You might remember back in January we wrote a blog post about what Morning Pages are and how they can change your life. It’s a journaling technique we’d heard lots and lots about over the last few months and thought we’d give it a go and report back…Read on to see how a couple of us found it!
What’s morning pages?
Morning Pages is a journaling technique created by Julia Cameron, as written in her book ‘The Artists Way’. Not just for artists, this technique helps those looking to tap into their creativity and all you must do is write three full pages of absolutely anything first thing in the morning by hand. The aim is for your writing to be a stream of consciousness where you’re putting anything and everything on your mind straight down onto paper once you’ve woken up. And do this again the day after. And the day after that!
Proof is in the pudding as they say so we asked two members of our team, our Founder, Martha and our Marketing Manager, Christie, to give it a go for at least one month and to report back with their findings…Let’s get stuck in!
How did you find Morning Pages? Did you manage to do it every day?
Christie: Gosh, where to begin! I loved the structure Morning Pages gave to my mornings. I’d wake up a little earlier so I could sit down with a cup of tea and just write. I think I missed just the one day which I was berating myself for (completely unnecessarily so) and after that I made sure I stuck to it as much as I could. It felt nice to offload and reconnect with physical writing too, especially when my work is all laptop based! I love a good to-do list but wow, the hand cramp took me right back to my uni days.
Martha: Well, I went on quite a journey with this! I’ll be honest I have a four-year-old and very busy mornings. I get up early anyway to squeeze a bit of work in before my daughter wakes up I did find it hard initially to sacrifice that time to Morning Pages! It makes me laugh that Christie berated herself for only missing a day, I definitely missed more than one, but once I got into it, I found it easier and easier and more and more cathartic as the month went one.
Three pages seems long, what did you write about?
Christie: Anything and everything that came to my mind. Even when I wasn’t sure what else I could possibly write about, I’d write down “I’m not sure what else I could possibly write about”, which did feel quite odd at times. One rule I kept throughout my month of Morning Pages was to write as if I was speaking so it very much became a daily diary. Because it’s personal and no-one else should read it, there was some comfort in just writing every single thought without judgement.
Martha: Oh my goodness everything. What I had done the day before, how I was feeling, things that were worrying me (which is usually a long list haha!), things I want to do, ideas I’ve had. Initially I found the three pages hard but as the month went on it got easier and easier when I got into the flow of it, and I found it more and more useful.
Do you think it made a difference to your day?
Christie: Oh 100%. I started Morning Pages when I was starting the process of moving house, which I found very stressful. This felt like the perfect outlet to release pent up frustrations and emotions before my workday began. From my experience, it was a very cathartic exercise – once I had written it down and closed the notebook, it felt much easier to move on from anything that had been bothering me. Because of that, it did help me focus and feel less distracted by what was going on in my personal life.
Towards the end of the month, I must admit that day after day of three pages of me scrawling whatever came to my mind started to feel quite self-indulgent which I felt uncomfortable with. I did notice I was much more efficient but It did leave me feeling a little cautious of what I was writing – which perhaps is slightly against the point of longhand!
Martha: Oh my goodness yes. It made a difference not to my day but genuinely my whole life! The start of this year was a particularly stressful period for me with some health things and it was a great relief to have someone to talk to (even though that person was technically me!). Writing things down also gave me some incredible lightbulb moments I would never have had otherwise. I realised at the start of the month that all I wrote about was work and my daughter and I didn’t really have anything I do just for me, so I decided to take up a random hobby for myself… and starting ice skating lessons! I know, I know, crazy, but wow it has been one of the best things so far about the year.
I also realised I was writing again and again that the same thing was stressing me out, and I hadn’t realised what a big deal that thing was for me. This made me take decisive action to sort this thing out, which I never would have done otherwise. Noticing patterns in what I was taking about was a big thing for me. I would flick back and think, hang on I was talking about that a few weeks ago and again today, I need to do something about this.
Will you continue to do Morning Pages?
Christie: I’ve been continuing with a shorter version of Morning Pages – I know, I know, it’s not technically Morning Pages if it isn’t three pages but I believe I’m still seeing the benefits of writing down all my thoughts without me feeling self-conscious of that flow. If you’ve ever been thinking about giving it a go, I’d say give it a go for a month and tweak the technique to what works best for you.
Martha: Yes! Like Christie I am continuing with it, but I am not pushing myself to write three pages every day. I’ve found it great to clear the mind in the morning before getting stuck into other things. I am surprised at myself after finding it so hard at the start, which says a lot about how useful it has been. I would honestly genuinely say that this has been such a good experience and one I would recommend to anyone.
Inspired to give it a go? Let us know how you’ve been finding Morning Pages in the comments.