Julia Cameron created the idea of morning pages. Essentially, it’s a bit of a mind dump that you do upon waking up. She says there is no wrong way to do it but for her version of morning pages, you must use a pen and paper, must do them every day and must do them first thing. Which creates an issue for me. I cannot write by hand (somethings I cannot even type), I cannot do them daily due to fatigue and I cannot do them when I wake up because I have carers with me and I have an hour to get from bed to work. These are non negotiable. So I’ve taken her idea and made it work for me. I have committed to doing my “morning” pages once a week at whatever time of day works. Some weeks I’ve managed to do them twice and sometimes even in the morning! Essentially, in order to keep at them, I had to reframe the concept to make it achievable for me.
And I like them. I like the satisfaction of being able to tick them off my mental to do list. I like that they free up my head a bit so some of the mundane crap thoughts are out the way. I like that it gives me a bit more space for ideas to come to me. And I like that it helps me recognise patterns and themes in my thinking.
For example, today I sat down with no idea what I would be writing and went from weather (always a good start if you’re short on ideas) to “when you break everything down, we are all the same, we are all protons and electrons and neutrons. Elementarily, we are no different to the dirt we tread on. Elementarily, we are all the same.” (How on earth did I get there?!)
And there is something in that which may later become a poem. It may not. And I don’t always end up with ideas or phrases from my pages but sometimes I do. And if nothing else, I can say I have written this week.