This whole Morning Pages practice has taught me so much already! Updated 9.12.21
The idea of morning pages crossed my path right at just the right time. I wanted to write more, but I was unfocused. I needed to develop some practices to move me in the right direction.
YouTube is brimming with my younger millennial counterparts vlogging about their morning pages experiences, ranging from practical to ethereal. I first learned about the practice thanks to one of those very millennials in spring 2018.
If you haven't seen one of the many, MANY YouTube videos or read one of Buzzfeed's offerings on the subject, here's how morning pages work. Write whatever crosses your mind. Three pages worth. In the morning. You can watch a video by the woman who coined the term, Julia Cameron, explaining them here.
I mulled over the idea of morning pages for a few months. Seeking to cultivate not only creativity itself but the consistent practice of creativity, I finally made my decision - morning pages sounded like a good idea to me!
I've been morning-paging consistently this last month - January 2019 - and here are four takeaways I've learned so far:
1. My habit of writing morning pages seems to correlate directly with a habit of writing later in the day. Whether it's journaling, blogging, or working on my latest book, practicing morning pages sets my mind on a path toward writing even more.
2. My mind is way fresher in the morning. I wasn't sure that would be the case, but when I crack open my journal in the morning, I am super ready to write.
3. I look forward to writing my morning pages. I don't have a plan about what to write, but I feel a sense of freedom or release when I start scribbling away.
4. Mini-morning pages help me maintain the habit. Last week, I had to get to a super early meeting of my non-profit's Board of Directors, so that day I titled my entry "mini-morning pages" and wrote just one page. I felt a sense of satisfaction that I had maintained the habit by customizing it for my unusual day.
The very fact that Julia Cameron published her book The Artist's Way, where she coined "morning pages," in 1992 encourages me. She could not have foreseen the impact her words would have on future generations some twenty-five years later! It speaks to the value of writing what is important to us NOW instead of waiting, hesitating, trying to predict what will come from it before we take the risk of sharing it with the world.
Morning pages - the practice, the habits around the practice, all of it - have taught me about myself and propelled me in the direction I wanted to go: to write more and be bolder about sharing that writing with the world.