I’m a big fan of morning pages, as recommended by Julia Cameron in her book ‘The Artist’s Way.’ Writing first thing in the morning, an outpouring of whatever begs to spill onto the page is a great way of both clearing the mind of clutter and getting the writing muscles warmed up and working. A half hour to yourself before the clamour of the day presses in upon you can transform that day into a more productive and positive one.
As with everything worthwhile, this practice may involve a little sacrifice. Or at the least, some groundwork. I don’t know about you and your life but grabbing that extra 30 to 60 minutes in the morning isn’t always easy for me. I have a three year old son and once he’s up and around I have precious little attention for anything else. So doing my morning pages necessitates getting up earlier than he would normally wake and then sneaking around in our small, totally unsound-proof house, so as not to wake him and invite chaos upon me.
Also, partly as the mother of a small child and partly by nature, I am a big devotee of sleep. I crave it. I carefully calculate the hours I manage to squirrel away. I count the cost of disturbed nights in lost hours of productivity in the day or in dips in mood and surges in irritability. (Seriously. If you have children you’ll know what I’m talking about. Parenthood is the best thing in the world but can also sometimes feel like torture: the being kept awake all night by tiny kicks in the head and constant pulling of your hair; followed by a day of incessant, insistent questioning. Aaargh.)
So something has to give. If I am to manage my morning pages I have to make sure that I’m in bed nice and early the night before, getting some quality sleep in before any toddler night time shenanigans kick off so that I can wake up fairly naturally at a suitably early hour. No late night movies for me. Or in fact any evening screen time.
It’s not really much of a sacrifice. Especially not when the payback is so worthwhile. Starting the day off feeling good, setting the tone for a contented, productive day. And, who knows?, laying the groundwork for greater things.
Do morning pages work for you? Or what tips do you have for starting the day off well?