Each morning—nearly—I write three pages, stream-of-consciousness, longhand in a pocket book. I sit down, I write for 3 pages, I cease. And I wholeheartedly consider it’s probably the greatest issues I do for myself and my psychological wellbeing.
Whether or not you name it journaling, freewriting, a brain-dump, or morning pages, it’s a robust software for cleansing your head, beginning your day, and—dare I say it—residing a creatively freer life.
I first got here to know morning pages by way of The Artist’s Method, the very tacky and surprisingly useful self-help e book. My greatest pal gave me a duplicate once I graduated faculty however it sat unopened on my shelf for years, till I learn an article by Meaghan O’Connell, “This Horrible Self-Assist E-book Is Truly Making Me a Higher Artist.” I’ll let O’Connell make her case for The Artist’s Method (it’s compelling, regardless of her equivocation), however right here’s what she says about morning pages:
I do it each morning very first thing, which helps me get to my desk. Largely, it’s simply whining or budgeting or planning what to try this day. It’s a diary! However a diary with a purpose, nonetheless delusional, to unblock your self artistically.
I don’t suppose—and I don’t suppose O’Connell thinks, both—that it’s delusional to suppose freewriting can unblock you creatively. In actual fact, I believe that’s precisely what freewriting can do. And I believe that morning pages can do much more than that. As I see it, they’ve two principal advantages:
1. You get to see what’s occurring in your mind. This can be a cousin of mindfulness meditation, however the place at the very least conventional mindfulness meditation is about working towards focus—in your breath, an object, or a mantra, for instance—whilst you discover your ideas effervescent up and allow them to go, morning pages emphasizes the noticing-your-thoughts half. Three pages is lengthy sufficient that you just’ll get by way of the stuff you knew have been in your thoughts and nonetheless have extra to go. Seeing what comes up might be surprisingly informative. And as you seize your flitting ideas, all that flitting begins to cool down.
2. You follow placing phrases down with out stopping to judge them. There’s nothing extra crippling to a inventive impulse than worrying about whether or not its end result can be good. Whether or not that inventive act is an essay, a portray, or a PowerPoint presentation in your boss, it’s all the identical—analysis is the enemy of creation. And freewriting forces you to maintain shifting ahead, preserve creating, with no thought given to high quality. High quality has nothing to do with morning pages—nobody’s going to learn this, most likely not even your future self. You simply preserve writing. It’ll be surprisingly arduous to show off your internal critic. But it surely’s very important and worthwhile follow.
Every of these advantages is big by itself, however collectively they add as much as one thing extra, a loosening of the idea-spouting equipment in your thoughts. Whenever you’re used to simply letting your concepts movement… they movement extra, even while you’re not freewriting. And while you’re used to not interrupting your idea-flow with issues about your concepts’ high quality, you give extra of your concepts an opportunity. You’ll have extra concepts.
You’ll construct up your handwriting stamina, too. All these tiny wrist muscle tissue! It would damage at first, truly. However, hey, that’ll offer you one thing to jot down about.