By Jennifer Blanchard
Many procrastinating writers say the reason they can’t write is because they have writer’s block. Any time they sit down to write, they can’t. Nothing comes to them. Their minds are blank.
Julia Cameron, creator of the international bestseller, The Artist Way, has come up with a very effective “tool” for overcoming writer’s block: Morning Pages.
What are Morning Pages, you ask?
“Morning Pages are three pages of longhand writing, strictly stream-of-consciousness,” Cameron says.
That means, whatever pops in your head, you write down: “I just woke up and I’m really irritated I have to write these pages. My hand hurts. I need my computer. I don’t want to do this. Oh, I think I have a meeting this morning. Shoot! I need to check my calendar”…You get the picture.
And the best part is, there is no right or wrong way to do your Morning Pages.
“These daily meanderings are not meant to be art,” Cameron says. “Or even writing…[Morning] Pages are meant to be, simply, the act of moving the hand across the page and writing down whatever comes to mind. Nothing is too petty, too silly, too stupid, or too weird to be included.”
Now you may be thinking, “No way. I’m not a morning person.” Or “I’ll be late for work if I do this.” But before you get negative about it, here are 3 reasons why you should write Morning Pages:
- They Teach You to Ignore Your Inner Editor–Since there’s no right or wrong way to write your Morning Pages, you don’t have to worry about your inner editor trying to criticize you. All you have to think about is getting three pages written. That’s it. No judgment.
- They Can ‘Unblock’ You–“All that angry, whiny, petty stuff that you write down in the morning stands between you and your creativity,” Cameron says. “Worrying about the job, the laundry, the funny knock in the car, the weird look in your lover’s eye–this stuff eddies through our subconscious and muddies our days. Get it on the page.”As you consistently write your Morning Pages, you’ll start to notice you are able to once again come up with ideas for your writing. Your “writer’s block” won’t be a problem anymore.
- They Get You to the “Other Side”–“Morning Pages do get us to the other side: the other side of our fear, of our negativity, of our moods,” Cameron says.
Simply put, Morning Pages help you get over the stuff that keeps you “blocked” and procrastinating on your writing–fear, problems, issues, anger, anxiety, worry, etc.
If you’re ready to give Morning Pages a go, here’s how to get started:
- Place a notebook and pen/pencil by your bed.
- First thing when you wake up in the morning, grab your notebook and write 3 pages. Whatever comes to your mind.
- Don’t do anything else until you write your pages. In fact, you might as well just sit in bed and write them.
- Once you’ve finished three pages, close your notebook and get started with your day.
It’s that simple. And doing them every day will yield amazing results.
Have you ever done Morning Pages before? If yes, how did they work out for you? If no, are you considering starting to write them?