I have been doing the Morning Pages from Julia Cameron’s, The Artist’s Way for many years. I am not a regular, but I go through spurts where I write every morning for many weeks.
The style of writing for this exercise is stream of consciousness, thoughts in the moment, words on the page; not a published-ready piece. The idea being what you put down on paper first thing in the morning will not haunt your thoughts for the rest of the day. And often, you will write your way out of whatever is bugging you.
Some tips from the book:
~Three pages of longhand writing, meandering thoughts, not meant to be art
~Nobody is allowed to read the pages, including you
~The words may be negative, pitying, fragmented, repetitive, because they are what you are obsessing about, worrying about, and what is spiraling around in your mind. Put them on paper![i]
I have affectionately called them the Morning Rages: a spew of things I want and can’t seem to get, fears over problems that have possessed me, what I am insecure about, that sort of thing. A lot of repeating words or phrases as I get ready for the next barrage of thoughts; it is important to keep the hand moving.
I can honestly say that each time I write these pages, there is a breakthrough answer to something that has stumped me. It may be personal, it may be professional. It may be small or large. But I have not, until that third page, been able to see any resolution. I am not ashamed to say there must be magic involved that through this process it banishes the negative, fearful parts of me and replaces them with light and positivity!
And here is another interesting aspect to this practice: every once in a while, I begin to feel like I am getting guidance from some unknown, deep place, because the pronouns change from I/me to you. It is an odd sensation to read these kind and encouraging words that point me in a direction I had not thought of or give me an idea I had not previously considered.
This practice is not just for writers or other creatives. Anyone who is stuck in any aspect of their life or needs an outlet for the brain-obsessed minutiae haunting their thoughts should consider giving it a try!
[i] Julia Cameron, The Artist’s Way (New York: Jeremy Tarcher, 1992), 10.
© 2017 Laurie J. Welch