Cameron’s Original Idea
I first came across morning pages as a technique in the glorious book by Julia Cameron, “The Artist’s Way” which was published in the nineties.
At the time, I had the tenth anniversary edition.
I was a younger woman then. I did practice her two main strategies of morning pages and artist’s dates for over a year.
Fast forward many years.
Recently, I once again got into the habit of writing morning pages.
I felt the need to have someone to talk to, and the pages helped get the angst out of my head so it can be seen and not be so scary.
I work a day job in retail. At the end of the day, I feel drained after hours grappling with competitive co-workers, demanding bosses, and mean customers.
I sought to have a creative outlet of writing and drawing and I started practicing art and watercolor painting as well.
Once I began creating and publishing idea books for you, I could see the possibilities and it satisfied my drought stricken creative needs.
Benefits of Morning Pages
The benefits of morning pages are:
A Mind Dump
First thing in the morning. All that is buzzing around in your head can get out onto the page.
It clears your mind of the chaos and leaves room for the calm.
You can capture dreams, or nightmares, from the night onto the page almost like a dream journal.
This practice helps to unpack ideas from your subconscious mind as well.
Challenging Inner Dialogues
You can write out the hard things that happened the day before which are trying to cloud and intrude into this fresh new day.
Difficult conversations that are running around in your head like, “…and then she said…” and, “I should have said…” can get out onto the page and you become free of them.
Build Good Habits
If you are trying to build good habits (or kill off some bad habits), morning pages will help with that too.
You can write down that you had a no-carb day, if you are doing keto, or perhaps that you did not have a cigarette or drink alcohol yesterday.
Then you can and write about how good you feel about yourself this morning. This is important.
How To Do Morning Pages
- Get a notebook. I use an A5 sized notebook.
- I recently created a special morning pages notebook for use in my morning pages.
- Note dates from and to on the first page as a record.
- Lines help but so do doodles
- Doodles are little drawings like emojis to help you express the words as well.
- I’ve always only written on the right-hand page and drawn an image on the left-hand page. In my morning pages ritual, I write on both pages however, I start each new day on the right-hand side then flow over to the left-hand page. It is easier as I am right-handed. In total I use a two-page spread for each day’s writing.
Pen or Pencil
- I like to use a black pen, but you can use any pen that you enjoy writhing with.
- I embellish the pages as well with Washi tape typically along the bottom or the right-hand edge.
- I like to add stickers that relate to what I’m talking about in my morning pages.
- I draw a little artwork, usually with a black pen. Then I highlight it with one or two colours using my TomBow markers or you can use brush pens or crayons. I like to use neutral colors like beige and grey for this as well.
- It is always a good idea to colour the background of your doodle with a light grey, soft pink or taupe to bring the image forward. You do not have to get too busy coloring the doodle as a few strokes usually suffice.
How Much to Write
Cameron suggests writing three pages. Personally, I write for about 15 minutes then I’m finished. I sometimes set a timer for quarter of an hour.
This time frame usually works out to one and a half page to two pages of writing in my A5 notebook.
Write until you are spent.
On somedays more words flow and on somedays less.
On a few days I don’t do morning pages at all.
Those typically turn into the days that I wish I had written my morning pages.
It comes to me later in the day when I’m still grinding about things in my head that I could have wrestled to the page first thing and so be shut off by now.
Aspiring Artist/Writer/Creative Activity
Do this the night before so you are ready in the morning.
- In your journal open it at a fresh page
- Lay a pen by its side.
Make a challenge with yourself to write for seven days straight.
Write these words on the first page of your journal or morning-pages book.
“I will write morning pages every day for seven days. I will not judge myself for what I write. I will love the words that come from my head, for they are a part of me. I am a creative person. It is through love for myself that I write these pages.”
Please do the following:
- As soon as you wake up write what is on your mind.
- Draw a little doodle.
- Close the book.
- Get on with your day.
Do this for seven days.
Know that you have started a self-care regime which will stand you in good stead for years to come.
Thank you for sharing a part of your day with me.
Alison Hazel is a mature woman who shares her ongoing journey about becoming an artist later in life. She creates simple art that anyone can make. She hopes to inspire you to reach your creative potential in the area that suits you.
Go here to read more about Alison’s story.
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