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Morning Pages

Over on Twitter, I’ve been inviting people to experiment with morning pages and to consider how they might work for them. There are daily prompts looking at “how” to do morning pages – when and where, how often and how long. (Hint: there are no rules except for maybe this one from Natalie Goldberg. Keep your hand moving.) Dorothea Brande did her pages on the typewriter, Julia Cameron does hers longhand, and I rattle them out online at 750words.com – there are no rules.

Screenshots from Twitter

This week, we’ve been talking about “why” we do morning pages, how they work to make a bit of room in a busy head. Because it is hot – so hot – many of us aren’t sleeping, and sometimes dark unsleeps become opportunities for self-torment, for me. On waking, I feel brittle. All resilience is gone. And on these days, I need morning pages all the more to talk myself around.

Next week, I’ll be moving on to creative applications for morning pages. If you’re particularly worried about morning pages being nothing more than naval-gazing, this week might be for you. (But I say, what’s wrong with naval-gazing? Who else is going to look at it with such curiosity and compassion?)

Do you do morning pages? What works for you – and what doesn’t? And if you haven’t tried them, what would help you to start?

4 Comments Post a comment
  1. I’ve been doing morning pages for more than a year now. To be fair, I don’t really feel any different than on the days I don’t do them, but I’ve found I can’t stop now, and just do it out of habit.

    August 12, 2020
    • It is a habit for me too. I don’t feel differently if I miss a day or even a few – but suddenly, I feel confused and out of sorts and I think – oh. And then I have to start that habit all over again!

      August 12, 2020
  2. Kevin #

    I’ve tried morning pages several times over the years since reading Dorothea Brande, sometimes keeping it up for a couple of months. I know there’s no right way but I’ve struggled with the way mine keep reverting to being little more than lists. To do lists, lists of regrets, lists of fears. In particularly low moments it’s like my inner critic just lists everything that’s wrong with me! This can initially feel like I’m clearing my mind and I keep hoping that eventually the pages will be more creative in some way but it rarely happens and the repetition of it eventually becomes dispiriting and I stop. Anyway I’m interested if that’s something others have found. If there’s ways to get past the endless list stage. Or maybe it’s just that not everything works for everybody. Your recent tweets about this have got me dithering over giving them another try.

    August 13, 2020
    • Hi Kevin –
      I hope you will give them a try! I put a little something on Twitter for you to address this. Maybe you saw it? Here’s hoping. Any time we get stuck in a loop in writing, we can make a good, hard change. Draw a line under what you’ve got or hit the return button a couple of times. Push yourself to go deeper with prompts like: what I really want to write about is… or – if I weren’t writing these lists I would be writing about… or – I write these lists because… You might just need to change the conversation in your head! If it feels right, have a go – and let me know how you get on!
      Peggy

      August 17, 2020

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