Thursday, July 5, 2012

Morning Pages: One Page at a Time

While I'm not writing as much as I anticipated I would by this point in the summer, I am rebuilding the habit of writing.   Part of that is participating in Jamie Ridler's Morning Pages Link-up.  You basically write your morning pages (inspired by Julia Cameron's The Artist's Way) every day in July.  That's it.  You can join the link-up on Jamie's site, or connect on twitter with everyone else participating by using #morningpages.

Seriously .  . . morning pages are magic.  No joke.  Don't stress about how to do them.  The magic is in just getting them done.  Building the habit.  Pushing through.  Letting go.  Cameron suggests you write three pages every morning, but for me that always seems just beyond my grasp.  Not that I'm not capable of that as a writer (believe me, I'm long-winded enough for marathon morning pages), but something always seems to muck up the process.  If I get up really early, my four year old will follow me and insist that she is staaaaaaarving.  If I wait until they're all eating (deferring to the husband's mad breakfast-making skills), I get one page done in silence before the wolf pack finishes eating and turns on each other.  Mornings are doomed.  

Afternoons are much better for writing, but I use that time for more meaty writing.  Morning pages are more for clearing out my brain and getting some clarity on how I want my day to go or what I want to write about later in the day.  Sometimes I work out a blog post or figure out some character's hidden motivation, and sometimes I just whine on the page about how the phone is ringing three times during my first page and it's only eight-thirty in the morning.  

I choose not to fight it.  I try to write two or even three, and sometimes I manage to squeak those extra pages out.  But if I write only one full page, I do not consider that a failure.  One page is an accomplishment.  One page is worthwhile.  One page is habit-building.  
One page is cause to celebrate.  

No matter what your art . . . paint, dance, basket-weaving, cooking . . . whatever you do to create something new where there was nothing before, morning pages will benefit that creative process.  Write one page.  Write for five minutes.  Just. . . write.


  1. Ok, you got me. I resist free-writing because I've decided writing is not for me. But you're right, they're suggested for all creative types, aren't they. I'll think about it. I really do have a big resistance to that sort of writing now though, so no promises.

    1. Haha . . . busted. :)
      I find the things I resist the most are the things I should be doing. Not sure why, but that's generally how I find those unexpected things that work best for me.

  2. We are in sync! I started doing Morning pages last weekend and have kept it up all week. I think my longest stint of Morning Pages ever was about 6 months, 3 months of which I was working through "The Artists Way" book. Although often the morning part slips to evenning, I'm always grateful to download at least 3 pages a day, at whatever time. I am also very recently broke off a relationship so this has been a great tool to help process.

    1. Oh, fantastic, Sonya! My mornings have been slipping to evenings lately, too. It does sound like this is a perfect time for you to pick up the habit again. They're great for working through emotional stuff.