Have you ever felt like just clearing your mind of all worries? Have you ever felt there’s too many things going on in your mind, that you couldn’t focus on the work at hand? Surely you’ve wanted to just let go of these thoughts and just focus on what needs your creativity at the moment of what needs action.
I’ve found a tool that has worked wonders for me this year. It’s called the “Morning Pages“.
Morning Pages was introduced to me by a good friend, Ariel Manalac. He lent me a book entitled “The Artist’s Way – A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity” by Julia Cameron. The book describes in detail how to use the Morning Pages.
In essence, it is a tool for finding your creativity and retrieving your creativity.
Let me describe how I use Morning Pages.
1.) Wake up and write – Morning pages is among the first things I do in the morning. I used to try writing right off bed. There were times that I was able to capture some of my dreams and put them in writing. There were times that I found myself too drowsy to write. So I’ve shifted my sequence to: Wake-up > shower > Read Bible > Read Didache > Morning Pages . This has become a morning habit for me since early this year. Write everyday. Each and every day. There were times that I would write my morning pages …. in the evening! It’s all fine if it works for you.
2.) How to write – In “The Artist’s Way”, Julia recommends that we write our morning pages in long-hand, with a pen and a journal. I personally write on my laptop. I am a touch typist and I feel I’m better able to capture my thoughts by typing. It’s faster. Otherwise, I could be missing some of my thoughts if I was writing longhand — too slow.
I also write blind – I do not *see* what I’m writing. I do not read what I’m writing. I just allow the words to flow from my thoughts to the tips of my fingers. In fact, I black out my laptop monitor when I’m writing my morning pages.
I use an app called “Evernote” . It’s a note-taking program that organizes my notes into different notebooks (or folders). I’m able to capture notes using my laptop, or phone and they all synchronize across different devices. My notes are also available on the web if needed.
There was one time that I “wrote” my Morning Pages with an audio recording using Evernote. I highly recommend this free app Evernote.
3.) What to write – anything and everything! Whatever comes to mind, write it. Regardless of how mundane, regardless of how irrelevant it may seem. Regardless of whether it’s positive or negative. There are no biases here, you write what comes to mind. This is called your “flow of consciousness” or in Filipino “daloy ng kamalayan”. Just write without filtering any thought. Just write.
4.) What to expect – At the start, maybe the first 5-10 days, you would think it’s just sooo boring. You’d think it’s so hard to keep the discipline, so tedious. Great! Write it down! There’s a time when you feel as if the morning pages isn’t helping you at all. You’d feel as if there’s nothing happening. Awesome! Stay with it, because you’re almost there. This may happen around day 20 or 30. Stay with it, keep on writing. At a certain point, you will start to feel the *need* to write your morning pages. You will feel as if your mind *needs* to release it’s thoughts into words in your morning pages.
At that point, you have become a morning pages person. And you will begin to discover many beautiful and exciting aspects of your life through morning pages.
How I’ve benefitted from Morning Pages
I personally have unleashed the writer within. Around 2005-2008, I reached a height in writing on my blogs. Because of some situations and mindsets, I held back on my writing around 2008 onwards. When I began writing my morning pages, I have come back to writing on my three blogs: edwinsoriano.com , technobiography.com and eOFW.Net .
I also have become more focused and purposeful. Morning pages has helped me think through my thoughts and feelings. It has helped me become more clear about my positions about issues or concerns.
I am more outspoken, more expressive. Morning Pages has SILENCED the censor in my head. The censor is that little voice in our head that says “You suck!”. It’s the voice that keeps us from expressing our innermost thoughts. Morning pages has put the censor at bay. I am more comfortable now expressing myself to myself via morning pages, and also expressing myself to other people.
Very recently, I’ve found myself solving problems and breaking through obstacles through morning pages. Just last week, I took to my journal and confronted some of my thoughts and feelings. I had a project that had been idle for 3 weeks. I decided to write on morning pages about this project.
In my writing, I was questioning myself: “What’s up, ano nga ba problema mo? Are you afraid? You think walang value ang sinusulat mo?” And in the process, all within 5 minutes, I broke through. I realized what was holding me back, and I took decisive action towards moving forward with my project.
Morning Pages will be a different experience for different people. Try it out and find out what awaits you behind your hand-writing of Morning Pages.
7 Rules for Writing Morning Pages
- Write everyday – stay with it. Rewards come to the persistent.
- Just write – no censors, no deliberations. Write anything, write everything. Write positive, write negative. Do not select. Write what’s on your mind. It could even be: “Shit, I can’t think of anything to write”. Well, write THAT down.
- Write blind – Do not read what you’re writing. Black-out your screen while you write.
- It is what it is – Wrong spelling? Wrong grammar? Incomplete sentence? Whatever. Nevermind. Let it go, get on with writing the rest of your stream of consciousness.
- No backtracking – Do NOT read your past writings. At least in the first 8 weeks.
- Keep it private – Secure your journal. NOBODY else must see it or read it. This is part of your private space. Do NOT share with anybody else.
- There are no rules – There is no wrong way. Do what works for you.
With that, I’d like to SHARE a sample of my morning pages! Hahaha! You must be screaming: “Irony, irony, irony!” or “walk the talk, man!” I break my rule #6 above by choice to benefit YOU, my reader.
Morning Pages Sample
This is breakthrough for me. Because even I do not re-read my morning pages. Nevertheless, here’s an excerpt to help you get a better idea what goes into morning pages.
At the same time that I am feeling like I’m in fast forward with my life, like i’m going three times my “typical” speed,
I also feel sometimes lost, not knowing where to go next.
I’m supposed to have a bin list of next steps, but seemingly, i don’ know what to do next.
Perhaps it is also some part of completion.
there aret hings that I haven’t completed yet.
Maybe that’s what I need to wk on too.
One at a time.
Be proud of your wins.
they are significant!
They are valuable and awesome!
(Aug 2, 2012)
The above sample is a short one. Usually, I have 2 to 4 times as much writing. I’m sure you also noticed the wrong spelling, misplaced punctuations and capitalization, some wrong grammar. Whatever. That’s the way it goes. ;-) .
Your Share now
Have you tried morning pages? What’s your experience like? I’d love to hear about how your morning pages is going for you. Send in a note at the comments area below.
I hope this article has helped you find a new way of discovering more about yourself.
Great morning! …. pages.