Saturday, April 15, 2017

Journaling: M = Morning Pages

In her book, The Artist's Way, Julia Cameron talks about the value of "morning pages" for the creative artist in all of us.  

Cameron teaches that dumping our thoughts on the page first thing in the morning - 3 pages worth of dumping - will eventually clear the mind and make room for creative inspiration to take a foothold.

Stream of consciousness is key; do not try to make sense out of these seemingly random thoughts. The idea is to empty your mind of whatever clutter remains.

While there is nothing magical about three handwritten pages, there is power in kinesthetic activity. Handwriting is slower, calmer, and allows for creativity: would I rather print or write in cursive? Use block or loopy letters? 

Of course, sometimes my thoughts are so fast and furious, typing is the only way to keep up. And if you only have a little time in the morning, keyboarding is better than nothing.

For mornings such as these, I use a fabulous website, 750 Words, which is an online community for morning pages.  The name is derived from the fact that the average number of words on a double spaced, type written page is 250 words. Therefore, if you wish to write 3 pages each morning, you will need to write approximately 750 words.  

If three pages seems too much, don’t worry about it. However, I encourage you to try to push through the first block. 

Often what lies beneath the surface is what takes up the most mental space, leaving little room for new creative endeavors. Emptying the mind of that clutter, while giving it a voice, will release tension, provide clarity, and clear space for new thoughts and ideas.

* * *

I have completed Morning Pages on a fairly consistent basis for the past seven years. Now, they are as part of my daily routine as my two cups of coffee. I hope you give 'em a try.

Up next - Journaling: N is for Nine Writing Tips


  1. 750 words seems to be a great platform. Your post is very much inspiring. Can't take out time in the mornings but I am sure I am gonna try this during evening hours. :)

    1. I'd love to hear how you like the platform. The owners maintain it as a labor of love - and I think they do a fantastic job!

      Thanks so much for stopping by :)

  2. I've never heard of morning pages but that sounds interesting. I like the idea of writing the first impressions of the day and the remnants of last night's dreams before they disappear, like the brief post sunrise moonlight.

    1. I wish I could remember my dreams :)

      I hope you give Morning Pages a try, Alice. Thanks so much for stopping by!

  3. I just joined. I came to the part where i was sure I had to enter my credit card number, but no. Honestly, I think this will be a huge help to get writing done that I want to get done!


    M is for Men I Forgot to Be

    1. I think the owners of the website have played around with monetizing. At one point, I think a monthly fee was charged (quite reasonable...maybe $5/month) - but for now I think they returned to volunteer contributions.

      I'd love to hear how this new practice works for you!

  4. Thank you for posting the link to 750 words. I had no idea that website existed. Looks like it would be a fascinating way to analyze what one writes about in morning pages.

    Ann, A to Z Challenge Participant
    Harvest Moon by Hand – a blog about homeschooling, crafting, cooking, and nature
    Maple Syrup; Martin Luther King, Jr; and Migration .

    1. Yes, I sometimes look at the meta data and enjoy seeing how my mood is reflected by the frequency of words I write.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  5. I love the morning pages routine. I write the pages in longhand. Typing doesn't work that well for me. I have tried the 750 words website. I iked it but I found writing it down more effective. :)


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