The ideal Morning Page would be about 21 and bring me an enormous cup of tea precisely 5 minutes after my alarm has gone off. Actually I don’t care how old the page is, he can be a wrinkly old codger, at that time in the morning all I am interested in is tea.
However, the only person who is going to make me tea in the morning is me, so to the other Morning Page. The one that Julia Cameron suggests you should write every morning. I’m not going to go into a long description of what they are and why you should do them. If you are interested you can read all about it here http://juliacameronlive.com/tag/morning-pages/ I’m more interested in whether they work.
I suppose whether they work or not rather depends on what you are hoping they will do for you. They do not make tea and they can’t write your novel, produce your film or turn you into the next Elizabeth Frink. You still have to do the work, but do they help you overcome that sodding great bump in the road?
I’ve been writing morning pages on and off for about four years. To be honest I’ve been more off than on and I have noticed a tendency for the size of my writing to escalate in an attempt to get to the end of the three pages. I can manage two words to a line (moleskine journal) if I really put my mind to it. However, since the spring I have been writing pretty much consistently every day. During that time I completely rewrote one novel and sent it off to the Mslexia competition. I have written about 20K of the next novel and have won two flash fiction competitions.Novel two is sitting with a publisher. In other news I have gutted several rooms, redecorated two rooms and overseen (rather than actually done) all sorts of odd jobs and outside work that had been hanging around far too long. By any reckoning that strikes me as quite industrious. Ah but is it the morning pages weaving their magic or have I just drunk too much Red Bull?
Recently I’ve not been writing my morning pages. There has been too much on, I can find an excuse for anything if I want to. Even on the days I have written my entries have been woefully short. One particurly pathetic example was half a page of writing in something akin to font size 50. During this time I have not tackled any jobs I don’t want to do, I have hardly written a word, the filing is a disgrace, the house is cluttered and I HATE clutter, I have been supremely successful at time wasting and I have been leaving everything to the last minute and inducing a nightly state of panic where I lie in bed and listen to my guts churn as I go over all the things I have to do, preferably by 6.00am the following morning.
So today I wrote my morning pages, all three of them, in normal sized writing. Even though I wasn’t really in the mood. And look today I wrote a blog post, I’ve got a couple of unwelcome phone calls to make which I’m just about to do. I’m putting my money on the morning pages.