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Scribble on an empty stomach

‘Morning Pages’ is a liberating writing experience

Scribble on an empty stomach

About a month ago while I was stuck in a YouTube loop, I found a very interesting idea, called ‘Morning Pages.’ As described by the creator of this “tool” Julian Cameron, in her book, The Artist’s Way, “Morning Pages are three pages of longhand, stream of conscious writing, done first thing in the morning.”

But before anyone thinks the idea is about scribbling on an empty stomach, she adds, “There is no wrong way to do the Morning Pages — they are not high art. They are not even ‘writing.’ They are about anything and everything that crosses your mind — and they are for your eyes only…

“Do not over-think Morning Pages: just put three pages of anything on the page.”

But if this was to be so banal, why should we even bother to start our mornings doing it at all? To find out an answer, I thought I’d give it a try myself.

It was initially tough to make time for this; I had to get up half an hour before my routine wake-up time. But once I had pledged to myself, in the hope that this would increase my productivity (as guaranteed by Cameron) and help reduce anxiety in day-to-day life, I was good to go.

I must admit that the first couple of days were a bit slow, because I was ‘out of practice’, as far as writing is concerned — I used to do ‘diary’ but that was some time back.

I didn’t know what to write but I managed to fill the three pages that Cameron insisted on — initially, by jotting down remembrances from my last night’s dream, moving on to talk about the things-to-do in the day ahead, rambling, and even doodling.

The next two weeks went quite well for me, I believe. In fact, I started to enjoy the practice; the little bit of skepticism there ever was had vanished. I felt a kind of a joy going through the run every morning.

I realise that I am becoming more expressive now, in my writings. I can write about my feelings more lucidly as well as openly. I should say I am more honest on paper now.

Morning pages have unfolded a new world of ideas to me. I mean, I get so many ‘Aha!’ moments. When I am done scribbling all the ‘unnecessary’ thoughts in the first few minutes, my mind is flowing freely. The clutter is gone. The skies are clearer now.

A motivational website, hence titled ‘The Bulb,’ also testifies to such experience. It states, “Morning pages clear the detritus from my brain and allows the bubbles of inspiration to float to the surface.”

I realise that I am becoming more expressive now, in my writing. I can write about my feelings more lucidly as well as openly. I should say I am more honest on paper now.

Well, it is about writing on paper. Literally. It involves using your motor, visual and cognitive skills; not your computer. Look at these pages as a blank canvas that you shall paint on. The point is, you shall not worry about the shape of the image. Not just yet.

Because it’s your private domain, you need not to worry when writing anything and everything that comes to your mind. Not that Morning Pages expect you to necessarily pour out your secrets but it shall definitely be a liberating experience.

So, when you wake up tomorrow, pull out your notebook and try the ‘Morning Pages.’

Sama Zaidi

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