By Ruth Barringham
I’ve recently been reading about the concept of Morning Pages.
I was particularly interested in an article that was written by Tim Ferriss in which he shows an actual photo of his own Morning Pages at https://tim.blog/2015/01/15/morning-pages/.
This whole idea stems from the ebook by Julia Cameron called “The Artist’s Way” http://viewbook.at/artistsway. In it she talks about releasing creativity and overcoming Resistance (a phrase coined by Steven Pressfield in his book, The War of Art http://viewbook.at/warofart.
Morning Pages means sitting down first thing every morning and writing 750 words, which, at 250 words per page, is 3 pages of handwriting.
And these words must be handwritten because of the strong connection between our thoughts and writing by hand. Writing straight to keyboard is too fast for our minds to think and so writing more slowly and deliberately gives us time to understand what we’re thinking and being able to explain it in words.
“We get a truer connection - to ourselves and our deepest thoughts - when we actually put pen to page.”
It also helps to get rid of self-doubt.
Both Julia Cameron and Tim Ferriss recommend the type of hand writing to be journaling.
Journaling is not meant to be high art, just writing down thoughts.
I too enjoy journaling, but not for 3 A4 pages. I have an A5 size journal (half the size of A4) and I usually write one or two pages a day, but I don’t always write in it every day.
So I’m usually only journalling for 5 minutes, which is enough for me.
In his article, Tim Ferriss said he also has always enjoyed journaling every morning because, “I’m caging my monkey mind on paper so I can get on with my f**king day.”
I get the same result.
When my mind is hyped and my thoughts all over the place, I sit and clear my head by journaling. It makes for hilarious reading later, but it’s for my eyes only.
And it helps me because it also puts me in the mood for writing.
So when I read about Morning Pages being 750 words (3 pages) every morning, I thought, “Why not?”
But I don’t want to journal that much.
So what I do now every morning (after I’ve had breakfast and washed the dishes) is, I sit at my desk and journal for a page or two (5 minutes) and then I pull out my latest writing project and write, by hand, a minimum of 3 pages.
This is working well for me because I usually write everything by hand first anyway.
I used to think that writing by hand first and typing it up later was time consuming.
So I tried over and over to try and make myself write straight to keyboard. But I just couldn’t do it.
It simply stifled my creativity, so what I was writing wasn’t good plus my typing speed is much slower if I have to think as I go along.
Not only that, but I procrastinate more and don’t want to write if I can’t do it by hand. So I was writing less and what I was producing at the keyboard wasn’t great.
So if I write by hand it may slow things down a bit, but it makes me want to write, which means I do it more, and what I produce is good so I don’t have to delete it all and start again. And when I do type my work up, I can do it really fast because I’m a really proficient typist when I’m typing up handwritten documents.
So I am love, love, loving, sitting down every morning and doing my 3+ Morning Pages because it often makes me keep writing, or, if I do only the minimum 3 pages and don’t manage to do anymore that day, at least I’ve written something.
AND - this is the biggie - if I write 750 words a day, over a month it’s 750 words x 30 days = 22,500 words written every month.
How huge is that?
And if you’re like me, once you sit down and start writing, it’s hard to stop.
Writing 750 words a day, first thing every morning makes writing a daily priority instead of something to do when there’s time.
And it helps get that next book written.