(Unless there’s French Toast. I’d also love to wake up to French Toast.)
I say it so often I should get a little ink stamper that says: “Do the Morning Pages every day and you will see a change in your life.”
The Artist’s Way, as you may know if you’ve ever heard me talk about it before, makes magic happen in your life.
The Morning Pages are a conduit for that magic. They are an essential element to the healing and transformation that happens when you do The Artist’s Way.
If you haven’t gathered, I love the Morning Pages and I believe in them and I think everyone should do them.
But I know that for some people, the idea of writing three pages every morning sounds totally impossible.
I’ve been writing and journaling since I was nine, so yes, I was really lucky to already be comfortable with writing, but that doesn’t mean there weren’t days or even weeks where I did NOT want to do the pages.
But I also believe the Morning Pages are super forgiving and always wait for you. Really, the entire process of The Artist’s Way is brilliant in how, no matter what point you’re at on your journey to reconnecting with your inner artist, it meets you exactly where you are.
(I’m definitely trying to sell you at this point on doing the Morning Pages, or picking them back up again if you’ve stopped doing them.)
While there are recommended ways of doing the pages—three pages handwritten in a notebook, first thing in the AM—don’t let any of those details be barriers to entry.
You can modify the Morning Pages if that’s what you need to get started.
I have heard from a lot of people that they struggled with sticking to the pages or couldn’t even consider hand-writing three pages every single morning.
But Julia Cameron makes a great point in Week 6 that actually doesn’t relate to this at all, but is a sentiment I want to bring to doing the pages.
She says, “If you want to make some art, make some art. Just a little art…two sentences. One rhyme.”
Let that be your same approach with the Morning Pages. If you want to do them, do them. Just a little. Five minutes. One sentence. “I feel…” and then carry on.
Over time, you might want to elaborate. You might decide you need more than five minutes, and maybe that means skipping a quick Facebook scroll before work.
This is no different than exercise. Walk around the block. Try a few yoga stretches at home. Do one push-up a day until it gets easier, then do two.
The Morning Pages don’t rely on the details to work their magic. The details help—I think handwriting the pages is more effective at tapping into intuitive guidance than typing them, but that’s also just my own experience.
But making just a little room in your life for the Morning Pages, just enough space for them to show up, is all you need to get started.
Just show up to them every day, in whatever way you can.
And some days, you challenge yourself to push that limit a little, to see what happens, for example, if you kept writing even after you thought you had nothing else to say.
When I get to the middle of the second page and I’m thinking, “Yeah, let’s just do two today,” a little voice often comes in and says, “What if we see what happens if you do all three?”
I listen to that voice more now than I used to. Because invariably, whenever I push through and keep writing till the end of three pages, I have some kind of epiphany, sometimes a total breakthrough. Something gets unraveled or dissolved or clarified.
And over time, you start to recognize:
Often what you’re seeking is just on the other side of “I don’t feel like it.”