I’ve felt a bit at sea lately, and after Christmas, decided it might be useful to start writing morning pages again. You know the idea, I’m sure: write three pages, by hand, first thing in the morning as a form of clearing and centering before heading into the day’s work, whether it’s your creative work or something else. Julia Cameron, their primary proponent, cautions that they “aren’t meant to be art, or even writing.” They are simply a tool, useful not just for writers but for all artists and anyone looking to deepen their creative experience.
“The morning pages are the primary tool of creative recovery. As blocked artists, we tend to criticize ourselves mercilessly. Even if we look like functioning artists to the world, we feel we never do enough and what we do isn’t right. We are victims or our own internalized perfectionist, a nasty internal and eternal critic, the Censor, who resides in our brain and keeps up a constant stream of subversive remarks that are often disguised as the truth. . . . By spilling out of bed and straight onto the page every morning, you learn to evade the Censor. . . . Morning pages will teach you that your mood doesn’t matter.
“Morning pages are meditation, a practice that brings you to your creativity and your creator God.” — Julia Cameron, The Artist’s Way
A topic close to my heart! I’ve been doing Morning Pages for some 17 years now, although I’ve strayed from Julia’s original format a bit. It IS my meditation, my spiritual time–just me and the cat, stretched out on my chaise. Key point for me is that I don’t entertain the critical voice during this time, or rather those words don’t get written down (which is a way of focusing on them). Rather this is my cheerleading time, when I applaud all my efforts and believe in my writing. That means I am launched into my morning feeling enthusiastic and charged up for the work ahead.
Morning Pages is also the time when imagery for my work-in-progress arises, and ideas for blog and Instagram posts bubble up.
Thanks, Leslie, for sharing these quotes, and providing additional inspiration for my weekend.
I like your adaptation, or evolution, of the idea a lot — thanks for sharing it!