It’s pretty typical I suppose that a writer (like me) would write about — well, let’s say “writing–how to be yourself on three pages a day.” So I now have the honor and fun of telling you what I mean.
Julia Cameron wrote a book called The Artist’s Way and that was how I discovered “three pages a day.” I’ve always journaled and I happened upon her book about ten years ago and started writing my own morning pages. I’d gotten out of the practice for several years, but after I quit my job a few months ago to become a full-time blogger, I started up again.
It’s a simple practice
Writing morning pages is a simple practice. You set aside time in the morning to write 3 pages of whatever’s on your mind. I use a pen and an inexpensive composition notebook (I like the ones with sparkling colors, but you can choose whatever you like). Watch this 2 minute video on Julia’s website Juliacameronlive.com about morning pages. It’s definitely worth a listen, but I’ll also give you a summary of what she says.
Julia explains the pages are a way to clear your mind before you start your day. Maybe you’re worried about mundane things like taking out the garbage or buying dog food. Write it down. You may want to whine, cry, laugh, celebrate, plan, or think how angry you are at your significant other. Write it down. Maybe you’re worried about something at work or one of your kids. Write it down. I love how she explains that the pages are like meeting your shadow and taking it out for coffee. It’s like dusting off the dark corners of your psyche and opening up the way for more creativity and inspiration.
Here is a section from my morning pages
Thank you journal for listening to all my thoughts and allowing me to be whatever version of myself that I need to be any day of the year.
Thank you for holding all the secrets that I don’t always want the world to know. Thank you for listening to all my troubles without judgement, shame or telling me ways I should have done things better, and allowing me to figure them out on my own. Sometimes those problems get figured out on the page or sometimes a solution will pop into my head later.
Thank you for letting me be angry, because people don’t like anger and have a tendency to try and shut me down even if it’s unjust or unfair. You let me bring that anger to the table and welcome my vulnerability as I write through my struggles and pain.
Thank you for letting me ramble on and on and still listen with rapt attention as I go and grow in whatever direction I choose.
Thank you for letting me expose my dark side without penalty, reproach or judgement.
Thank you for letting me fall and helping to pick me back up, gently reminding me I can always start over again as many times as I need to until I get it. Thank you for letting me share my weaknesses and reminding me that I’m human and that there is no shame in that. Thank you for letting me learn from my mistakes. Thank you for always being there – I can always count on you. Thank you for your gentle guidance, strength, and compassion.
Journaling really allows you to come to yourself, exactly as you are. It helps you figure out problems, and clean out those dusty corners of your mind so more creativity and inspiration can come in.
I’m hooked on Winnie the Pooh these days and this quote makes me think of why I love writing morning pages.
Piglet: “The things that make me different are the things that make me.” —Winnie-the-Pooh
Journaling lets you be who you are.
Here’s your assignment
So here’s your assignment. It’s called Writing–how to be yourself on three pages a day. Dust off an unused journal or notebook, buy one at the store, or treat yourself to something snazzy. I write between six and eight pages in 30 minutes, so you will need around 15 minutes for the three pages.
Also, if it’s hard at first, I encourage you to keep at it. It will get easier with practice. Not only does it clear your head for the day, but it allows new things to come into your mind. There is no political correctness or censorship allowed and no one gets to see it but you! You can learn so much about yourself and others from writing so go for it!
Until next Thursday – happy and joyous three pages a day.
Let me know about your experience. Leave a comment below or email me.