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The Creative Process with Morning Pages
Its 5:15 in the morning, I get up out of bed, pick up my morning pages journal and crack the spine while sitting on my sectional sofa facing the early morning stillness. Outside the window is a view of the Ocean, however during the winter its complete darkness and it feels good to still be hibernating for a little while longer.
Morning pages are from Julia Cameron’s, The Artist's Way a fantastic book to open the creative self. Morning pages are three longhand written pages of just writing. “What I need to pick up at the grocery store, should I go for a walk later? I have nothing to say, blah, blah, blah… I like to think of it as dumping onto the page or a type of meditation to begin my day. Remember there is no wrong way of writing morning pages, it’s not art or even writing, it’s the pure act of moving your hand across the page as the pen writes down what comes to mind, and nothing is too silly, or too off the wall to be included. Just write what comes to mind and if it’s “I don’t have anything to say” for three whole pages then so be it. I actually have a few mornings with at least a page of “I don’t want to write” and I keep going.
Morning Pages are part of the process as you work through the creative book. Julia does suggest if you want to keep going with your morning pages then so be it, she had been writing her morning pages for over two decades now and going strong.
I have been writing morning pages for over a year now and I’m dedicated. When I first started the morning pages I was fibbing a little. I would get up go to the gym then write my morning pages after a shower, my head was already full of stuff that I thought about at the gym and so forth. The point of the morning pages is to mentally dump onto the page so you have a clear mind as you begin your day. I started to get up twenty to thirty minutes earlier to get up and get to the page, then go to the gym. Your morning pages are not to be shared with anyone and not even to be read by you until instructed during the Artist’s Way. I highly recommend that you stick to this rule of thumb, as stated before your morning pages literally just putting the pen to the page and writing until you have filled three pages. Other times, the ego gets in there and starts to dump on you and the morning pages, but there are those “A-ha” moments when you are writing along and all of a sudden there is a realization that you are just writing and it doesn’t matter, the creative process is flowing through your fingers, the pen onto the page.
As you write your morning pages, over a period of days, weeks, months, you might find reoccurring themes, and this might be your true self poking at you to look at what is need to look at to make some changes to enhance your life.
I was working a 24/7 8 days a week job running a resort and had no time to work on my passion. My writing was suffering due to a job that I thought I needed to maintain a lifestyle that didn’t fit me. Yes, we need money to put a roof over our head, food on the table and bills to be paid, but I realized that I didn’t need to work over 80 hours a week to do that. Slowly I made the transition to leave my job and start working on my writing and after a year and a half of mental struggle and pouring out my blood sweet and tears into the morning pages, I have written my first draft of a memoir about my maternal grandparents, and now working with an editor and being blessed to be able to maintain a creative lifestyle and still having a roof over our heads, food on the table and bills being paid. I am truly grateful for my friend who lent me her copy of the Artist’s Way and that I opened it up at the right time when I was ready to hear what was being said, and each morning I can’t wait to get to a fresh new page to guide my pen across the page.