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Morning Pages– why in the morning?

"Julia," I am often asked, "Must the Morning Pages be done in the morning?"

"Yes," I answer. "They must be done in the morning."


We are aiming to catch ourselves before our ego is awake, before its defenses are in place. We want to be vulnerable. If we wait to do pages late in the day, we find ourselves reviewing the day we have had and are powerless to change. Writing first thing in the morning, we lay down the track for the day that looms ahead of us. Caught off guard, we are apt to be honest. Instead of giving the generic answer-- "How do I feel? I feel fine."-- we give a more detailed and nuanced answer:

"How do I feel? I feel sad. I feel hopeful. I feel glad. I feel grumpy. I feel many things that Morning Pages allows me to record." Often, the pages urge us in directions we'd wish to avoid:

I need to tell Arthur I'm angry at him.

I need to call the gallery back and arrange to pick up my slides.
I need to do something about my drinking.

Morning Pages are a tough love friend. They urge us to face the unfaceable. They urge us to take action on our own behalf. Instead of the generic answer, "I feel fine about that," we learn what it is we really feel, and it is often not "fine."

Morning Pages give us a safe place to vent our hidden emotions.They urge us to be true to ourselves. They reward our honesty with forward motion. It is nearly impossible to write Morning Pages and remain stuck.

5 Comments on "Morning Pages– why in the morning?"

  1. this is so true, however I feel, if I write it ALWAYS makes me feel better – then at least I’m not ignoring my feelings

  2. I have done the pages for fifteen years. They have brought about many miracles for me

    I have slaked up on them the last 3yrs. and went head long into deep depression. I quit doing
    anything creative. I picked the pages up along with your new book finding water.After pages and few Artist Dates am feeling ready to start up with something new.Thanks Julia I went through the Artist Way evrry 12 wks for ten years.mdh

  3. One fine day when I was reading about writing (yes, reading about writing instead of writing) I came across The Artists Way. I ordered it. Why? No idea. I am not the ordering whatever I read type. I started to write the morning pages in September 2011. In November I started to suddenly clear out my ward robe and lo and behold all of a sudden I got an address to bring them to (Dress for Success). The same month I started to saw down one old couch. When done with that another one I wanted to get rid of (Don’t worry I have wonderful furniture I want to keep!). I have changed a former study into my painting room. Imagine: I already had everything: easel, paint, gouache, watercolor, brushes, and it just sat there gaining dust all those years because I felt I had no room to use them…. I have been writing my pages mostly in the morning but sometimes I just did not get it (dentist appointment) and I did write them in the evening simply because I love to. I fell in love with the morning pages but I need to work on doing my artist day every week. Sometimes I do three in a month or once a month. I tend to overlook that and as such I guess my progress. And lo: I started to actually write as well besides the mp. Things from my life I found I saw back in this book of yours. The only book or person who ever called a spade as it is. And very articulate too. I don’t do heroes or something but I think you are an instrument for good and as such one of God’s instruments. You are immense! And if I may say so: a great and original spirit and writer.

Trackbacks for this post

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