Monday, October 22, 2012

Morning Pages

I'm sure morning pages aren't new to a lot of you. Maybe you've tried them yourself. Maybe you do them every day religiously. Or maybe, like me, they're something you've been meaning to try, but have never gotten around to.

For years I've been meaning to buy The Artist's Way, but it wasn't until a few weeks ago, as I was helping my sister-in-law pack up for a move across the country, that I finally got my grubby little hands on it. 

So this past weekend, while on vacation in St. George, I finally got around to reading the first chapter and made the commitment to try morning pages for myself for the next twelve weeks. As a rule, I try not to self edit too much as I write a first draft, but the idea of trying morning pages seems like much more than just letting my writing follow its natural course. Normally when I set out to write, I have a specific goal in mind, whether it be to complete a scene that I've been working on for a book, or to write a blog post, or a poem, or an essay. I have a beginning and middle and end that I'm trying to get to. I'm moving from point A to point B. So what strikes me as the most exciting part of writing these morning pages, is the fact that I'm not trying to end up anywhere in particular. My thoughts can ebb and flow as they want and I might end up somewhere magical or I might not end up anywhere at all. But that's the beauty. It's about putting in the time, not about expecting to get something out of it. This is very contrary to how I normally go about writing and I'm excited by the prospect of it, because I don't have any clear expectations of where I'm going to end up. It's wide open.

Have you ever written morning pages?

1 comment:

  1. I bought The Artist Way back in 1995 while working at an indie bookstore in Ft. Collins CO that has sadly since gone out of business. The funny thing is that I didn't even write back then. I haven't read it in quite awhile but I do remember it being "an experience" for me. Eye opening, if you will. The morning pages were a great exercise for me and certainly something I would go back to if I ever (ever?) have time again when I'm not working on a current WIP. Come to think of it, I probably could have used MPs when I was out on submission all through 2011 and the first half of 2012!