10 Years of Morning Pages

19:15 Tue 15 Jul 2008. Updated: 18:09 28 Jan 2009
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Today marks ten years since I started doing morning pages. I read The Artist’s Way and decided I should try them. I was struggling with my American Literature Master’s thesis, working to get into the TCD MSc in Multimedia Systems, and quite stressed, particularly in a creative sense, even though I was doing a fair amount of creative work. So I read it, and decided that the morning pages sounded like a good idea, especially for someone who had trouble sticking to any daily routine.

Ten years later, and it’s been a long time indeed since I missed a day. I might have missed a handful in the first few years, and I before I had a laptop I didn’t do them on travel days. I also let myself do half-length pages during that first year, a policy I didn’t let go beyond that period.

My morning pages are done on a computer, and the length minimum is 1000 words, as opposed to the handwritten, three pages suggestion in The Artist’s Way. I’m far more comfortable with my way of doing it, which is why I do it that way…

Conservatively, I’ve probably averaged three hundred and fifty thousand words per year. Probably more than that, but that means that I’ve now accumulated three and a half million words of morning pages. (The average novel is between sixty and one hundred thousand words, for comparison.) That strikes me as a scary amount of text.

It’s a completely ingrained habit now; the morning pages are simply part of what I do every day. They ceased being optional in any real sense many years ago, and I’m quite glad of that—I think they’ve been extremely good for me over the years, and have helped keep me grounded, even in those times when I haven’t been very grounded at all.

I’ve never really reviewed my pages, as The Artist’s Way suggests that you do, but I’m going to start now, re-reading the pages from ten years back each day before starting them (and also renaming and converting the format of the older ones that are named poorly and are in archaic formats).

So that’s the first ten years…

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