I’ve been doing ‘Morning Pages‘ ever since I first read The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron back in 2015. This exercise entails three pages of long hand, free consciousness writing.
I don’t follow every bit of writing advice that’s put out there, nor do I generally give it. What I do is share what works for me. And this does. For the past four years. I’ve had the odd gap and paid for it with a severe case of the wobbles about me, about my writing, and castrophising (a term I’ve nicked from the indomitable Dawn French).
There is nothing to learn, but there is a habit to create. For me, first thing in the morning, in bed when my dreamy sleepy self is still not quite conscious. I just write whatever is on my mind. It’s not meant to be read, revisited, or used for any other purpose than de-cluttering. Although sometimes I do write down something I need to remember because it’s crowding my head space.
So these are the five benefits I have garnered from doing this very exercise…
- Creating Head Space – writing down what first comes to mind helps to clear the cobwebs away. It’s like a regular bit of house keeping for the brain. The thoughts that trouble me, the dreams that scare me and the things that are troubling me just seep away onto the paper. The actual issues don’t go away but I’ve parked them.
- Problem Solving – it could be about a life issue, or more than likely sorting out something in a writing project that’s been troubling me. I can write it out, as it were, and as I do I come up with solutions. It’s a great feeling when that happens.
- Easily Achievable – 10 minutes it takes me. Simon knows that it’s the first thing I want to do, the animals, well they don’t quite understand but I refuse to let distractions get in the way. First thing before the day begins to control my activities and it’s done.
- Improves my Confidence and Self Esteem– not just in my writing life but in all sorts of area’s. I often ask myself ‘what is the worst case scenario’ if something is troubling me and often it’s insignificant and I can forget about it… until it raises it’s head again! When I slack off this exercise, like whilst we were away, my belief in myself dwindles fast, like water going down a drain.
- Increases Productivity – I always feel ready to get on with whatever I need to do, it allows me to allocate priorities, set goals for the day and get things done. I’m not saying I never have a day where there is stuff I didn’t get done, but I’ve usually done the important stuff, more often than not that means something to do with writing.
It’s the best bit of daily work out I do… pity it doesn’t help the waist line! 🙂
Pages clarify our yearnings. They keep an eye on our goals. They may provoke us, coax us, comfort us, even cajole us, as well as prioritize and synchronize the day at hand. If we are drifting, the pages will point that out. They will point the way True North. Each morning, as we face the page, we meet ourselves. The pages give us a place to vent and a place to dream. They are intended for no eyes but our own.