This blog post is part of my series on The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. If you missed my earlier posts, start here.
In order to retrieve your creativity, you need to find it.
One of the two basic tools of The Artist’s Way, — a 12-week program created by Julia Cameron for recovering creatives — are morning pages.
What are morning pages?
Basically, morning pages are three pages of stream-of-consciousness longhand writing. Just write what comes to mind but do it with a pen and paper. No computers allowed. As a dedicated journaler back in my teenage years, I found the idea of morning pages to be familiar and a bit nostalgic. But morning pages are a lot different than the writings of an angst-ridden teen.
What do I write in morning pages?
To me, morning pages serve a couple of different purposes.
- Diary. I acknowledge any significant events that may have happened the day before.
- To-Do List. I clear my mind of any bothersome thoughts or niggling to-do tasks.
- Gratitude Journal. I jot down things in my life that I am grateful for. Things that are going well for me as a way to invite more of the good into my life.
- Affirmation. When I ran of things to say, I write down my favorite affirmations and mantras that I am currently trying to drill down into my consciousness. Repeating these statements in my morning pages really helps them to sink into my brain and begin accepting them as true.
Just three pages
I love that the three-page requirement limits your writing and lets you get on with your day. No need to think about when to stop. Fill 3 pages and you’re done.
Some days I have to dig deep to fill the three pages. Other days, I fill them with ease – my hand-writing even gets smaller if I know I want to get a lot of my chest. Either way, when the three pages are done, I feel a sense of accomplishment. It requires you to be accountable to yourself. No one will check your work or give you a gold star for effort. In fact, Cameron forbids you to share your pages with anyone else. It is meant to be a purge of ideas and thoughts on the surface in order to tap into your inner wisdom.
Already more than a month into daily morning pages, I have only missed one or two days. And sometimes I do them later in the day. I have come to rely on them like a confidante. I love morning pages!
Examples of morning pages
Before I committed to the morning pages, I did a little online research about other people’s process. Of course, as Cameron says in The Artist’s Way, there is no wrong way to do morning pages (as long as you write 3 pages). Every person will have their own way to do them.
Here are a few more examples of morning pages that may give you more clarity on what they are and how they may help you.
- FemmeHead — video
- Lavendaire — video
- Julia Cameron — video
- Inc. article
- Tim Ferriss blog post (photo of one of his actual morning pages shown)
I will talk about artist dates!