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Morning Pages—Waste of Time or Magical Genius?

If you spend enough time in the creative world, you’ll hear the suggestion that something called Morning Pages will help spark your creativity and even get you out of a creative rut.

Brainchild of Julia Cameron, author of The Artist’s Way, Morning Pages consist of writing three pages of longhand, stream-of-consciousness writing, done first thing in the morning. 

The purpose of doing daily Morning Pages is to work through the cobwebs of your mind, leaving the dust on the page, writing your way through the foggy, random flotsam of the mind so that you can emerge relatively clear and ready to get on with the real creativity.

When I first started Morning Pages a few years ago, I adhered for a while to the rule of writing with pen and paper. But my hand cramped up and I felt constricted with that method, so I cheated and moved it to the computer, where the words flow with relative ease.

Despite periods when I write no Morning Pages for days or weeks on end, I feel like I’ve got a good practice going.

And yet, some mornings—particularly those mornings when I have a lot of work planned—writing my Morning Pages feels like an exercise in futility.

“What’s the point of this? Is it REALLY helping me?” I wondered the other day as I slogged my way through the electronic equivalent of three pages. “It feels like a self-indulgent waste of time.”

Some days (okay, most days) it’s a long meandering thought-stream of me griping about my grievances and pondering random, unimportant thoughts.

“I thought these Pages were supposed to yield insights and productivity.” I complained.

So I got to work, then and there. Used the time and space to create.

Decided to write this very blog post.

Sometimes you have to spend time clearing the cobwebs just so that you can see what’s clearly sitting right in front of you.

P.S. Interesting variations of Morning Pages by Austin Kleon here.

// Photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash

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