Today marks my 3 months of performing The Morning Pages exercise every single day, and my completion of the 12-week Artist’s Way program.
Sometimes in life you run into an exercise that sound so simple that it seems it can’t possibly have a lasting effect on your life. That’s what I thought when I first heard about The Morning Pages exercise as part of Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way.
I started practicing the Morning Pages 3 months ago, and it has permanently altered the way I think and the way I go about my day.
The practice is incredibly simple, its just a matter of “showing up” every day and doing the work.
So what IS the Morning Pages, and how do you do it?
The Morning Pages starts as follows: As soon as you roll out of bed in the morning, write 3 full stream-of-consciousness pages into a notebook or journal about anything that is on your mind.
Sounds simple right? Well, I’ll warn you, the first week can be difficult. Most people have never tried to write three full pages of anything, but the key to this exercise is that even if you have nothing to say, you MUST fill three full pages of your journal. After the first week, things become easier, and within a few weeks the pages just flow and write themselves. I now look forward to writing the Morning Pages every morning when I wake up.
Julia Cameron suggests that even if you have no idea what to write next, just repeat the same word over and over, or talk about the color of the wall, or how nice it is to breathe oxygen. Anything will do, you just must fill in three pages each day in order to get the full benefit of the exercise.
What are the benefits of doing this strange exercise?
The first week I started this practice, it was a lot harder and a lot more time-consuming than I thought it would take. But as the weeks went by, it became easier and easier to write 3 full pages about anything that was on my mind, and soon I began to feel like I could write 5 or 10 pages about nothing in general, and the ideas just kept flowing and flowing.
Practicing the Morning Pages helps you start your day strong by doing a mental “brain-dump” on the pages before you head to work or school. With all of these thoughts written down on the pages right in the morning, your mind is cleared to go about your day in a new light. Its almost as if after writing out those three pages, your mind is lighter to go about and make decisions throughout the day.
Another amazing benefit is that as you discuss your problems or anything that’s going on in your life on the pages, your mind starts to fill in the blanks with ideas that you wouldn’t have thought of otherwise. Normally we walk around with a mind filled with jumbled and convoluted thoughts regarding certain ideas and experiences in our lives. When you start practicing the Morning Pages, you begin to unjumble and reorganize the thoughts in your mind, and you’ll notice that your issues become much easier to solve. I’ve found some many creative solutions and ideas written write before my on the pages, my only duty was to show up EVERY SINGLE MORNING and allow the pen to move. It has become almost a spiritual practice for me, and Julia Cameron would agree that this is exactly what the Morning Pages exercise is.
I now feel that I can write a lot about any topic that comes to mind. I don’t have issues thinking about what to write for anything since I’ve started the Morning Pages. Its like you open your mind and move past thoughts like “Oh I have no idea what to write, I can’t write anything about this”. Now, if I have to, I can write 5-10 pages about anything. This has been especially useful in school for me when I have to write essays or doing long-form answers on exams. This practice seriously expands your creative abilities.
Since starting The Morning Pages, I’ve realized that I am an artist. Seriously, we all are. We all have a creative side that can be developed, its just a matter of choosing to allow our creative sides to be expressed. The Artist’s Way and the Morning Pages practice has allowed me to develop this side more, and I am so happy with the results. I’ve been telling anyone that will listen for months now, if you are looking for a great addition to your daily routine, one that will improve your life in unforeseen and powerful ways, the Morning Pages exercise is it.
To Recap the Exercise:
Every morning when you wake up, before you look at your phone or do anything to start your day, pull out your notebook and write 3 full pages about anything that is on your mind. Full up three full pages, even if it is about things that seem entirely pointless.
Do this everyday for 3 months. After 3 months, you will be amazed at how much this program can change your life. You can choose to continue, as I have, after 3 months, but the first step is to get started.
I really feel that practice this exercise has become a permanent part of my life. It has made me realize the value of journaling and how crazy changes and creative ideas can be manifested if you just sit down and start writing.
Try it out. This exercise has been one of the most valuable things I’ve discovered this year. It has changed the way I think, and the way I go about every day of my life. You will reap the same benefits, if you follow the program as I have.
I also highly recommend you purchase Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way which is a 12-week program which takes the Morning Pages practice and goes incredibly in-depth about the whole process, and provides you guidelines each week as the process progresses.
I hope you enjoy. If journaling has had a positive impact on your life- let me know what your results were below.
-Anthony From AuthenticGrowth.com