I’ve started the morning pages habit quite many times and failed to do it almost as often. For me tweaking stuff to fit to my own path and breaking the rules when necessary are the way of life. I have to admit that it works quite well with everything else but with the Morning Pages, the rules are there for a reason.
Just a quick sum up if you are not familiar with the concept of the Morning Pages. (If you are, you can just skip this and continue on the next after paragraph.) The Morning Pages are introduced in the book called Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. Artist’s Way contains a twelve week program of personal growth that helps you to find your creativity. The Morning Pages are of of the books exercises and the idea is to simply write three pages of text every morning before you do anything else.
Many people have done the whole program by the book and quite as many are doing just the Morning Pages as their regular habit. I am the latter type of person even though I’m a bit curious to try out the whole program too.
How to do the Morning Pages?
Ideally the morning pages are hand written and done in A4 sized notebook. Oh yes, and you are not supposed to read the pages afterwards.
As I told you, I have started these several times and I can assure you, I tried everything I could. Doing it in the evening, doing it in the middle of the day, doing it with my beloved MacBook, doing it in a smaller notebook (A5, B6, you name it), doing it just sometimes, reading it afterwards, moaning about it being too hard (both to wake up so early AND to write the three pages in a row) and moaning not to have any results out of it.
I’m sure you can already guess what I am about to say. In this case, stick with the rules. There are only few, so just stick with it. A4 notebook, three pages, every single morning, no aftermath. It’s like going to the gym, you cannot expect results if you are not doing the actual work the way it is supposed to be done.
And when you do, the magic happens.
Where the magic happens
Being such a simple task the Morning Pages feels unbelievably hard to do after few excited starting days. And that is exactly where the magic happens. When you get the habit going and yourself in an autopilot, you start to write without censorship and to be honest to yourself.
To allow the autopilot take the lead, you need to exclude yourself from the whole task first. That happens by
a) waking up so damn early
b) writing by hand to make it slower and also activate different parts of you brain and
c) doing those three pages in a row. The last page is where the good stuff starts to come out.
The rest of you will follow.