on most working days now and they’ve been quite remarkable. These are the things I’ve found they help me with:
- Setting daily priorities.
- This includes setting writing goals and not letting them disappear amid other life demands.
- Coming up with ideas on how to overcome writing problems. Later, when I attack them on the page, they don’t seem nearly as daunting.
- Venting and get things off your mind so you can focus better without such annoying distractions.
- Other things that have been bothering me suddenly come up on the page, usually with a resolution. Afterwards I feel a sense of clarity and lightness.
- They just make everything deeper, no matter how irritated I feel about doing them.
I find if I don’t do my morning pages, I’m less focused, my goals are less defined and I achieve less. My time fritters away and I end up feeling a diminished sense of achievement and even frustration compared to when I do them.
Maybe you don’t need them right now, but they’re a good thing to bear in mind should you find writing becomes more challenging. Happy writing.