A couple years ago, I heard about a thing called Morning Pages. Julia Cameron is the brainchild and the concept is pretty simple:
Morning Pages are three pages of longhand, stream of consciousness writing, done first thing in the morning. *There is no wrong way to do Morning Pages*– they are not high art. They are not even “writing.” They are about anything and everything that crosses your mind– and they are for your eyes
only. Morning Pages provoke, clarify, comfort, cajole, prioritize and synchronize the day at hand. Do not over-think Morning Pages: just put three pages of anything on the page…and then do three more pages tomorrow.
At first, I didn’t know what I thought. Well, to be clear, I DID know what I thought and what I thought was, “I have a child and there are few things I can do reliably first thing in the morning.” Flash forward a few years to #3under3 and the concept of doing anything immediately upon waking is pretty absurd.
Recently, though, I’ve known that I needed it. I’ve been going through a difficult season (more on that to come), and finding my way through to clarity has been tough to come by.
And so in the last couple months, I’ve slowly started the practice. I don’t do it exactly as it should be done, I hear, but what I’m doing is working. And, more often than not, I find that I’m actually able to write my way out of a problem, or a funk, or a lack of motivation to start the day and get going.
Morning pages haven’t replaced other aspects of my morning routine, but they have been a great addition, and one that isn’t too far away from the regular practice of journaling, which I’ve done for years. The difference, though, is in allowing yourself to truly free write, without any sense of pressure for writing down a chronicle of what’s happening in your life, say (which can often happen with typical journalling practices).
So here’s what I do:
- When I get started with my workday (and not first thing, because #3under3), I also get started with my regular morning routine.
- As part of that routine, I write my version of my “Morning Pages.” To do so, I use my awesome Leuchtturm1917 dotted journal (I have the purple) and shoot for three pages of written word with my favorite Precise V5 extra fine pen. I write about anything. I typically start with some kind of recap of what’s going on in my life (this is similar to the regular chronicling that happens in any journalling practice), and typically end with a few things I am grateful for.
- If I am particularly blocked and don’t feel I have anything to write for three pages, I try to focus on “writing my way through” a particular problem. So, I start moaning, and then proceed into coherence, and then usually come out the other side a calmer soul, more balanced on the issue at hand.
So far, I’m finding the process is extremely useful, and I always come away better off. Even if I don’t have a great “aha!” moment in the process, I DO come away feeling more upbeat, positive, and ready to tackle life as life comes.
Have you tried a version of the Morning Pages? Has it worked for you? Tell me below.