Morning Pages – a process.

Morning Pages

I want to share with you a process that has been extremely valuable to me over this last year.

Last Christmas, my sister sent me a copy of Julia Cameron’s book, “The Artist’s Way”. The main part of the practice is to write for 3 pages every morning… for all those writers out there, this is not writing as you know it – morning pages are to be the written ‘vomit’ of all the unprocessed mush that wants to come out, in whatever form it might appear, not to be read by anyone, even yourself, but to just get it all out, in your own handwriting, onto real paper…

The thought of writing 3 pages for no audience did not appeal, the thought of an additional job (especially another writing job) appealed even less, and as for the necessity of putting the alarm on for one hour earlier every morning, well… but despite all of that, there was something about the rationale that intrigued me. I knew that writing was very therapeutic for my processing.

Also, I had frequently bemoaned that I found prayer impossible in the morning, because my head was like a relentless spin-dryer, whirling the day’s concerns, and focussing on anything else seemed futile.

But the argument for clearing out the spinning process was compelling and so I began on Boxing Day last year (2019) and began every morning with 3 pages of writing.

“You don’t decide your future; you decide your habits and your habits decide your future” John Maxwell.

Following the course of the programme took 12 weeks, by which time the new habit was fully tried and tested and the impact was quite profound. For me, when I write with my left hand and allow my unconscious mind to scribble it down, I seem able to allow the peripheral vision to kick in and all the background scenery takes shape too and I can colour in the scenery. IE – I see much more clearly; it focusses my mind, sorts the wheat from the chaff, deals with nagging issues and prepares a prayer and an action plan for the day ahead… Also, an interesting phenomenon had occurred for me: I have always been a hoarder, but during these 12 weeks, I systematically went through 40 years of stored paperwork and threw 95% of it into the recycling bin! This is a significant shift. It had similar repercussions in other areas – sorting, filing, re-appraising, giving away, mending, moving on…In fact I filled over 6 huge recycling bins!

I found I would begin writing – maybe a dream I’d been having, going through stuff I need to do, what was said that bothered me… and, having to stay with it on paper, I would find myself coming up with solutions to situations, ideas for reconciliation, new questions to allow me a different perspective and answers… I have found I can align my mind and my heart, process and put negativity in its place, identify and reinforce the truth, pray for issues, look more closely at my processes…

So many ‘eureka moments’ and revelations splattered over those pages and, as my mind and path became clearer and more intentional, so my praying became so much more focussed and open to Holy Spirit inspiration.

Needless to say, maybe, but I have continued with this new habit and begin every day with my morning pages, to give me the space in my mind to pray and to write and serve. My writing projects over this time have been therapeutic, challenging works, which triggered a lot of excess emotion and muddled thinking and the morning pages became such a valuable tool to pick up the pieces, after each sleep process, and to help the Holy Spirit in the renewing of my mind.

“Be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” Romans 12:2

I so thank the Holy Spirit for helping me to use this tool in the renewing of my mind; and I thank Julia Cameron for her inspiration through the book; and my sister for sending it to me. I have passed a few copies of the book to others in the hope that they may find it as valuable as I do.

If you have come across this practice and/or already do it yourself, please do make a comment.

27 thoughts on “Morning Pages – a process.

  1. Very helpful, Dawn. “So many ‘eureka moments’ and revelations splattered over those pages and, as my mind and path became clearer and more intentional, so my praying became so much more focussed and open to Holy Spirit inspiration.”

    This is a pretty strong selling point. I’ll have to give it some serious thought!

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Hooray for decluttering! I also used to hoard, after some personal trauma that changed my life, then I was healed from it after reading the Bible. Journaling in the morning also helped me see my repetitive complaints, so then I could do something to change them.

    Very nice! 🙂 Do you journal any other times of the day, too?

    Liked by 3 people

    • I write a lot for my thinking processing and my books. I also end the day with a diary type review of the day – but only an A5 page. I’m happy you find journaling mornings a helpful process too – it is very similar, I feel, but not quite the same as “pages”, which are unique in that they are so often quite random, unplanned and unexpected somehow.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you for this, Dawn. A few years ago I wrote Morning Pages every morning. It took me about 45 minutes. I can’t remember how long I kept doing this, but it was a few months. I have considered starting it up again, but wondered if it was helping me. Your post has made me realise that it would be very good to spur me on to write more, outside of Morning Pages time. I did NaNoWriMo for the first time last November, and was amazed that I had managed to write over 50,000 words in 30 days. I hope to complete what I wrote (a type of a memoir) and give it to my 3 daughters some day. You have made me realise that Morning Pages may be a very good reason to get up earlier and be productive in this dark season when I’d rather stay in bed. It really does help creativity!

    Liked by 2 people

    • yes, it certainly is worthwhile. I am slow, so doing 3 pages almost always takes me about an hour, but so valuable. Such a different sort of writing to the memoirs, but very complimentary as you process the memories. Bless you and thank you for sharing your experiences too. x

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  4. Thanks for this post. I started morning pages one New Year about 3 years ago after reading ‘The Artist’s Way.’ I too found myself decluttering possessions (including books!) as time passed. This seemed to be a physical reflection of decluttering my mind on the page, which is what I often find myself doing when scribbling the morning pages. I also found it helped get rid of the ‘gunk’ of things that were bothering me. Often I’ve found it helps unleash my creativity for my writing. It’s a really good right brain activity. Having become less regular with morning pages during the last few months, I’ve resolved this New Year to get back into the swing of them.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I am doing morning pages for many years since I read Julia’s book! I’m keeping up with the artist’s date too! We need to make space for ourselves, and this book was a wake-up call for me. But I need to say that 3 pages every morning is a little too much for me, I can’t spear all this time because I like to do some art journaling too, so I’ve stuck to 2 pages of writing and 1 page in my art journal. It’s always a question of adaptation. I’m glad you have found your way too!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I appreciate the idea. For me the morning works for prayer because my mind is not fully engaged in the day. About 11:00 A.M. my mind wakes up…then I am good until about an hour before bedtime. During the day, my mind works on the chaff….the stuff you are talking about and sorts it out. That is the process for me. I appreciated the post and it is an interesting idea!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. You don’t decide your future; you decide your habits and your habits decide your future.
    I really like this quote. This seems to be working out great for you Dawn…I’m glad you found something that brings in more energy and inspiration and grace…..

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Writing it out indeed helps. I like scribbling my thoughts too. It helps me get a full grasp of how I really feel rather than having many thoughts flying all over.
    I gain a better insight in my study time doing this too.
    I really should get back to doing this more often than I do. Thanks for sharing your experience. 🤗

    Liked by 1 person

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