Morning Pages
Asoka Selvarajah

Many of us want to be creative but don't know where of how to begin.  If we try, we are unhappy with our efforts almost immediately and allow the inner critic to ridicule our efforts and stifle any further attempts.

Here is an exercise that can help.  It is called "Morning Pages" and comes from Julia Cameron's book "The Artist's Way".

Each morning, you take three sheets of paper and find a comfortable and pleasant place to spend half an hour. The task is to fill those sheets with writing. That is all.

You are not required to write fantastic prose or moving poetry. You are simply to fill up the three pages with anything that you wish. It is not for anyone to read but yourself. Once you have finished, date them and put them away. Then do the same thing the next day.

What is the point of all this? Most of us who are blocked creatively cannot get past out "inner critic". There is a part of our psyche, created by us for our protection. To create, according to this view, is to invite the opinions of others and thereby to incur pain and humiliation. Therefore, it is better to create nothing. That is the role of the inner critic - to get you to create nothing that could hurt you.

The critic is so ingrained that it is hard to get past it. This is where this exercise helps. By not being required to write anything spectacularly brilliant, but by being required to fill those pages, you get past the critic.

In doing so, you begin to come into better contact with your creative heart. Truly, there is a two-way process going on between our inner self and what appears on paper. As we write, we make ever better contact with our creative heart. For a writer, the Morning Pages are equivalent to scales for a trainee musician. For a blocked creative artist, they are a way of establishing a better relationships and trust with out inner being. This can lead us to the confidence to express ourselves in other creative fields apart from writing.

Another benefit of doing these pages is that they do reveal a lot of insight into ourselves. Ms. Cameron says that after about three months of doing them faithfully each day, and not before, we should pull them all out and read them. Patterns will emerge. Certain matters that appear repeatedly are obviously major concerns. We will gain a lot of insight from building up a record of these writings and studying them.

However, our writing itself will also inevitably improve, without our critic noticing. Once you have written some excellent stuff, just once or twice, you know that you can do it on demand. You will know that it is not a matter of inspiration or being in the mood. It is a matter of simply showing up regularly and doing it. The same is true of any other creative endeavour. In fact, it is true of virtually everything in life.

Yes, it is a pain to have to arise half an hour or so earlier every day for this seemingly meaningless exercise. However, it is worth it, as you will soon discover for yourself. If you really can't do it in the morning, then do it at some other time. Better to do it at the wrong time than not to do it at all. However, please try and do it each and every day. The results will speak for themselves.

Copyright  Asoka Selvarajah   All Rights Reserved. His Mystic Visions website is at


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