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“Mourning” Pages

I sometimes think Morning Pages should be called “Mourning Pages.” “Julia, my pages are so negative,” some people say. With morning pages, we end our denial. If something is bothering us, we put it on the page. Often, many things are bothering us, and our pages seem filled with negatives. It’s important to note that […]


Q: What if my thoughts race faster than I can write them down?

Recently I had a student say, “My thoughts race faster than I can write them down. So I get frustrated and stop writing.” My answer: “Don’t stop.” I think it’s a common occurrence for the thoughts to race faster than the pen. And I think that you should keep writing Morning Pages. What you do […]


Self-permission over Discipline

Practicing our art is more comfortable than not practicing our art. Practicing our art is more fun than not practicing our art. Something more comfortable and more fun does not take “discipline.” It takes permission, self-permission. I don’t write to be hard on myself. I write to be easy on myself. I write because it […]


“thinking” about your Morning Pages?

Sometimes my students ask me how much they should “think” about what they are going to write in their Morning Pages. I don’t want you to pause and have a mental cigarette and strategize about what you’re going to write. It’s better to just say “here goes” and go right into writing. One thing that’s […]


Morning Pages: why by hand?

In the era of iPads and new technology at every turn, I am asked even more frequently if people really  need to do their Morning Pages by hand. In short, the answer is yes. When we write by hand, we connect to ourselves. We may get speed and distance when we type, but we get […]


Morning Pages: why 3 pages?

Morning Pages are three pages of longhand, morning writing about anything. There is no wrong way to do Morning Pages, and they are for your eyes only. Doing Morning Pages, we find that we go into our day with more clarity. Although they do take time (about 30-40 minutes), they actually make more time than they […]


Do you worry that you lack discipline?

This is a paradox to me: many of us start off worrying that we will “lack the discipline” to do morning writing. When we are willing to try writing anyway, we find soon enough that morning writing does not take discipline– but it does make discipline. What is it about stumbling blindly to the page, not knowing […]


Do you think you “can’t” write?

Most of us think we can’t write. We think it’s something other people do– “writers.” Or, if you have a novice’s happy skill and an amateur’s fervent love, it’s a name you reserve for the skill belonging to “real writers.” If we eliminate the word “writer,” if we just go back to writing as an […]


In the “mood”

We often make the mistake of thinking we “have” to be in the “right” mood to write. The truth is, any mood can be used for writing. Any mood is a good writing mood. The trick is to simply enter whatever mood like a room and sit down and write from there.  


Loneliness

Our mythology tells us that writers are loners. In fact, one of the most potent writer’s blocks I know is the fear of loneliness that people associate with the writing life. So much has been written about the loneliness of the writer’s lot that it feels like heresy to report the truth as I know […]