Morning Pages

Morning pages is a writing technique that Julia Cameron has been practicing for many years, and describes in her book The Artist's Way.  Now, before you say to yourself "I'm not a writer" and tune out - just wait!  It's great for anyone and has nothing to do with traditional writing practices. 

 

The benefits:

In my experience, it allows you to unload all the useless 'stuff' that tends to circle in our minds and bog us down.  I have written down reminders and random thoughts and rants, and discovered some creative ideas on the other side that really surprised me!  It helps you to shed a lot of mental baggage.

How to:

First of all, you need a notebook and a pen.  No electronics, this must be done by hand to get the full effect.

In the morning, preferably sooner rather than later in your daily routine, you pick up your notebook and write three pages of whatever is on your mind.  We're talking stream of consciousness (which for me, was difficult initially as I'm compelled to edit everything).  Sentence structure, punctuation, complete thoughts, even making sense - none of that matters.  Just write as it pops into your head.  For example,

I can't think of anything to write This is stupid - What if it makes me late Oh ya I have to remember to drop the movies back at the rental place and phone the dentist.  I should call xx to meet for coffee.  I wish I had time to ...

and just keep writing until you've filled up 3 pages.  Then you're done for the day.

Don't "cheat" and use a tiny notebook.  I have to admit, though, that at first I regretted my 8 1/2 x 11" notebook selection! But it soon proved worthwhile.

Also don't stop before you complete the 3 pages.  I have found that it often takes 2 pages to unload, and then it's the third page where the real ideas start to emerge

When and how you write is up to you.  It may be at a desk after breakfast, or while you have your morning coffee.  I first did my writing sitting in bed just after I woke up.  After awhile I was feeling guilty that I wasn't making any time to exercise, so I began doing morning pages while I was on my stationary bike.  So my writing was messy as I was pedalling - who cares!  It works for me.  Find what works for you.