Why I started to write Morning Pages
I started to write morning pages in April this year. It wasn’t a thought-out decision in search of a new direction or anything. My little one started to wake up at 5 in the morning along with me preventing me from practicing yoga. The moment he sees me in a yoga pose he either climbs on top of me or crawls under me bringing the peaceful balancing act to a complete stop.
So that day when I couldn’t practice yoga, I decided to write morning pages instead. After all, I’d been reading about this magical tool in the book The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. I didn’t plan on writing that early as my morning time was already full, with yoga practice and studying for a test. Plus, I was already writing on journal every day that I didn’t feel the need to suffocate my morning time with too many activities.
What is morning pages
Morning pages are three pages of longhand writing, strictly stream-of-consciousness. It can also be called brain drain as that is what you are supposed to be achieving through this process. Putting word after word whatever that occurs in your head at that moment without dwelling much on it. The idea is to get the words floating in your head on to the paper freely. It isn’t meant to be a work of art. No editing. No correcting spelling mistakes and grammatical errors. Write freely just as the thoughts pop in your mind.
It doesn’t matter if your morning pages are filled with negative thoughts. Get it out from your head to the paper so that you don’t have to carry it around. Julia Cameron recommends not going back to read what you wrote at least for a couple of weeks. You are free to tear the papers after you are done with writing. The choice is yours.
It is for your eyes only. That’s why Cameron says that there is no wrong way to do morning pages. If you feel that you don’t have anything to write, then fill your three pages with “I don’t know what to write”.
But I’m not an artist
Morning pages is not an exercise just for artists or creative people if that’s what stops you from pursuing this tool. In her book, Julia Cameron says that this tool can be used by anyone be it an artist or not, to take advantage of its benefits.
Benefits of writing morning pages
The main benefit of writing morning pages daily is to let that creativity residing within you to flow freely. As you are writing without the fear of judgment it won’t be long before you rekindle with your creative pursuit, whatever that is.
The benefits of morning pages include:
- Declutter your mind
- Get in touch with your creativity
- Deal with your fears head-on
- Push you to take that first step
- Make you calm
What I write for morning pages
Mostly I started with how I wanted to spend the day. I wrote my to-do list of the day. I wrote about how I was feeling at that moment. If something bothered me heavily, it was easy to fill the pages with my concerns. Since writing down negative thoughts was okay in morning pages I always signed off with a few positive affirmations to hold on to through the day.
Now Cameron intended to write morning pages the old fashioned way – with a pen on a notebook. But since I had to stay on the bed for the sake of my kid and couldn’t turn the lights on for the sake of my kid, I resorted to using my phone. I typed in the google docs app on my phone. Later in the day, I wrote in my journal as usual, but not three pages. There were also days when I was able to get out of the bed and write in the journal first thing in the day without waking up the little one. When I could, I did that. When I couldn’t, I did what I could.
I wrote without being dubious that if I would benefit the benefits because of the adjustments I was making. If I had to trust the process without questioning it, then I had to accept that my circumstance wouldn’t be exactly the same as what Julia Cameron had when she developed this technique.
How writing morning pages helped me
It wasn’t easy to just write page after page when it seemed to be meaningless rants at first. I felt that I was wasting my precious early morning time to this senseless writing activity. But since I was tied to the bed by my little one’s watchful eyes, I committed myself to practice this activity. A couple of days into the habit, I realized that even though the words that I was typing were mostly meaningless and repetitive and not even remotely close to profound, it was helping me clear my mind of the worries and nags that followed me around.
It made me accept my circumstance as it was and do my best to adapt to the situation.
This daily writing ritual developed a habit of ‘writing no matter what’ in me.
I realized that this activity forced me to slow down and deal with the negative thoughts that were dissuading me from taking upon anything that I wanted to pursue.
I felt that morning pages gave me an assurance as though I have
someone something to rely on as I was being honest while filling these pages with my rants. Someone who never judges you for the weird thoughts that encroach the insides of my mind.
As days passed by I feel more sorted from the inside and I was able to talk me out from the fear of failure at least a bit.
The practice of writing morning pages felt much like meditation to me and the effect in fact was akin to a meditation practice, restless at the beginning, gently settling down raking through my muddled thoughts, to a clearer mind.
It is a form of self-care as far as I am concerned, as morning pages are all about you and yourself. Giving that priority to myself the first thing in the morning is surely having a positive effect on me.
Yes, it is your turn now. If you think that the whole process of morning pages sounds lame, then I will tell you, it is lame. But it is that lame activity when done consistently will help you clear your mind and figure out what exactly was lame. Now don’t get me wrong, you are not going to reap the benefit just by doing it for a couple of days halfheartedly. So if you are starting with your morning pages then be prepared, it is a form of meditation where you are allowed to weed through your thoughts, silly or otherwise, and gently put them down, word after word.
Linking with #MondayMusings at EverydayGyaan by Corinne.