How Writing Morning Pages In a Journal Can Transform Your World

Just a little set of 500 Colored Pencils…talk about creative fodder! (from DesignBoom)

If you are in the practice of keeping a journal, bravo… and read on!  If you have never written in a journal, well, you have a ton to look forward to.  And if you are a devotee of creativity wizard Julia Cameron and do your Morning Pages(more on them right HERE at Julia Cameron’s site!)  in a journal religiously, you know what I am about to talk about, because its totally magical.  In feng shui, creativity is “wood energy” activity.  Journaling- and journals themselves (not computers, but journals)- are wood energy.  Creativity can save your life, sanity, relationships, financial, physical and spiritual well being….all borne of wood energy.  Here are 7 compelling reasons why you should start writing your own  Morning Pages in a journal today!

Albert Einstein

The Artist’s Way book by Julia Cameron is a revelation on a so many different levels if you are looking to unblock your creative spirit and change your life and her Morning Pages are a major tool of the 12-week process. First off, here is a quick recap of WHAT Morning Pages actually are: 3 pages of uncensored, unplanned free writing done by hand  every single morning.  Now…why? Although Ms. Cameron gives lovely and brilliant descriptions of why this is an important activity, in the 10 years of working with this book and leading groups online, here is what I have seen the Morning Pages DO…

7 Reasons Morning Pages are nothing short of practical magic.

  1. Our minds get as cluttered as our in-boxes, drawers and closets. When you free write, you dump clutter from your head onto a page.  If you free up space, you are not as anxious.  My best To-Do lists and Goal Setting times come from very open Morning Page writing.
  2. When you are free writing you can bypass your personal propriety censor (the one who tell you what is right and wrong) and start to see how you really feel about things vs. how other people say you should feel about them. Until you know how YOU feel about things it becomes very difficult to have a clear identity and point of view as an artist.
  3. Fabulous ideas and innovations come forth in the pages.  My decision to even study feng shui came through in my free writing 7 years ago, and every major creative endeavor I have stumbled upon came from this morning mind-dump.  When you stop “thinking” and start “doing” the writing, it all flows forth.
  4. Writing helps sweep away anxiety.  Anger, fear, rage, vulnerability…all those less-than-blushing emotions can be put on paper and seen for what they are.  Many people in my Artist Way groups have found that in times of free-floating anxiety the pages keep them grounded and clear.
  5. The process of handwriting is a powerful form of therapy.  Rather than complaining to your friends and lovers, you have the page to bitch and moan to if you so choose.  If you let your rage and anger as well as your joy and bliss flow freely, you’ll start to see just how small and insignificant certain things have been, and how to manage larger issues without melting down.
  6. You can look back and see how much you have grown. There’s nothing quite as revealing as glancing back at your pages from six months ago and seeing how much you have changed, accomplished, overcome and created!  When its on paper its all much more alive and real and fresh.
  7. And, last but not least, these morning pages help you to break habits.  Sometimes habits you didn’t know you had.  This is a very powerful by-product of shining a mirror on your true self- you get to see it all.  If you can refrain from beating yourself up when you see your own shortcomings, you just might find a way to make those big changes.  Pages have helped my friends with sobriety, better eating, healthier thought patterns, breaking relationship addictions and so much more.  You need to be able to admit you have a problem before you can change it, and these pages show you that you might just need to admit a few things to yourself, and push those out of the way, too.

Oh, yes, and only you read the morning pages…so keep them in your private drawer!  Julia Cameron is emphatic about not letting others read your stuff.  After all, other people’s opinions have led to you being blocked or feeling uncreative in the first place, why invite them into your healing process?!

Have fun & rock on with your paper & pens!

Annnnd….You can join the Artist’s Way group HERE– we start June 16th!!!!

xoxo Dana

Dana Lamm May 12, 2012 at 2:55 am

Can you tell us more about your online groups?

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danaclaudat May 12, 2012 at 8:45 pm

I’ve let several private Tumblrs for The Artists Way. Once I have a bit of space in my schedule I’m going to do another one. It runs from my Tumblr, but I’ll announce it here as well. I highly suggest grabbing the book and going through it for the 12 weeks now, it’s amazing!!! xo Dana

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Uschi Erlewein - the moving storyteller May 22, 2012 at 7:19 am

Writing morning pages since 18 years i can only say: YES !!! they work ! In the beginning it was hard for me to write 3 pages, it was hard to me writing at all. Then I got used to it and it helped me to survive difficult times in my life and stay centered. There are always times I do not write as much as usual, then I go back, because it is just good and helpful. It is a bit like brushing your teeth, if you don´t do it you get a bad smell in your mouth. In the meantime I write the stories for my performances and improvising on stage I realize how much morning pages helped me to understand about my use of words and language, I know my rhythm and how I like to express things.
Writing so many years you pile up a lot of journals and after a while it felt like keeping old bones and corpses in my closet. So I started to read the jounals and keep those interesting words or expressions, keep the stories and dreams or ideas which I still want to use in my art-work. Then I thought about what to do with the paper, decided burning is not the right thing to do, so i composted the pages and use the compost as a fertilizer in my garden. That felt right, since morning pages are like a fertilizer for my life and art.

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danaclaudat May 22, 2012 at 2:41 pm

That’s beautiful! Thank you for sharing this!

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Cassandra August 2, 2016 at 6:04 pm

What a fabulous idea. I have a basket with all my old journals that I walk by everyday day in my house. In an effort to move on from my past and embrace my future I’m torn about what best to do with these journals.

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danaclaudat August 5, 2016 at 3:48 am

I understand. I have a few I keep from important moments in life but largely I shred and recycle the paper as much as possible!

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Clara December 11, 2012 at 6:03 pm

Question, I am currently using/ doing The Artist’s Way (Thank you Dana!!) but I have come to the conclusion that *Night* Pages work better for me. I just can’t seem to fit them in during the morning. Do you think this is ok?
(It’s definitely better than writing nothing- which is what I was “doing” before The AW.)

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Jennifer M. June 28, 2013 at 2:49 am

I have wondered this myself. I find myself forgetting in the morning and finally being in the mood to write in the evening. Then I feel guilty b/c I haven’t done things “correctly”. Lol. But maybe it doesn’t matter?

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danaclaudat June 28, 2013 at 3:56 am

you know, its not bad at night, but in the morning… its really a big difference!!!

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Lidiya K May 24, 2015 at 6:24 pm

Great article.

It’s not a coincidence that many successful people start their day with morning pages.

It’s such a simple technique, and yet so powerful.

Personally, writing first thing in the morning lets me clear my mind, be positive and motivated to start the day. I come up with ideas and often find solutions to existing problems.

Thanks for sharing this. We can all benefit from doing this exercise.

Best,
Lidiya

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