Morning Pages is the brainchild of Julia Cameron, Author of “The Artist’s Way.” The concept is taking time out of your day to sit and write three pages of longhand in a journal. It is not meant to be a work of art, but the act of moving the hand across the page, writing down whatever comes to mind. Nothing is too petty, too silly, or too weird to be included. It is simply draining the brain of negative thoughts and fears that block the path to serenity and creativity.
I work full-time and moonlight as a writer, so I know how difficult it is to carve time out in the fast-paced life we lead. Having to wake 20 minutes earlier to do this task was challenging for me at first, but once I saw how it was improving my mood, and the positives it was bringing ̶ the sacrifice became well worth it. Morning pages changed my life. It can change yours, if you like. Here are the benefits:
1) Positive affirmations. I start my entry with the date and a subject heading, (this could be anything like, “I don’t have energy for this day”, “I hate to write”, whatever springs to mind). Then I list affirmations. I write the same affirmations every day without fail. The more I write them, the more they bloom in my soul. One of them is, “I am a brilliant and prolific Romance Author.” Another is, “I am a determined and strong runner and swimmer.” The profound thing about affirmations is the more they are repeated, the universe works on turning them into a reality. Find affirmations that speak to your goals and write them down daily. They will manifest – I promise they will.
2) Morning pages provides direction for the day ahead. How many mornings have you awoken and felt overwhelmed by the many tasks ahead? Writing them down, diminishes the fear surrounding them. In actual fact, as you put pen to paper, solutions start forming in your mind on how to tackle and dispose of them efficiently.
3) They drive doubts away. I truly depended on my morning pages when I was under deadline to finish my novel. I had no idea how I was going to do it, or if I would submit my manuscript on time. But I poured my fears into my journal, and found the courage to do my best each day. Don’t be afraid to reveal your darkest fears on paper ̶ strength arrives when there is honesty.
4) Silences your inner critic. I have a lot of perfectionistic tendencies, and am incredibly hard on myself. Writing down my “inadequacies” makes them less threatening. Morning pages challenges my inner critic daily, reminding me how far I’ve come, to appreciate all I’m doing and to love myself ̶ flaws and all.
5) Aids in making decisions. Do you procrastinate over decisions? I do, all the time! The act of writing allows me to me analyse reasons for not taking action. I can weigh all the pros and cons in my morning pages. Pretty soon I find myself ready to make the decision, standing proudly by my choice.
6) Letting go of excess baggage. I write copiously about work stresses, grief, strained relationships, just about anything that weighs me down. Dumping my feelings on paper, does not make the pain any less, but gives me an outlet to vent. Solutions may not be readily available, but in time, what used to hurt so much, has fallen by the wayside. It reinforces that letting go isn’t pleasant, but necessary in moving forward, to be person you were meant to be.
7) Steers you towards your hearts goals. I’ve always wanted to be a writer. Yes, I was writing short stories, poems and blogging, but I really wanted to write a novel. The more I wrote about it, the more things started materialising for me. If you don’t know what your heart goal is, try searching for it on paper. Once the heart pours onto the page, your goals become super-clear.
8) Generates ideas for creativity. Some people substitute morning pages for free writing. This form of writing is a timed session where you write non-stop, not worrying about grammar or whether it makes sense or not. The aim is to get as many words on paper in search of an idea that speaks to you. This is how creativity is unleashed ̶ sticking around until the muse arrives.
9) Centres on positivity and gratitude. When morning pages becomes habitual, you can’t help but feel positive of your circumstances, despite the challenges. There is always something to be grateful for and morning pages affirms that.
10) Delivers serenity and a pep in your step for the day ahead. After I’ve written three pages every morning, I meditate for a minute or two. I’ve dumped all my negativity on paper and nothing stands in my way in having the best day ever. Serenity overflows and I’m ready to tackle my day, come what may.
Morning pages should not be seen as a chore. In fact the more you commit to it, the more habitual it becomes. On the days that you’re time-strapped, it can always be carried over to the next day. If three pages are too much for you, try two. Nothing is cast in stone ̶ see what works for you, and let me know if it’s helped you in any way 🙂