My Mental Health, Creativity and Morning Pages

My Mental Health, Creativity and Morning Pages…

Whenever I am feeling super stressed out, tense, confused, upset, have a feeling of general malaise or a creative block, I turn to writing morning pages.  

Many artists know about morning pages because of the Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. In order to boost or retrieve your creativity, she recommends writing three pages in a stream-of-consciousness manner every day. Essentially, it’s a brain drain to dump out all of the junk that is swirling around in your head. This is not a journal. You do not have to be a writer or enjoy writing to do morning pages. It is simply a tool. 

While I don’t do morning pages everyday as she recommends, I find them to be a balm for when I am reaching the end of my rope. I sit down with a regular spiral bound 8 1/2 x 11 notebook and write without stopping. Three pages usually takes me about 20 minutes. It all goes on the page…the good the bad and the ugly. No filter. It is cathartic and often brings me closer to solving what bothering me at the moment.  

Usually there is some kernel of an idea I want to save so I’ll write it down in my regular notebook. What do I do with the rest? I let it go. I NEVER reread it later and I don’t save it. When the notebook is done, I bury it deep in the recycling bin and throw it away. If it’s a particular painful day or I end up writing something I REALLY don’t want anyone else to read, I’ll tear it out and shred it. For a real catharsis, I recommend burning it, but that takes time and effort.  Shredding is much faster and frankly, attracts less attention than looking like a crazy woman burning notebooks in the backyard! 

But I digress…

I also use morning pages to solve problems in the studio. They, help me figure out a direction I want to move in, help me prioritize a list of projects, help me think through a creative issue. I write the question I want to answer at the top and then start writing. 90% of the time, I have an answer at the end and usually, it’s something that surprises me. 

For me, morning pages are a way to more easily access my subconscious mind. As Julia Cameron says, “Anyone who writes morning pages will be led to a connection with a source of wisdom within.”

If you want a little more personal insight and wisdom in your life, give morning pages a try!

You can see and learn more about Laura Morrison and her art at LauraMorrisonArt.com

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