The first time I heard about Morning Pages was in passing, as I perused art and writing blogs. I didn’t notice it or become interested in it again until a few weeks ago, when I was scanning the Makawao library nonfiction shelves, looking for interesting books to read. My hand landed on The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron, and I remembered seeing the book many times on different artist and writer reading lists.
To be perfectly honest, most of the book didn’t interest me and only served to highlight what I had already known about myself and what I wanted to do as an artist. It would certainly be a great resource, however, for someone who needs guidance to (re)start on their creative path. But I digress.
Though most of the book didn’t pique my interest, the part about morning pages did. The procedure is simple – procure a journal (easy enough – I’ve had journals since I was old enough to write; using your computer as a journal works for some as well) and, each morning before you go about your day, write three pages. It can be three pages of absolutely anything you want – what you need to do that day, what you did the day before, you thoughts and feelings…it doesn’t matter what you write, so long as you write three pages. If you can’t think of what to write immediately, you just write “I can’t think of what to write” over and over until you think of something.
The point of the exercise is that it should be done through stream-of-consciousness – one thought following another without pausing to decide what to write next. By allowing your brain to “dump” on the page, you receive direct creative inspiration from Spirit, or whatever you wish to call the creative force of the Universe. It also serves as a marvellous vehicle to enlighten you to your suppressed desires and emotions and discontentments, motivating you to change your life by bringing those into the light of acknowledgement.
I’ve been doing Morning Pages the past few weeks, give or take a few days when I haven’t had the time, or forgotten. I don’t think I’ve ever filled up a journal so fast before, and it’s been fun to see how my morning brain dumps have been changing my conscious and subconscious thoughts and decisions. I notice, as well, on the days I forget to do my morning pages along with my morning ritual, that I tend to be less attentive to the world around me and to my intuitive promptings. It’s as if the Morning Pages cleanse my mind of all that the “junk thoughts” and negative affirmations that clutter it and make it hard for the messages of Spirit to enter.
In the past, I’ve done all sorts of different types of journaling. I started, of course, with regular diaries, and then when I discovered Paganism at thirteen years old, my journals took on a more spiritual slant. My junior/senior years of high school, I started art journaling, and when I was traveling Australia for a year after graduation, my journals focused mostly on that, as well as scribbled pictures of what I was experiencing. However, there’s never been any “set” way that I’ve done my journals. Incorporating Julia Cameron’s Morning Pages has been a new experiment for me, and with the amount of success I’m having with it, I think I’ll continue writing my three pages at sunrise for the foreseeable future.
Have you done Morning Pages? If not, how do you normally do your journals?