I’ve written in diaries, journals, and now mini notebooks ever since second grade. I tried journaling every day, but that didn’t always happen. In November, I started reading The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron and began the twelve week creative course.
One of the things Julia insists you do throughout the course is morning pages. It’s three pages of longhand writing first thing in the morning. As soon as you wake up, you do the morning pages. Oh, sure, you can go to the bathroom or get a drink, but the first activity you do after waking up is writing three longhand pages.
I first started doing morning pages a few years ago when I read Julia Cameron’s The Right to Write. I didn’t think they were as amazing as others had claimed. But see, I wasn’t doing them right. I was writing them in the morning, but not first thing. I’d go for a run, shower, eat breakfast, then write them. Or I’d go to my 9 a.m. class and write them afterwards.
While doing The Artist’s Way course, I knew I had to do them exactly as Julia Cameron suggested. And, wow, I noticed a big difference! There is something to be said for writing as soon as you wake up. It’s like your mind is still in a semiconscious state. I got a lot of new ideas for current and future projects. Some of my blog posts are from morning pages. I even worked out a few personal frustrations. Journaling first thing in the morning became a significant start to my day.
I finished The Artist’s Way course at the end of January, but I’ve continued writing the morning pages the correct way. I keep my notebook and pen on my night table. When I wake up, I prop my pillows against the headboard and immediately start writing my morning pages.
|The Artist's Way|
I’ve done well writing them first thing every morning since November, but occasionally I miss a morning. I make it up later in the day, but I notice the difference. When I skip the morning pages, my day feels muddled. I have that feeling like I’ve forgotten something or am missing something important. I’ve even noticed that writing feels much more like a chore on days that I skip my morning pages.
It’s still surprising to me how writing three simple pages, just fifteen minutes each morning, helps kick-start my writing routine for the rest of the day. It helps me get into a motivated and productive writing groove!
Have you read The Artist’s Way? Do you write in a journal? Have you tried morning pages?