Hello and Good Morning!  I trust you have had a great week. Welcome back to my blog.  If you are new here, welcome to you as well.  I thank you for taking the time to spend a little time with me each week.  I really appreciate you for that.

Last week, we talked about The Artist’s Way, the 12-week course created by Julia Cameron.  This week I want to specifically talk about my experience with Morning Pages. 

What is Morning Pages?

Morning Pages is a daily exercise completed, as the name suggests, in the morning.  To complete the exercise, you complete three pages of free-flowing writing by hand.  Yes, by hand, and not by computer keyboard. 

You are writing anything and everything that comes to mind, your stream of consciousness.  As I mentioned last week, the pages may not make any sense at all, but that’s OK!  It’s not meant to make sense.  You are writing whatever you are thinking about in that moment.  The key is to just let it come out of your head and onto paper. 

Why would I complete Morning Pages?

Good question!  To get them out of your head.  Your morning pages are your thoughts, and those thoughts are probably not going to be pretty.  They are still there, so get them out.  Free yourself of all the negative, whiny, self-pitying, self-destructive thoughts.  Those thoughts are only getting in the way of any creativity.  So drop them first thing in the morning. 

What Benefits Did I Get from Morning Pages?

Morning Pages helped me in several ways.  When I began doing the pages, I was expecting them to help me in some ways, but I was also very surprised by others. 

 1. Prime for Writing 

I love to write.  For a large portion of my life, I’ve done some sort of writing.  I’ve never been one to just sit down and write, though.  I need to spend some time brewing on the subject.  Getting started is sometimes the hardest part of any writing project.    

The course didn’t change my approach to writing.  I still need to think on a subject for a while.  However, I have found that the pages serve as a wonderful primer for creativity.  Once I’ve completed my pages, I’m all warmed up to write.  I can sit down at the computer and just go and that has been very freeing.   

2. Remove Negative Thinking

Negative thinking is self-destructive.  I don’t see it providing any benefits.  It just blocks you as an artist.  We humans are meant to create, so why would we want to block that? 

Once I started completing Morning Pages, I noticed that it was so much easier to dump out any negativity from my mind right onto the pages.  By doing that, I opened my mind to positive, creative thoughts and I found the mindset I wanted for the day.    

For me, each day is a gift.  I don’t know if I will have tomorrow.  I want to use my time as wisely as I can.   The sooner I get my head straight in the morning, the sooner I can do just that.  

3. Problem Solving

As time went on with the pages, I noticed an unexpected and interesting pattern.  I was using the pages to organize my thoughts and feelings and ultimately to come to conclusions and solve problems.  After all, I was writing my free-flowing unrestricted thoughts – pure honesty in the moment. 

I found that as I wrote out these thoughts and feelings, I eventually wrote a solution.  Sometimes I wrote several solutions, and writing them all out helped me determine the best one.  In my experience, taking care of this first thing in the morning removed barriers to creativity and encouraged positive thinking.

4. Regain Calmness

As I wrote my morning pages, I observed my own handwriting in relation to my emotions.  I noted that if I am worked up about something, my handwriting is tighter and messier as I gripped the pen tighter.  When I observed that happening, I told myself to relax my hand and purposely stretch out my words.  I discovered that it helped me calm down about the subject and often I would find my active solution or decide that it was out of my control.

5. Regain Handwriting

As I expected, my handwriting has improved so much by completing these pages.  When I first started completing them, my hand hurt after one page.  I was not used to writing by hand anymore, and I found it most tedious.

After about six weeks of writing, I suddenly noticed that my hand didn’t hurt anymore.  Like any exercise, the more you do something, the more stamina you have for that exercise.  It was this way with handwriting.  This discovery was really exciting to me.  As a result, my handwriting is so much neater than it’s been since before I got my first computer. 

***

There we have it! As you can see, there are several benefits to completing Morning Pages. These are just the most obvious benefits that I experienced.

With that, I challenge you to take the following steps for your own morning:

  • Find yourself a notebook – it can be any old notebook or maybe you want to get yourself one that invites you to write. That is totally up to you.
  • Designate your writing spot – it can be your kitchen table, a desk in the corner, or even your office. It can be anywhere you will be comfortable and focused on your thoughts. Again, this is your choice.
  • Set your alarm clock to wake you earlier – it can be just 15-20 minutes earlier. It just has to be enough time to add this valuable exercise to your morning. Give yourself enough time that you won’t be hurried. Note: You might consider a slightly earlier bed-time to accommodate your earlier wake-time. I am not a proponent of losing sleep.
  • Try it!

Question of the Week: Perhaps you already complete your own Morning Pages. If so, what benefits have you experienced that maybe I didn’t list? Please feel free to join the conversation and answer in the comments section below.

Now That’s Moore Like It!

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