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Morning Pages

Whilst chatting with Bill, my favourite writing pluviophile, he mentioned something about doing his “Morning Pages”; or rather, that he had let himself slack off but would be getting back on track, or something to that effect.

What are Morning Pages, you ask?  I had to look it up.  This was invented by Julia Cameron and is described more fully in her book “The Artist’s Way”.  However, it was more a blog post by Shelby of “Little Coffee Fox”  that got me even more intrigued.

Apparently, this daily ritual can unleash our creative potential, so to speak – and not limited to the creativity in writing, either.  It can help artists of all sorts.  The point of this practice is to encourage us away from negative self-talk and away from the fear that holds us back.

Okay, sounds a little woo-woo but hey… I’ve been writing my gratitude journal for over fifteen years and what harm is there in going to bed thinking of five things to be grateful for?  It forces me to think of five positive things.  Some days the choices are slim but find them, I do.

So. how does this work?  Pretty simple.  Every morning, first thing, you dump your thoughts by writing three pages in longhand.  No plotting or strategizing, just stream of conscious writing.  Nothing pretty, punctuation and all that jazz doesn’t really matter.  The important thing is to simply write whatever comes to mind and to not stop until you have three pages worth.  What if you run out of things to say?  Find anything.  Just do it.  Oh, and here’s the best part.

NEVER READ WHAT YOU WRITE.

More importantly,

NEVER LET ANYONE ELSE READ WHAT YOU WRITE.

It’s a brain dump. Let it out.  And let it go. You can’t let it go if you go back to it, can you?

Alrighty then.  I am three days in.  A little early to see if anything comes from it but I like what Glitter Guide said after she tried it for thirty days:  she missed her therapist a bit less and her mind felt less cluttered as she started the day.  Did she have any big creative breakthroughs?  No. But she was open to the possibility.

And so am I.

Now, if I can just stop calling them Morning Papers maybe Prince will stop taking up space in my head…

 

143 thoughts on “Morning Pages

    • I’ve got the yoga going – trying to get a ln evening one, too.
      I’m so tired of being tired, I hope this helps, too. Every little bit of self care…

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  1. If I wrote three pages in long hand I wouldn’t have to worry about reading it or anyone else reading it because my handwriting is illegible. I like to reminisce about how I used to get up, shower, get dressed and leave for work in about 15 minutes. It takes me and hour and a half to get out the house these days. No Morning Pages for me.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow, Dale.

    Wonderful write up. Thanks for saying all that.
    I was thinking about calling mine daily pages so I can jump in later in the day.
    I appreciate the plug and the pingback, but now I feel pressure to do mo’ betta’.
    I like SoC writing when I can and I feel it emotionally, so more to come. Great song. 🙂

    Gracias mi amiga.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve been writing morning pages on and off for decades. It is a very useful practice. Sometimes I go deep, sometimes I just get my head straight about what I need to do that day, sometimes my ramblings lead me to map out a story idea or the draft of a poem. I find the process of writing most mornings while I sip a cup of tea really helps me get clear.

    Liked by 2 people

    • How wonderful, Suzanne. I am strill trying to find a rythm that will work for me. I am definitely going to go with the flow on this.
      Thanks so much for commenting.

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      • Some days I write a little. Other days I write a lot. Some days I don’t write anything and don’t for months at a time. Julia Cameron keeps all her journals. I don’t. I rip them up and put them in the bin after a while. I used to write in big A4 notepads. These days I mostly write a few pages on A5 size paper each day. Before I dispose of them I scan through them and get an overview of what I wrote about over the past couple of months. I check that to see if there are poem or story drafts that are worth keeping but I don’t re-read the whole journal. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        • That sounds pretty healthy to me! I write gratitude journals that I keep… then realise they will never be reread so I get rid of them. Journals, on the other hand, I have kept much longer. I don’t know what I will do with these, if they come to anything! 🙂

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  4. Whatever works for you is wonderful! 💙 I sometimes like to write poems first thing in the morning–just what comes out of my head. For me, I think a regular thing like that would seem like a chore.
    I do need to get back to yoga though.🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Dear Dale,

    Sounds interesting. And there’s nothing wrong with gratitude. In fact, it’s energizing. Who hasn’t been around someone who’s a steady drone of negativity? What a life-suck. Thank you for sharing this.

    Shalom and lotsa positive hugs,

    Rochelle

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Rochelle,

      It does, doesn’t it? And no, there is nothing wrong with gratitude – I have been and will continue to do my five per night. I’m hoping the morning pages will actually help me sleep better. Too much going on in me noggin!

      Shalom and lotsa grateful love,

      Dale

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    • I’m trying it. We’ll see if it goes anywhere or does any good. No harm in trying, right?
      Oh, it is from his fabulous Love Symbol album. I swear, there is not one song I dislike on the whole album! Glad you enjoyed sweet Rene.

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  6. I remember that book. Please let us know how it goes. An excellent challenge and once you get into the habit, you won’t be able to stop…like everything we do, it becomes kind of addictive, but in a good way. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Morning pages are an important part of my daily routine! I sometimes flip back and read them. They’re full of ideas and complaints about things i need to change. Julia Cameron actually recommends reading your pages at some point in The Artist’s Way. I’ve worked through the entire book twice so far.
    Journaling or brain dumping is essential mental hygiene for me. Taking walks in nature, gardening, and practicing yoga are also critical, but i don’t think one could replace the other.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you for your input, Luna. I am looking forward to this becoming a true habit. It will be interesting to see how/if anything changes for me.
      I think brain dumping is just what I need, to tell the truth. I am curious to see if doing it in the morning helps me at night (in time!)
      I should be getting her book any day now 🙂

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  8. I don’t do this as a morning routine, but I do do it. I have no name for it, just clears my head, helps me to organise, bring sense to the chaos that is me. And 3 pages? Only 3 pages? And I do go back over it, sometimes, cos my inspiration lies there. Needless to say, I’m not a person keen on keeping to routines.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Three pages is just a guideline. And I’m thinking, three makes you try harder if you are drawing a blank. Going for more is bonus. And apparently, the creator of this idea does keep hers and goes back over them and yes, inspiration can definitely lie there.
      As for the routine thing… I’m with you. I shall see 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Fascinating stuff here Dale. I for one am a man who is grateful for a lot in my life though I have never written ‘morning pages’ before, I think I should try it one day. Thank you for educating me about these 2 things that made my eyelashes rise:NEVER READ WHAT YOU HAVE WRITTEN & NEVER LET ANYONE ELSE READ YOUR STUFF, Mhmm… Interesting🤔

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Mthobisi. I think that there are different ideas on whether or not to reread and/or share. It might be a choice some people choose. Not sure what I will do, yet
      Glad you stopped by and took the time to comment.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I’ve been thinking about getting back to Morning Pages. It helps. A lot. “Brain dump” is a good way to put it. Also, it’s quite satisfying to burn the lot of them once or twice a year. 😀 Good luck with your Morning Pages, Dale.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Back in the late 1990s I did Morning Pages & I was serious about them. In fact if I hadn’t done the Morning Pages with such fervor I suspect I’d never have believed I could write a personal blog. They set me up for blogging success, although a few years ago I shredded them in a glorious ceremony of moving on with my life. They serve many purposes, in my experience.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I love that! All I hear is positive results of all sorts from anyone who did them for whatever time they did. How encouraging. I love that you shredded them when you felt you no longer needed them 🙂
      I’ve, not shredded, but gotten rid of old gratitude journals because them? I never ever reread. Why the hell was I keeping them?

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Q

    I could never do it. My longhand is currently in the witness protection program and I wouldn’t be able to decipher my signature if it wanted to release it from this hideaway. It’s seriously gotten worse than ever.

    I’ve tried diaries and journals, but I never kept up with it. And that’s when I could half ass read the stuff I was writing!

    But it’s a great idea for those who are blessed with the ability. 😉

    B

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I find the idea of morning pages appealing but I tend to do my walking in the morning–beats the heat and gets me out exercising before procrastination sets in. Then … I don’t know what happens to the rest of my day 😉 i have read that some people do their morning pages in the evening or before they go to bed … which could be a nice way of clearing my brain. I might try that. I’m a light sleeper, but I also have difficulty getting to sleep because my mind is often still in high gear, even if I’m tired 😦

    Liked by 1 person

    • I know what you mean. I like to run or do my exercises first thing. Any delay and I end up not doing them! So… I am trying to figure it out. Morning pages don’t have to be in the morning. Some do it at night, some in the afternoon. I guess we just need to find what works for us. I would have thought doing them at night would help me unload but I’m not so sure. I, too have trouble falling asleep and I am torn over whether or not it would just increase my thoughts or what!

      Liked by 1 person

    • I am looking forward to reading it. And I think whatever ritual we choose is the good one. I love taking walks, with or without my camera. It’s rather meditative for me. I figured I would try this and see if it gives me anything 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • I don’t know if that is wrong, though. A journal is a writing down of your thoughts (honestly, mine is more of a journal, too) only in this case, you don’t take your time to dot your i’s and cross your t’s, so to speak. You don’t worry about grammar or punctuation or run-on sentences, as we would for a journal (I’m thinking!)
      I’m not always good at following rules so, let’s just say we do what works for us!

      Liked by 1 person

  14. I used to do something like this when I was having troubles with boyfriends, then eventually my N.
    I would write a passionate love, hate or whatever letter. When it was finished, I would never send it, or read it again.
    It must have worked. My life has been on a creative roll ever since.
    Make art not war!
    Love ya, Thunder! xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

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