By Laurie Sweig
Writing morning pages is a method of journaling. It was created by Julia Cameron. It’s part of the 12-week process that is outlined in her book The Artist’s Way. Initially the book was meant to help artists/writers unblock whatever it was that was keeping them from being creative. It has since helped millions of people get through trying times in their lives.
There are two key activities recommended that play a huge role in the process. They are the Morning Pages and the Artist’s Date. Simply put, writing the Morning Pages helps to get rid of bad thoughts and the Artist’s Date is meant to replace the negative with positive energy. It’s recommended that these two activities are completed during the entire 12-week course (or longer if you wish). Here are the guidelines for each:
Morning Pages: 3 pages of longhand writing (this means using a pen/pencil/crayon and paper) every morning. This is meant to be a safe place to put down anything and everything that you’re feeling so they must be kept private.
Artist’s Date: This is a once-a-week session of fun that is devoted to your creative self. It should be done solo. It is anything and everything that would feel like play to you. The idea is to feed your imagination.
I’ve worked through the Artist’s Way a couple of times now. I will admit I’ve only taken myself on a couple of Artist’s Dates but I have been writing the Morning Pages for 2,025 days without missing a single day. That is three pages every morning. I don’t know how many notebooks I’ve gone through because I destroy them as soon as the last page is written on.
I have found writing every morning in this way has been magical for me. There’s something about putting the pen to the paper and filling every page before we have a conversation with another human being. It’s raw and it’s vulnerable. It took time but I started having real conversations with myself. I’d find myself writing something like: Nah I don’t want to think about THAT right now. Then the next line would be: NOW is exactly when I need to write about it. Over the 5.5 years I have become my own best friend.
Now more than ever (I find myself saying that a lot these days) we need to be real with ourselves. This pandemic has forced us to edges that we haven’t had to go to before. There is anger and frustration brewing. What do we do with that? We find a method of looking directly at all the negativity and we figure out how to cope. I started writing my pages (that’s what I call them now) long before the pandemic hit. They have helped through these trying times, and so many before.
It’s not all bad that I write about. I have found my way to gratitude thanks to these pages. More than anything, it’s a healthy behaviour I don’t intend to give up. As long as there is paper to write on I will be writing on it!
If this is something you’d like to try, be sure to stick with the 3 full pages first thing every morning for at least a week. That’s where/when the magic happens.
Something to think about.
Laurie Sweig is a certified personal fitness trainer and spinning instructor. She owns and operates The Point for Fitness. She can be reached at email@example.com.