Sunday, 23 November 2008

Morning Pages

A couple of years ago, influenced by Julia Cameron's 'The Artist's Way', I bought a big spiral notepad, named it 'Morning Pages', and off I went. Over several months I wrote three pages (A4 in longhand) every morning about anything that came into my head. The content didn't matter, the standard of writing didn't matter, I just wrote. Even when I hadn't a clue what to write about I managed to keep the pen moving. Words came tumbling out. Proving what? That my mind is always brimful of clutter? Maybe I should have renamed my spiral notepad 'The Art of Writing Rubbish'. I grew cynical, thought 'What's the point?' and stopped doing them.

Are Morning Pages a useful creative tool, or a waste of time? I still don't know, but I'm going to start them again. Feeling free to write anything without the inner censor getting chance of a look-in, appeals to me now. I want to get back to writing my novel but I stare at blank paper, thinking 'I can't do it'. Of course, aiming for a high standard of writing and being ruthlessly self-critical is fine at the editing stage, but there needs to be something there on the paper to edit. Could doing Morning Pages help to unblock my creativity?

I'm wondering who else does Morning Pages. Do you think they are a useful exercise?


Annie Wicking said...

I write every morning when I get into work. I arrive early so I have time to work on my novel or a short story even if it just to sketch out an idea.

It's all done in longhand and I find its a great help to me and my writing.

Best wishes,

PS thank you for dropping by my blog.

Karen said...

I've never tried this, but I do know that any sort of writing gets me 'in the mood' (for writing I hasten to add) so it's got to be a good thing :o) You might even end up with something you can use down the line!

Jean said...

Hi Annie and Karen. Yes I suppose anything that gets me into writing every single day must be a good thing.

Anonymous said...

I'll blitz ideas for poems in this way sometimes. If a line keeps beeping in my mind, I'll write it down in the notebook I keep by me all the time and then keep going until the noise stops!