Eight Years of Morning Pages

18:42 Tue 08 Aug 2006. Updated: 10:07 24 Aug 2006
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“Morning pages” are a practice from The Artist’s Way. The idea is that you write every day, preferably in the morning. You don’t show the writing to anyone, and what it is doesn’t matter at all, as long as you write enough.

I started doing it in July 1998, and have kept doing it ever since.

It’s the first every-day habit I’ve tried to cultivate that has actually stuck. I haven’t missed a day in a long time. It’s an important part of my life, and in a positive way.

Eight years is a long time, but it feels like I’ve been doing them for longer. I’ve really integrated them into my life, so it’s strange to think about a time when I didn’t do them. I think they’re very good for me, and have done me a lot of good over the years.

I probably don’t do enough creative writing in them (although with that sentence I just violated one of the precepts—that there’s no wrong way to do them), and I need to find other ways to get myself to do that. Once this month of blogging is done, I might try a month of microfiction (which would be much, much harder for me, I think, than this style of blogging).

At this point, though, the morning pages are for me not just about encouraging creativity. As a daily practice, they’re also like some odd form of meditation. I don’t think they really qualify as meditation, but there’s some common ground there I can’t quite define. (At least, I think there is—I’ve never really been able to meditate.)

Eight years of a daily good habit. That’s pretty good, and I’m not stopping anytime soon.

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2 Responses to “Eight Years of Morning Pages”

  1. Seth Milliken Says:

    Congratulations on eight years. Did you really just violate a precept? If you are applying the same precepts to blogging as you do to your morning pages, haven’t you violated another by sharing?

    I often (well, as often as often can be for someone who doesn’t write much) have difficulty deciding whether I am writing for an audience or not. This often leads to too much censor and not enough writer. [Morning|Evening] pages does sound like a good way to overcome this, as well as the fear of “running dry.” Hrm. Maybe I should get around to reading this book you’ve frequently recommended, and that has been sitting on my bookshelf for ages.

    Why don’t you allow for comment preview on your blog? If this comment doesn’t look right, I’m going to hound you until you fix it. :-)

  2. Tadhg Says:

    Well, the precept is “don’t criticize your morning pages, because there’s no wrong way to do them”. As for the blog posts, they don’t follow the same rules (and they’re obviously public).

    One of the key points of the morning pages as a creativity tool is to overcome the internal censor. I think they’re pretty good for this, although my internal censor has adapted and now focuses on censoring public output (which is one of the reasons I’m trying to write something public every day).

    Yes, you should read The Artist’s Way!

    As for comment preview, I’ll look into the various plugins that do that…

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