In The Artist’s Way, Julia Cameron introduces us to the concept of “Morning Pages”: three notebook pages worth of freewriting in longhand. At about 250 words per page, this adds up to about 750 words, which some people consider the main point. I really think the mind-body connection works better – for me, anyway – when I put pencil to paper rather than fingers to keyboard. Maybe it’s due to my age and the fact that keyboarding (the writing form formerly known as “typing”) didn’t start for me until well into my teens that makes my long-hand journaling a more effective meditation/concentration tool for me.
What in the world could I find to write 750-ish words about every morning, you might ask. Here are a few of the things that show up in my journal:
- Re-hash of yesterday’s events
- My feelings concerning yesterday’s events
- Interesting dreams
- Things I gotta do today
- Thinking through some idea by writing it out and taking the time to actually consider different aspects of it
- Coming chores, errands, events
- My feelings and/or attitudes about coming chores, errands, events
- Weird thoughts I have that I don’t really want to say out loud to anyone – at least not yet
- Story ideas
- Short-term and long-term planning and goals
Julia makes the point that in the beginning, most people seem to stall out at around the half-way mark, having written a little over 300 words of immediately obvious things-happening-in-my-life-this-minute that we all hold and juggle in the front of our minds. Pushing through and continuing to write after that point is when the magic starts to happen. Things you’ve been trying to avoid thinking about, that you really need to be thinking about, start to surface, sneaking out from behind the “I don’t have time to think about this” barrier we all erect with our constant busy-ness.
Next post – just what the benefits of all that self-discovery might be.