By Kristen Plylar-Moore, LEC writing specialist
“It is a paradox of my experience that Morning Pages both take time and give time. It is as though by setting down our inner movie onto the page, we are freed up to act in our lives.”
—Julia Cameron, author of The Artist’s Way
In addition to supporting students with their academic writing, I am also a writer myself. I write songs, poetry, and I journal. All these activities help me to release the ideas in my mind and the feelings in my heart, whatever they may be.
You may consider yourself an artist or you may not. But if you’re reading this blog post, you’re probably a student, which means you are definitely a writer, because so much of your time as a student is spent writing.
And because you’re a writer, I suggest you write even more.
You may be thinking, “Does this person know I work full time, have a full course load, and have kids to raise? She wants me to write more? How many hours does she think there are in a day?!”
These are all fair questions. But what if I said that writing could help you to relieve stress, become more comfortable with writing, lift your spirits, and make new discoveries about yourself?
The benefits of Morning Pages
Julia Cameron, author of The Artist’s Way developed a habit of writing she calls Morning Pages. (If you have already taken the class Empowerment Through the Arts, you will be familiar with this, as Morning Pages is one of the assignments.)
The purpose of Morning Pages is to release whatever is filling your head onto the page. Doing this can help artists uncover the spark for a creative project.
But the pages can also help anyone who is overwhelmed by life’s challenges and is looking to become more grounded, focused, and more capable of completing tasks. Morning Pages can help someone achieve and maintain these abilities.
All you need for Morning Pages is a notebook and pen. When you wake up in the morning, begin writing and continue—nonstop—until you complete three pages.
What you write doesn’t have to make sense. It doesn’t have to be “good,” and it doesn’t have to be “right.” It just has to be. Your Morning Pages are not for anyone else to read. And they’re not for anyone else to judge, including you. The idea is to release everything to discover the most important things.
Try it yourself
Students have a variety of experiences with Morning Pages. They say it helps them manage anxiety, organize their day, manage their time, better understand their emotions, become more comfortable expressing their needs and desires, and set personal and professional goals.
Try Morning Pages each day for a week. At the end of the week, check in with yourself to see what, if anything, was helpful about the process. If you got something out of it, if you found it helpful, try it for a second week. And feel free to reach out to us at the LEC and let us know what the experience has been like for you.