Morning Pages are the brainchild of Julia Cameron, who famously wrote The Artist’s Way back in 1992 – a book I have had in my home for well over a decade. Earlier this year, I felt a soft whisper in my mind – a call to finally read the book and do what it contained.
Morning Pages involve three pages of stream-of-consciousness writing every day when you wake up, before anything else, and you’re not allowed to stop, or edit, or really even think about what you’re writing. You spill your guts. You literally write whatever comes to mind. You can write “blah blah blah” until something else starts to form. It’s a release – you just open up and let it all fall on to paper.
Back in 1999 or so, I did start the course of the book, but didn’t get far, mostly because I was terrible at getting up early.
I was also put off by the use of the word “God” – even though it does not need to be read as a literal, religious term when it comes to the book. Once I got past this, the true worth of the book’s contents could shine. To allow one word or a basic concept to shroud the rest of it was absurd to me. (This was also something I struggled with in regards to the Anastasia series).
I did continue with Morning Pages for a while, but was deterred because I was so easily called to hit my snooze button, or I was more likely lured by the call of the Internet, still a fairly new addiction back then.
This year, however, I stuck with Morning Pages, and have, daily for months on end. I have completed about 8 weeks of the Artist’s Way and was so overwhelmed with ideas and inspiration (along with other things that stole my time) that the last few weeks are still something I need to finish.
The Morning Pages stuck, though, because they have been instrumental in my life changes.
They got me to start creating again. They lit a fire within me. They got me to quit my stupid job. They led me to see what was absolutely stupid in my life and what I needed to change.
They can do the same for you.
- They will show you your patterns.
When you start your day with writing about anything that comes to mind, and without thinking about it, patterns show up. When you find yourself writing about the same things over and over, you start to realize how monotonous and boring your life has become. You’ll start to see the same old complaints day in and day out. “My job sucks. I hate my life. My partner is annoying. I need to eat better. I feel sick again. I am depressed. I need to sleep more. I have a dry mouth. I woke up 10 times last night. I wish I could go on vacation. I don’t want to go to work. I’m sick of cleaning this bloody house.” Or whatever. On and on.
Our constant complaints, and what our subconscious spills out on the page consistently, comes to the forefront of our minds where we start to think constantly and consciously about them. We discover what things need to change. Then, we can start to write about alternatives.
2. They will allow your subconscious to speak to you clearly.
We are so bombarded with information and distractions that it becomes almost impossible to listen to our inner voices, and to our hearts. Having 15-20 minutes of stream-of-consciousness writing allows us to FOCUS and also spill out what has been brewing without our even noticing, due to everything else going on. Then, those hidden gems are right in front of us, where we can see them start coming to life.
3. They will inspire new life and new creations
Most people have their best ideas randomly, when they have no distractions. In the shower, walking, swimming, exercise, washing the dishes, meditation, the moments before falling asleep – singular tasks that don’t require a lot of thought – when your mind is allowed to wander. Often when people have these ideas, they’re fleeting because they are in a place where they do not have the means to write them down, and the ideas fly away like tiny birds, never to be seen again. With Morning Pages, they spill out ON paper, so even though you may not always want to re-read your pages, at least you know where those ideas are. They are made immortal, they can always be revisited. Thus, it will inspire action. You’ll have your beautiful ideas ready for you, and they can’t escape, they are caged, just waiting to be freed!
4. They allow a fresh start to the day.
The pages are incredibly helpful for waking up. I’ve often started them while groggy, only to be wide awake upon finishing. On days where I have woken in a melancholy state, I have worked through it on paper and end up feeling hopeful. The days where I haven’t wanted to do them have been the more beneficial. I’ve had the most insight, and the most positive effect.
I highly encourage you to at least try this practice, even if you don’t go through the whole Artist’s Way course (which I do recommend doing()! Try it for at least a month and see what changes happen for you.
If none do…practice the pages for longer. I promise, you can expect great things to occur.
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