There’s a new practice taking over the meditation world, “Morning Pages.” Each morning, millions of people around the world are starting their day with Morning Pages. And it’s not just simple journaling. The practice of Morning Pages requires the writer to put 750 words on paper, the equivalence of about three pages down before they get out of bed. Before you listen to any music, watch the news, or do anything, else you write your 750 words.
Who is Julia Cameron?
The practice started when actress Julia Cameron shared the practice in 1992. In her book the Artist’s Way Cameron explains how the practice of morning pages changed her life after she had a bad review of a film she directed. The negative reception of the film caused Julia to relish in self-pity, doubt and bas self-talk. Julia had effectively blocked her creativity and in order to release the negative energy she began writing every morning.
She was living in Mexico at the time while recovering from the failing of her film. Instead of trying another shot at movies, Julia decided it was time to find another hobby. She began writing to pass the time, instead of just staring at the wall with a blank look on her face. The practice eventually helped Julia regain her confidence and trust in herself. She discovered through the practice of morning pages she could release the anxiety, anger and negative critical talk she had gotten herself in the habit of forming.
What Julia found out next is also amazing. She learned through the practice that we are most honest with ourselves in the morning. We are also generally, “more centered and more spiritually at ease,” as she puts it. She related morning pages to meditation, allowing us to give ourselves fresh insights and empowering us to change our lives.
What Are Morning Pages Exactly?
There is no right or wrong way to do morning pages in essence. Each moment you just write down 750 words or three pages worth of content in long hand. Do it before you do anything else, before your brain wakes up and can cast judgements on itself. You’ll find in this altered state of consciousness you can write more freely. It will take most people about half an hour.
Cameron says its essential you do morning pages by hand. The inconvenience of hand writing vs typing is well worth it, she assures. Hand writing gives a deeper connection to the mind and body. I know when going through self-development after quitting drugs, writing would pull me out of my head and allow me to empty all the clutter on to paper.
She also makes it clear that it doesn’t matter what you write. If it’s negative, grumpy talk, that’s ok. Just write down whatever you’re thinking. Morning pages also pushes you deeper into yourself because you have to fill the pages. The first page will be easy, the second and third pages will get increasingly more difficult to write.
Another tip is not to re-read the pages, at least not at first. Just get out the words and let it go. Also, keep it for yourself. These pages should not be shared with anyone. They’re for you and no one else, so you can get out the clutter and let it go forever. It provides a safe place for your creativity and honest thoughts to be released without judgement. Once you’ve learned how to write without an inner critic, you transfer that habit to other areas of your life.
The process has helped a lot of entrepreneurs like Tim Ferris who swear by its power. Just 30-40 minutes a day and the process will change your life forever. Once you begin morning pages, they say it’s clear there is something to the practice. Expressive writing like morning pages has been linked to improvements in every area of a person’s life. People have been known to experience improved moods, better work habits, lost weight, increased memory recall and even increased athletic performance. Morning pages definitely sounds like it is worth giving a shot. Just remember to do the practice first thing in the morning before you do anything else to start your day.