1. Ted

    Somewhere I read an interview with Cameron, and her way of doing Morning Pages (MPs) went like this: Wake up, roll over, get out of bed. Walk to kitchen, pour coffee, (she makes it the night before and drinks it cold in the morning), walk to armchair, start writing.

    I first did MPs 3 years ago for about 6 months when I was planning a relocation, and they were amazingly helpful in a variety of ways. I moved, fell out of the practice. Then life was unravelling and I picked up the pen and notebook again to do MPs. Lasted about 1 month, because I found my mood and thinking so negative I needed to stop. MPs didn’t help me clear my mind; they gave me a fantastic vehicle in which to winge over and over and over. It set me up for a crummy day. But at least I knew what was bugging me.

    If I need to capture a thought or idea quickly, I record it on a 3×5 notecard, and sort it with all the other cards later, using a system I got from Daniel Levitan’s “The Organized Mind”. It’s turned out to be a great system for me. Often if I’m doing some focused journalling or on a phone call and an unrelated “to do” item pops into my mind, and it’s easy to put it on a card and get immediately back to the journalling or whatever. When that’s done I can put my attention to what’s on the card.

    • Thanks so much for sharing your experience with the Morning Pages exercise! It didn’t occur to me but I guess I can see how writing and focusing on negative things can compound rather than clear things in your mind.
      I will definitely have to look into Levitan’s “The Organized Mind” – I have ideas and notes on scraps on my desk and in notebooks and on post-it notes everywhere! Thanks for the tip 🙂

  2. Some while ago, I did a “creative writing in academia” course, as part of my PhD. The prof’ had us do some exercises a little like the Morning Pages. As an ex-IT consultant, and avid keyboard rider, the very idea frightened the life out of me. I used my Cross Century II Medalist a lot, but serious writing, where I wanted to refine what I wrote, was reserved for my computer.

    The process turned out to be far less scary than I anticipated, and the results are here…


    But it did help to rekindle my attraction to writing. Love this post, and couldn’t recommend this type of exercise higher.

    • wonderpens

      Wow, thanks so much for sharing – what an incredible experience you’ve had! It’s been a great way for me to get the cobwebs out of my brain, although of late I have been neglecting the practice. Time to pick it up again!

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