I’ve always been a little sceptical about Morning Pages. This is the habit of filling three pages of A4 with handwriting first thing in the morning, before you do anything else.
Even though I’ve seen others benefit and have sometimes recommended to clients that they do it, I hadn’t tried it myself and it was only on reading columnist Oliver Burkeman’s article that I finally gave it a go. Until then, like him, I’d had my doubts about the usefulness of the daily ritual of writing down a three-page stream-of-consciousness torrent of informal scrawl.
But no more! O. Burkeman says that it is good for getting your head straight first thing and, from day one, he found it great for “calming anxieties, producing insights and resolving dilemmas.” Julia Cameron, originator of the Morning Pages habit says it will “provoke, clarify, comfort, cajole, prioritize and synchronize the day at hand.”
Since I’ve been feeling a little over-crowded in my head and a bit disoriented lately I thought I’d give it a go. I don’t mean that I lack direction, but with several exciting projects on the go (this blog is one), I have been pulled all over the place with the result that I feel I do a little of a lot of things, rather than a lot of the few things that most need attention. So I have started writing Morning Pages. I’ll keep you posted on my progress and the benefits that accrue.
And for the cynics…
If, like me, you are cynical about this and your inclined to write it off (pun intended) as some sort of New Age mumbo-jumbo, well, you could be right. But, on the basis that you can’t knock it until you’ve tried it I recommend that you give it a go. you’ll never know if you don’t try, and I resp[ect that people much smarter than me have taken to the habit and now swear by it.
In the meantime, the Oliver Burkeman’s article on Morning Pages is worth reading, but not until you’ve done your first three pages, perhaps?