Morning Pages

I’ve begun my morning pages again. Followers of Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way will recognize the phrase. Morning pages are a kind of journaling with three rules: the must be written in the morning upon awakening or very soon after, they must be done for 20 minutes’ duration, they must be written in longhand three sheets of     8 x 11 paper (one side only.) Like many wonderful personal practices, this one fell by the wayside. I would journal in the evening, or sometimes jot down sudden thoughts. But nothing compares to writing one’s morning pages.

I began again when I found myself waking up teeming with thoughts, my mind noisier than usual.  Although I participate in an online prayer and meditation group five mornings a week, morning pages offer a different path to calm. You sit down, you set a timer, put pen to page and write. No lifting of the pen.  No mulling over the phrase you just wrote down. No self-editing. No crossing out.  The goal is forward movement and getting stuff out and down.  Whatever it is.  You can even write, I do not like this I do not like this I do not like this if you can’t come up with anything else. Eventually you will.

When my morning pages are complete, I feel clearer. They are the muggle’s answer to Harry Potter’s pensieve.  They require more work than a pensieve, but the outcome is just as magical.