“It is too eorly to write. I’m tired and not awake and my eyes are closed I dont want to be awake but I am I’m rot sure what else to sayso I’ll say I’m not awak, Whate elst to wrtie Not inspired. Not motvated. sleeeeepy.”
What you see above is my actual “Morning Pages” journal accompanied by my first ever attempt to journal directly upon waking. Please forgive my general lack of spelling, punctuation, cohesiveness, and the flat-out terrible readability. In my defense, to which there is little, I was quite tired and my first go-round was predictably horrible as I expected. I wish I could say that I enjoyed adding these entries over time but, as with green eggs and ham, I still just don’t like them…
What are ‘Morning Pages?’
Morning pages are the daily practice of writing (long hand) three pages, or paragraphs if you are extra lazy, into a journal that you keep next to your bed. Easy enough right? The problem, or catch, is that you are supposed to do this writing upon first waking up so your brain is fully awake and functioning so you typically end up with stream-of-conscious writing.
This practice or ritual comes from working your way through Julia Cameron‘s book ‘the ARTIST’S WAY.‘ The goal is to unlock your mind by freeing it of all the clutter that collects daily thus readying it, and you, for the day. Hopefully this daily process will be as refreshing and habitual as drinking coffee or taking a shower. The concept, though simple, has worked for countless individuals but you, being a naturally selfish one care about one thing and one thing only…
Will it work for you?
The only way to know is to give it an honest shot. Set out a notepad with a pen/pencil the night before, set your alarm thirty minutes earlier then you are used to, don’t hit snooze when the alarm goes off and actually write in the morning. Do this everyday without ever taking a break for at least three weeks to allow routine to set in and then see what happens. Here are seven rules that should also help:
Does this sound to hard, time-consuming or just dumb? Or, are you at least intrigued enough to get started with a new way of unleashing a better, more creative you into the world each day? Only you can answer these questions but if you feel creatively dead, unmotivated in general or need some kind of a spark, I highly recommend that you give ‘Morning Pages’ a real chance.
After all of this, the sad truth for me personally is that these pages have not helped me. They have been more boon than asset and I do not feel better for having wasted hours of sleep to write aimlessly while still in a half dream, half reeeaallly tired state.
Perhaps this is because this task was assigned to me as part of a graduate level creativity class, thus making it less freeing and more homework-like but perhaps not. Perhaps I already feel creatively, motivated and sparks fly out of me every day.
What I do know is that I still, for over a month now, attempt to do these pages but my results haven’t changed. I write words on blank pages but I tend to be wake up too fast hence I lose the dream-like freedom so I end up writing like I did on day one, being tired. I won’t stop for the sake of the class and since I still have hope that my I could have an writing epiphany but that is me and I can only speak for myself.
Give it a shot!
Don’ let me detract you from what could be a life-changing ritual that has a real chance to better your life. If everything worked for everyone, we’d all be doing the same things. Do yourself a favor and give it a shot, you might be reeaallly happy you did!