Ahh, the morning pages. A daily writing exercise designed by Julia Cameron in her book “The Artist’s Way” in which one writes (long-hand) three pages of stream of consciousness, first thing in the morning. It generally takes me about 25 minutes.
I have been rifling through my morning pages because sometimes, not always mind you, but sometimes, something really great comes out of them.
An idea for a piece of writing. A revelation. A spark. An insight.
Most days however, they are simply a means to clear out the clutter inside my head, to make space for the rest of my more creative ideas. Often I use them as a self dialogue of what’s on my mind first thing in the morning, which is usually the long list of Things To Do. This works quite well for me since, once I’ve written down my TTD, I know that I’m half way down the road to having them accomplished.
So today, I thought I would post a random selection from my morning pages. I know that morning pages aren’t intended to be read by anyone but the person who wrote them and I’m not putting this out here as any form of polished literature by any means. Just as a sample of the ramblings that go on inside my head at 6:00 a.m. This is usually one long non-stop block of writing, but I have broken it up a bit for easier reading.
Yikes! I work an extra few hours this week and the house falls apart! I have little fires burning all over the place. But I can and will get on top of them in very short order. All I need to do is spend a few minutes here and there putting them out. First though, 15 minutes here, an abbreviated session so at least I write something today.
I need a lap top! That’s all there is to it, I could get so much done writing wise with a lap top. I could work (write) on my break at work or today when I am off at 1:30 and don’t know what time Fishguy* can pick me up. And in the evening when he is on the comp—all evening long… Which reminds me I better e-mail Sonja this morning. And call Susan.
After I am done this I am setting my timer 3 times for 10 minutes each to tackle:
1. the dining room floor area which has become piled up with THINGS
2. the coffee table
3. my desk and filing cabinet.
These are my usual hotspots. So yeah, 30 minutes and the fires should be under control. Then another 15 minutes on the kitchen and the dishes from last night. Note to self: Stop leaving the dishes until the morning!!
And then what. Hmmmmmm. Oh yes pull the laundry out from the washer and hang it up to dry. I don’t think it’s going to rain today, but if I hang it outside it likely will. Wake Fishguy* and Sugar Plum* up out of bed and….Oops where is my guitar practice gonna fit in there?
I would do it at 7:00 usually, but we have to leave the house at 8 this morning since I have to work at 8:30. Yikes. Well I may just have to practice when I get home before going back to work for a staff meeting @ 5:30.
Ah well. Now the other writing I need to do. The Newsletter. The Blog. The Flyer. The workshop. I must work on that @ 1:30 today when I get off work. I must get that flyer printed today and posted around town. I must call Judy @ the town office @ precisely 8:00 to confirm booking the library for Thursday evenings. And now the timer just went off and it is time to set it for 10 minutes and become a fire fighter!
So that’s a typical day’s worth of morning pages for me (well that’s actually only a page and a half, but it gives an idea).
* I haven't quite decided yet, what to call my partner and daughter in this Blog. For now I’ll be referring to my daughter as “Sugar Plum” and my better half, her dad as “Fishguy”.
I’m curious what sort of writing the morning pages produces for others who practice them. Do you also list your Things To Do? Do you record your dreams from the night before? Do you write creatively?