First, I found mention of Morning Pages in a book, “Letters from Paris”. The author, Janice MacLeod, is a young woman stuck in the middle of “living her life’s dream”. She is unhappy, full of feelings that time is flying and her life is not going well. And then she found Julia Cameron’s book, “The Artist’s Way” and the idea of Morning Pages which she adopted and writing 3 morning pages every day. After a few months she discovered what to do with her life.
Great, I loved the idea. I am a diary person from my very young childhood. My mother taught me that everyone needs a diary – to organize his thoughts and feeling and to have the possibility to look back. She was an artist, a painter and she had her diary. My step father was a cinema cameraman and he also had his own diary. Actually, my sister and I were making them by connecting together a few notebooks and making beautiful decorated covers. Christmas and birthdays were the times for diary-presents between us.
So, I bought Julia Cameron’s book.
Ok, my life was good – I didn’t need to change it. Actually, I loved and still love my life. But I was struggling with what to do about my business. Escaping from a crazy busy work schedule as a TV editor and personality, I lost the big salary I was adding to the family budget (and my husband and I need this budget to be bigger to fulfil our dreams for the future). The work as a book and text editor I still had, but the money was not enough to make me feel comfortable. And in the third place, but not the last one, living our life between Europe and Australia, changing continents every one or two months, I needed a business which will make me free from the deadlines. So, editing for the TV, blogging for my other craft blog, writing articles for magazines and sites, making greeting cards for one big shop. All with deadlines. And I am very emotional and not a very organized person.
A problem was born
I will never forget how I had to send an edited text for a morning TV show. The text was ready, but there was a problem with the internet in the airport… Even in the business lounge! Crazy situation! Imagine how I was feeling! And almost hearing people saying: “She didn’t send the text we expected! She can’t be trusted!”.
My parents and grandparents taught me all my life that the worst thing is not to be trusted. You will lose friends, relationships, work possibilities and, in some ways, your future. I know people who can’t be trusted and, believe me, I don’t want to have any dealings with them. The worst thing was that the people from the Morning TV show, expecting my text, are my friends and former colleagues. Awful situation…
In this case, I found a solution to send the text, but the situation highlighted for me the problem. Imagine how happy I was, when a few weeks later I found the idea of these Morning Pages. I was in love! Immediately I bought a fresh new notebook (Oh, I love notebooks!) and started writing. I even set an alarm on my phone to be sure will not miss the proper time. My morning time between 6 and 10 am is the busiest period of the day, so the possibility of not writing my Morning pages was very real!
Are Morning pages really worth time?
I was writing and writing in the way the book taught me when one day I realized that the Morning Pages were making my “not nice” feelings enormous! Starting my days with complaints, with small stupid details, looking at every leaf, but not the whole forest… Decluttering my mind? No! The opposite! Trying to write about everything which is coming into my mind I was creating association chains I didn’t need. And these chains were definitely tying me, tying my creativity, tying my mood. I was losing the bright idea of my day!
Unfortunately, I didn’t unlock new ideas! Oh, maybe if I wanted to write a hopeless drama novel about the sickness of the world… But I wanted bright positive ideas, didn’t want to whine! Especially when there are more wonderful things to do – to wake up my son, to make breakfast for him, for my husband and for myself. I love the smell of melted cheese on bread, the fresh taste when I am licking my fingers after cutting a tomato… I love to wake up my boy, to sit on his bed, to tickle him and to listen to how he is complaining, but laughing… I love to sit on the balcony (even in a very snowy cold winter) and to have coffee with my husband, talking about our day plans and commenting on the great mountain view we have… I love to write some quick ideas for my other craft blog. I love to talk with my teenager. Mornings are a precious time for every mother.
Not my thing
People say that Morning Pages are putting them in touch with their intuition. Yes, maybe. But this doesn’t work for me. My intuition in the morning time is only to be grateful! To be grateful about the new day, about being with my family in our home that I love! To be grateful about the cosy morning routines I love. Thank you, but I prefer to cuddle with my husband in the bed for 20 minutes more, than to jump up earlier and start writing. Even in a wonderful new notebook.
Honestly, the Morning Pages were stealing from all these wonderful cosy feelings – feelings which were charging my creative batteries. And they created problems, they didn’t solve them. Especially when I have an order for another batch of greeting cards and need to make them in time. The 20 minutes I would have spent writing are great enough to cut some small elements, to choose papers and to organize some designs.
My brain needs a strict schedule in the mornings. I am very productive in this period and to lose time to write some fictional ideas makes me feel guilty! And this is a new problem.
Of course, it is only me. I am talking about my “case”. I am sure there are many, many people, happy after writing their Morning pages. But I am not one of them. Months after months my morning time – my most inspiring and creative period of the day, was lost. And I am writing this article, because I am sure there are other people like me, who are trying and trying with no positive changes.
How the Morning pages became Evening pages
Maybe Morning Pages are great for people who somehow lost their creativity. But if you just have a problem to solve, it is better to read more about this problem. Reading, I have found many, many solutions and business ideas, many, many new ways to create. The only thing which Morning Pages gave me was: “Quit the job! Stop editing for the morning TV show!”. But I didn’t want to! First, I am a philologist and for me the beautiful, proper language in the media is very, very important! Second, I have a sentimental connection with this morning show – I was part of it, part of this TV station for so many years. And third, I needed the money. So, the only solution which came with the Morning Pages was to create three new problems. No, thanks!
But things were not all so black! I realized that all the impressions from the day I need to write n in the evening time. After dinner is my very lazy time – I am reading a book, or knitting, or crocheting, or just dreaming and talking with my husband. And because my husband needs his lazy time too, this is a great time to write about the day. What worked, what didn’t work, what to be thankful about, what can be labelled as a “mistake”.
Morning Pages became Evening Pages. And they are very helpful by giving me a great look over the “forest”, by helping me to create the plan for the next day. And by making me more organized – but this is a story for a different article.
Maybe you are just not a Morning pages person
Don’t worry if your Morning Pages don’t work well. Maybe you are just not a Morning Pages person. Maybe you are an Evening Pages person. Or Afternoon Pages person? Or Midnight Pages person. We are all so different! My best friend’s most creative time is after midnight. In the wee small hours she is an absolute Fury! And the mornings are definitely not her best period.
What I am saying is don’t allow yourself to be stuck in ways, which are good for other people, but not for you! Find your own way! And share it! Because I am sure there are many, many other people like you and they just need a sign to change their lives for better!
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