How to make writing a daily practice
What’s the best way to get back into writing if you haven’t written in a while? Do Morning Pages.
Morning Pages is a daily writing practice popularized by Julia Cameron in her book The Artist’s Way. The premise of Morning Pages is simple. You wake up in the morning, drink your coffee, and then, before you do anything else, you do three pages of freewriting.
The only rule of Morning Pages is once you start, you can’t stop. Just keep your pen moving (or your fingers typing) and don’t stop until you have three pages.
And here’s the point: Your goal isn’t to try to make it good. The point is to take the background mental chatter that’s clattering and get it out of your head and onto the page so you can let go of it.
I think of the metaphor of an old faucet in some cabin out in the country. When you first turn on the tap, the water comes out muddy and brown. So what do you do? You turn on the faucet and let the water flow, getting all the gunk out of the pipes until the water flows pure and clean.
That’s what you’re doing with Morning Pages. The point isn’t to make the it good. The point is to take all the worries and frustrations and random thoughts that are gunking up the works and get them out of your head and onto the page so your creativity can flow freely the rest of the day.
It’s OK if you don’t know what to write. Just write whatever. It’s OK to write, “Blah blah blah, why do I have to do this, I’m so hungover and this is pointless” over and over again for three pages. But you probably won’t. At some point you’ll get bored and something will click into place and your mind will carry you off in one direction or another. Anything is fine, and unearthing interesting ideas isn’t better then just writing meaningless nonsense.
If you want to be a creative person, writing every day is the best thing you can possibly do. The other part is getting regular feedback on your writing, and getting it as soon as possible after you’ve written it. If you’re interested in joining a class, drop me a line. I’d love to hear from you.
For more specific instructions, download Julia Cameron’s Morning Pages Instruction Kit.