Before I started the 100 posts in 100 days project, I was experimenting with morning pages for writing every day. I found it really good, but it could take a while. I didn’t read Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way, but I bought the supplement: The Miracle of Morning Pages. My biggest takeaways from this were that the rules are more strict than most people usually following it do.
First thing upon waking up
You want to capture your monkey mind immediately. The intention isn’t to create new content that’s shared with people. The real reason to do morning pages is to get the junk out of your head to generate clarity. The content isn’t the point, the practice is.
Cameron stresses the importance of doing morning pages longhand. Longhand translation to actual words differs of course, but it’s safe to say you’d fit more per page when typing. If you type your morning pages and actually get to three typed pages, that’s a lot more content than you’d get handwritten. Again, though, the content is the point. So I can see where going longhand could generate completely different results.
Toss them out, burn them, etc.
I struggled with treating morning pages as non-permanent things. I’d never say I’m a minimalist but I’ve always tried to keep clutter down in my apartment. I think it’s a holdover from living in 7 different places my first year in New York. Even if a stay was only a few days or a couple weeks, I still had to move everything.
On the other hand, I’m a digital hoarder. What if something good is in the morning pages? Just let it go? I guess there’s that idea that if it’s really important then you’ll remember it. And that it’s practice in seeing that good ideas aren’t a finite resource. You’ll always think of more.
Absolutely stop when done
You’re supposed to get to 3 pages and stop. No more and no less. It’s enough to get to clarity and move on with your day. That doesn’t mean you have to stop writing entirely. It just means morning pages need to be separate from writing that you do that’s going towards your novel or articles or whatever that may be.